Harvard Men's Health Watch

On call: Calcium deposits in the prostate

Q. My father has had two surgeries in the past year to remove calcium deposits in his prostate. Is there any way to avoid this buildup, or will it continue?

A. A deposit of calcium in the prostate does not represent a specific disease; instead, it is associated with many different conditions. In young men, prostatitis, infection and inflammation of the gland, is the most common cause. In older men, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the most frequent cause of calcium deposits, but small deposits (microcalcifications) also occur in some prostate cancers. And in some men, prostate stones and calcium deposits form for no apparent reason; in a few cases, elevated blood calcium levels may be responsible and in others, sluggish flow of prostate fluid in the gland's ducts may explain the deposits.

Since there are so many different causes of prostate calcifications, it is not possible to recommend a preventive program. Your dad should be sure his blood calcium levels are normal, he should avoid dehydration, and he should get prompt treatment for any urinary tract infections.

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