Official: Hussein Has Prostate Infection
Iraqi Official Says Deposed Leader Otherwise in Good Health
WebMD News Archive
July 29, 2004 -- Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is
suffering from a chronic prostate infection, according to wire reports.
Although the condition is common among older men, the deposed dictator has
reportedly refused to undergo a biopsy to rule out prostate cancer.
Appearing on the Arab news network Al Jazeera, an Iraqi
official said X-rays and blood tests by U.S. military doctors do not indicate
anything more serious than a prostate infection, and Hussein is otherwise in
But the imprisoned Hussein, who is 67, has refused American
officials' requests for a biopsy to eliminate the possibility of prostate
Prostatitis is often described as an
infection of the prostate, but it can also be an inflammation with no sign of
infection. Acute prostatitis occurs from a sudden bacterial infection. But
Hussein reportedly has what's known as chronic prostatitis. Chronic
(long-lasting) prostatitis is the most common form of the disease, usually
caused by bacteria.
What Causes Prostatitis?
How the prostate becomes infected is not
clearly understood. The bacteria that cause prostatitis may get into the
prostate through the urethra by backward flow of infected urine into the
prostate or stool from the rectum.
At one time, prostatitis was believed to be
a sexually transmitted disease, but more recent research suggests only a small
number of cases are transmitted through sex.
Certain conditions and medical procedures
increase the risk of developing prostatitis. You are at higher risk for getting
prostatitis if you:
- Recently have had a medical instrument, such as a
urinary catheter (a soft, lubricated tube used to drain urine from the
bladder), inserted during a medical procedure
- Engage in anal intercourse
- Have an abnormal urinary tract
- Have had a recent bladder infection
- Have an enlarged prostate
Other causes include autoimmune disease (an
abnormal reaction by the body to the prostate tissue).
Who Gets Prostatitis?
Prostatitis can affect men of all ages. It is estimated
that prostatitis may affect 50% of men during their lifetimes.
What Are the Symptoms of Prostatitis?
There may be no symptoms or symptoms so
sudden and severe that you seek emergency medical care. When present, symptoms
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Difficulty urinating
- Pain or burning during urination
- Chills and fever
Other symptoms include pain that comes and
goes low in the abdomen, around the anus, in the groin, or in the back. In some
cases, bacteria can get into the vas deferens (the tube that carries sperm from
the testicles to the urethra), causing groin pain or an infection of the
epididymis (an area near the testicles where sperm mature and are stored). The
prostate may swell, causing a less forceful urine stream. Sometimes blood in
the urine and painful ejaculation are other symptoms of prostatitis.