Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Do constant urinary tract infections mean cancer?"
I'm nearly 30 and it seems like I'm more prone to urinary tract infections than any of my friends ? even though I try to be extra careful, clean, drink cranberry juice, etc. Can you tell me if this might mean I have a deeper problem? Honestly, I'm worried about cancer, but maybe I'm just being paranoid.
It is unlikely that recurrent urinary tract infections are a sign of cancer. As you know, urinary tract infections are extremely common in women, and generally benign. Some women are more prone to urinary tract infections, because of either anatomic or biochemical variations in their bodies from those of other women.
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Some women's urinary tracts simply have a less anti-bacterial pH than others, and others have an anatomy that is more predisposed to infection than the average woman's. There are a few things worth considering, in consultation with your physician. Sexual intercourse, and practices, can affect the urinary tract, and some studies support the notion that washing after intercourse can reduce the number of urinary tract infections in some women. Some underlying medical conditions can also be related to recurrent infections. Diabetes is one of the most common examples of such an underlying medical condition, though it is impossible for anyone who does not know you and your history to say whether you may have this condition. This is definitely a question worth bringing up with your physician. While cancer is an unlikely cause of your symptoms, you should be able to work together with your physician to identify any additional risk factors or predisposing conditions, based on your personal medical history. From there, you may be able to reduce the number of urinary tract infections you experience.
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