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August 13, 1973


Author Affiliations

Camden, NJ

JAMA. 1973;225(7):751. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220340055033

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To the Editor.—  My comment to the article by Dr. Edwin M. Meares, Jr. entitled "Bacterial Prostatitis vs 'Prostatosis': A Clinical and Bacteriological Study" (224:1372, 1973) does not detract from the ideas presented by him but echoes a comment made several years ago by Dr. Jean Oliver. We physicians tend to use a lot of words, many of which we make up as we go along. Unfortunately, our urge to invent sometimes escapes the limits of proper etymology. Dr. Meares has proposed the term "prostatosis." The suffix "osis" means "full of" and is used properly in such words as hemochromatosis, polyposis, and sarcoidosis. Dr. Oliver pointed out the incongruity of the term "nephrosis," which is so widely used today. Since I do not believe Dr. Meares is suggesting that the patient is "full of prostate," and so that we may prevent the adoption of another awkward and useless word, it