Prostate cancer is the most widespread form of cancer affecting men. According to available statistics, in the United States, at least one of every eight men develops this type of cancer. Significantly, approximately 80 per cent of the total cases of prostate cancer occur in men above the age of 65 years, while approximately 80 per cent of all the men develop this form of cancer to some extent by the time they are 80 years old. It has been found that the rates of prostate cancer are very high among the African-Americans compared to men belonging to other ethnic groups.
It may be noted that the prostate is a gland of the size of a walnut that surrounds the urethra - the tube by means of which urine passes. The prostate gland manufactures the seminal fluid that comprises the volume of the ejaculate. In effect, the symptoms are the same for both the prostate cancer as well as benign prostate swelling. People who have developed this form of cancer usually experience frequent urination, problems in urinating, waking up at night to urinate, blood in the urine, soreness or a smouldering feeling when they pass urine as well as pain in the region of the pelvis or lumbar (lower back). Whenever any persons experience these symptoms, they should immediately contact their physician for medical help.
Currently, increasing incidents of prostate cancers are being identified in the preliminary stages owing to the availability of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. This particular blood examination computes the intensity of a protein made by the prostate. Usually, the levels of PSA are extremely low; however, they go up in the case of the development of disorders like benign enlargement, any infection of the prostate or the cancer itself. In effect, the PSA test does not actually detect the presence of the cancer, but just the elevated levels of PSA.
Till date, scientists and physicians are yet to ascertain the precise reason for the development of prostate cancer. However, there is some proof that taking diets that are rich in fat content may possibly have a role in encouraging the development of this form of cancer. Frequent infections of the prostate as well as a genetic inclination to having prostate cancer are also considered to be among the risk factors for developing this form of cancer. It has been identified that a male sex hormone called testosterone motivates the growth of prostate as well as all other carcinogenic cells that it may enclose.
When a person has already been diagnosed of having prostate cancer, it is generally categorized into stages making use of any of the many staging methods depending on the aggressiveness of the disease as well as to the extent to which it has spread. Usually, it has been seen that prostate cancer initially spreads to the lymphatic glands and, subsequently, to the bones, liver, lungs and/ or the bladder.
While several conventional treatments are employed for prostate cancer, it is always essential that the patient should also use herbal medications as a part of his comprehensive medical program, especially to cure this disease.
Supplements and herbs
Specific herbs and dietary supplements have been found to be effective in preventing as well as treating prostate cancer. For instance, taking damiana tincture or capsules as per the directions on the label of the product helps to maintain the hormone balance as well as the functioning of the glandular system. In addition, taking capsules of milk thistle silymarin gel in dosage of 360 mg every day may possibly inhibit the growth of the carcinogenic cells, which do not respond to treatment using hormones. Alternately, take polysaccharide kureha (PSK) tablets in dosage of 6,000 mg every day, as it helps in lessening the pace of the cancer spreading to the lungs.
Similarly, taking red wine catechins resveratrol tablets in dosage of 125 mg to 250 mg thrice every day thwarts the cellular process, which results in the growth and development of the tumors. Additionally, people who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer should take pygeum capsules in dosage of 50 mg to 100 mg two times every day and saw palmetto capsules in dosage of 160 mg twice every day. You may also take zinc picolinate tablets in dosage of 50 mg to 100 mg two times every day. Zinc is effective in controlling the inflammation caused by the development of prostate cancer, but does not have any effect, whatsoever, on the cancer itself.
Soy isoflavone concentrate tablets should be taken in dosage of 3,000 mg every day, as this medication has the aptitude to inhibit the growth of tumors and, at the same time, lessen the perils of the cancer spreading to the lungs. Turmeric curcumin, when taken in dosage of 300 mg two times every day between your meals for a period of six months, helps to set off the gene p53, which restricts cancers in over 50 per cent cases and also inhibits the spread of prostate cancer to the bones.
Additional things you may do
In addition to using conventional treatments and herbal products as well as dietary supplements, you may also do a few more things that would help to prevent as well as facilitate the cure of prostate cancer. For instance, consuming a minimum of two servings of cooked tomatoes every week helps to lessen the risks of developing prostate cancer, as this vegetable contains high amounts of lycopene, which according to the findings of 36 scientific studies, is effective in lowering the risk of prostate cancer. On the other hand, men who have very low levels of lycopene are not only susceptible to prostate cancer, but the disease is particularly aggressive in their case. It may be noted that the body can obtain lycopene four times more easily from tomato paste compared to the fresh vegetable. Lycopene dissolves in fat and, hence, it is always better to cook the tomatoes using a little amount of vegetable oil. While using the oil extracted from pumpkin seeds is most suitable for this purpose, this is by no means a permit to consume unrestricted quantities of any food that is rich in fat content, for instance, pizza, providing it also contains some amount of tomatoes. In addition to tomatoes, lycopene is also present in watermelon and red grapefruit and in relatively small amounts in lobsters and crabs.
In addition, men suffering from prostate cancer may also take vitamin E in dosage of 200 to 800 IU (international units) every day. Vitamin E possesses the aptitude to activate the cancer-combating properties of lycopene. Ensure that you take the supplements containing vitamin E instead of depending on dietary intake of vitamin E by eating eggs and nuts. It is worth mentioning here that alpha-tocopherol is the only substance among all other tocopherols that is present in vitamin E derived from foods which has a result that is similar to taking vitamin E supplements.
At any time when it is feasible, try to expose yourself to sunlight for about 20 to 30 minutes daily. However, ensure that you keep away from heat stress. Sunlight is useful for the skin and helps it to produce vitamin D, which stops the prostate cancer cells from multiplying. In effect, vitamin D is particularly vital for controlling prostrate cancers that are not invigorated by testosterone. However, when exposure to sunlight is not possible, you should take vitamin D supplements in dosage of anything between 200 and 1,000 IU (international units) every day.
In addition, it is beneficial provided you consume at least five to seven servings of foods containing high amounts of vitamin A every week. The foods that you need to take on a regular basis may comprise vegetables having orange or yellow hue and green leafy vegetables. The foods contain beta-carotene, which balances the low lycopene levels and acts together with vitamin D to thwart the propagation of prostate cancer cells.
In addition, you may take any supplement that contains wither inositol or inositol hexaphosphate (IP 6). You should also take anything between 150 micrograms and 200 micrograms of the essential trace mineral called selenium every day. Men having low levels of selenium experience a more rapid progression of prostate cancer. At the same time, make it a habit to drink a minimum of eight glasses (each glass containing 8 ounces) of water every day for dehydration creates pressure on the prostate gland.
Men who have developed prostate cancer should essentially keep away from all types of animal fat, particularly red meat and dairy foods. Prostate cancer has a propensity to advance more rapidly when the patients consume animal fat. On the other hand, this form of cancer progresses less fast when the patients consume vegetable fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Such patients should also stay away from products that lower the blood cholesterol levels and are prepared from concentrated beta-sitosterol. These type of products enclose considerable quantities of stigmasterol and campesterol, which are related to a higher risk of having prostate cancer and ought to be avoided if the person is already suffering from prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer patients need to consume fruit and vegetable juices made freshly every day. Juices made from carrots and cabbages are excellent for them. In addition, they may use organic oils obtained by the cold press method, such as olive oil, safflower oil and sesame oil to get the essential fatty acids. Consuming at least two to three servings of cold water fish, for instance tuna, salmon or mackerel, every week or supplementing their diet with flaxseed oil, fish oil, MaxEPA or vegetarian DHA, for instance Neuromins is also beneficial for men suffering from prostate cancer. In addition to the oils mentioned above, using evening primrose oil or borage oil will also prove to be useful for them.
The conventional therapy employs a wide range of treatments for prostate cancer. In the case of a number of aged men having localized, gradually developing tumors, the treatment comprises of just observing the cancer cautiously and also curing it provided it spreads. In the case of other types of prostate cancer, undergoing a variety of surgery may possibly be suitable, varying from total removal of the prostate to getting rid of the tissue by means of a tube passed through the urethra. Although physicians do not employ chemotherapy very frequently, radiation therapy is employed to inhibit the spread of the cancer. In most cases, the possible side effects of such treatments include impotence as well as incontinence.
Quite regularly, physicians use hormonal therapy to treat prostate cancer. Hormone therapy tries to lessen the impact of testosterone on the prostate. Medicines called LHRH stimulants lessen the intensity of testosterone in the bloodstream to extremely low levels.
It may be noted that introducing the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests has resulted in a great leap forward in diagnosing prostate cancer. This blood examination, which ought to be undertaken every year together with a digital test on all men who are aged 45 years and above, offers a prior warning system regarding the possible carcinogenic developments in the prostate. However, it is possible that the readings of the PSA test will produce bogus positive results because obtaining the blood sample for PSA examination just hardly any minutes following the digital examination of the prostate may possible increase the levels of PSA.
Currently, a more sophisticated PSA test is available which has the ability to exclude the possibilities of having prostate cancer, albeit the PSA levels are raised, by means of undertaking a comparison of the ‘total' PSA with ‘bound' PSA. In case your physician is undertaking a rectal test as well as a PSA screening, it is vital to draw the blood sample for the PSA test prior to the rectal examination. It is also important that your physician forms a diagnosis from additional information instead of only the PSA test. Majority of the physicians diagnose prostate cancer and begin treating the condition only depending on the readings of the PSA test, digital examination as well as ultra-sound.
It is surprising to find that compared to animal fats, non-fat milk products cause all the more risk of developing prostate cancer. However, the reason for this is yet to be ascertained.
On the other hand, taking diets that contain high amounts of soy products is related to lower incidences of prostate as well as other cancer forms. It has been established that genistein, an element of soy products, slows down the growth of prostate cancers which are not encouraged by testosterone. For the uninitiated, soy foods comprise tofu and miso.
However, consumption of plenty of dietary calcium may possible augment the chances of developing prostate cancer. This may perhaps be owing to the fact that calcium has the aptitude to lower vitamin D levels in the body. Vitamin D is essential to stop the growth/ propagation of the prostate cancer cells.
In case prostate cancer has extended into the capsule of the prostate gland, the regular method of treating this condition is employing radiation therapy. However, it needs to be borne in the mind that undergoing radiation therapy may result in impotence in as high as 50 per cent cases. In addition, radiation therapy may also have a negative result on the bladder as well as the rectum.
Other beneficial herbs