Prostate Cancer – Description, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Description
* Prostate cancer is a relatively slow growing tumor consisting of prostate cells that have ‘mistakes’ in their DNA or genetic coding and reproduce at an abnormal rate. If left to progress, the cells in the tumor may spread from the prostate (behind the penis, under the bladder) to lymph nodes and bones where they will continue to multiply. If left unchecked, the cancer will eventually lead to illness and death.
* Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death for men after lung cancer. Almost ninety percent of men will survive five years after diagnosis of prostate cancer and sixty-three percent survive ten years. As with all cancers, the earlier the detection and treatment, the better the prognosis.

Causes
* Causes or risk factors increasing the likelihood of prostate cancer includes increased testosterone levels, history of venereal disease, prostate infections, age, diet and obesity. Exposure to radiation, chemicals and pesticides, a depressed immune system, prolonged or continual emotional or mental stress, smoking and heredity have also been linked with cancer.

Symptoms
* Often prostate cancer does not exhibit any symptoms before it has spread beyond the prostate gland. Symptoms include a burning or painful sensation while urinating, a frequent need to urinate or an inability to urinate, a decreased force of the urinary stream, pain while ejaculating and pain in lower back, pelvis or pubic area.

Lifestyle symptoms
* Address Obesity Problems – the American Cancer Society recommends maintaining weight at a healthy level to reduce the risk of cancer.
* Quit Smoking – smoking and passive smoking increases the risk of some cancers and puts unnecessary strain on a body trying to survive cancer. See smoking for information on how to quit.
* Avoid Chemicals – many chemicals are carcinogenic and some may have an unknown long term effect. It is safer to avoid exposure to chemicals as much as possible.
* Stress Management – the mind has a powerful influence upon one’s health, and techniques such as meditation, yoga or breathing exercises should be a part of your daily stress management program to reduce the risk of cancer, or to help the body to cope with cancer treatment.
* Have a Checkup – it is recommended if you are over the age of forty, you should have an annual rectal exam.
* Regular Exercise – the American Cancer Society recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise daily as a preventative measure against cancer.
* Dietary Changes – diet may help as a preventative measure against prostate cancer. If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, positive dietary changes will help your body to cope better with chemotherapy, radiation or surgery and reduce the factors which cause disease.

– Reduce fat intake – high fat diets have been linked with cancer.
– Take in a high fiber diet, at least 35 gms daily. Fiber is known to reduce the risk of cancer.
– Eliminate animal flesh products. Animals are often treated with hormones and consume foods contaminated with pesticides; these chemicals are taken into your body when you eat meat and other animal products. Many studies have found a direct correlation between high intake of animal protein and colon, breast, prostate and endometrial cancer.
– Avoid alcohol, caffeine products, processed foods or foods with additives, salt, sugar and white flour.
– If possible, eat organically grown food, as pesticides have been linked to cancer.

* Eat a vegetarian whole foods diet including whole grains, legumes, oats, onions, berries, garlic, broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, brussel sprouts, nuts, seeds, yams, pumpkin and leafy green vegetables.
* Take plenty of tomatoes, grapefruits and watermelon as they contain a chemical called lycopene which is thought to reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Treatment:

There are some therapies available to treat prostate cancer. Conventional therapies include surgery – removal of the tumor; radiation – radiation of the tumor; and chemotherapy – drug therapy. In some cases, where the patient is elderly and the cancer is slow growing, no treatment is undertaken, instead the tumor is simply monitored. The treatment used will depend upon how advanced the cancer is and it will have many side effects. It is necessary to include other therapies such as diet, vitamin, mineral and herbal therapies into your regimen to improve the chances of successful recovery. Please consult your nutrition oriented physician for further information. It is worth noting that the healthier a body is before, during and after treatment, the better the chances are of avoiding or overcoming prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer – Natural Treatments

VITAMIN A – Contains anticarcinogenic phytochemicals shown to reduce the risk of some cancers. Vitamin A helps stimulate the immune system and is used in tissue repair. Natural sources of vitamin A include yellow fruits and vegetables, rose hip, sage, spinach, spirulina, alfalfa, asparagus, dandelion greens, red peppers, apricots and peaches. 50,000 – 100,000 iu for ten days in divided doses of emulsion form, reduced to 50,000 iu for thirty days, and 25,000 iu daily after that, may help if you have prostate cancer; otherwise take according to label instructions.

VITAMIN C – With bioflavonoids. Vitamin C is thought to reduce the risk of cancer and to lower death rates of cancer sufferers due to its antioxidant properties, which protect tissue from damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C may also be used to prevent damaging side effects from chemotherapy and radiation. Natural sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, alfalfa, fenugreek, parsley, peppermint, tomatoes, pineapple, papayas, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, onions, mangos, peas, persimmons and kelp. 5,000 – 20,000 daily in divided doses may help if you have prostate cancer otherwise take according to label instructions. Use esterified vitamin C if you use aspirin. Large doses of vitamin C may cause diarrhea, may deplete the body of copper and affect the reliability of oral contraceptives.

VITAMIN E – Helps to reduce the risk of cancer. The antioxidant properties protect cell membranes from attack from free radicals and Vitamin E is used in cell repair – important if you are undergoing chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. Natural sources of vitamin E include dark green leafy vegetables, cornmeal, milk, sweet potatoes, flaxseed, dandelion, soybeans, legumes, cold pressed vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains and seeds. 400 – 1,000 iu daily may help if you have prostate cancer otherwise take according to label instructions.

BETA CAROTENE – Protects against cancer by scavenging free radicals and is need to repair tissue. 15,000 iu daily may help if you have prostate cancer otherwise take according to label instructions.

SELENIUM – Some studies have shown that people who have a diet low in selenium have increased risk of developing cancer. Selenium works synergistically with vitamin C and A, has a powerful antioxidant effect and aids in digesting protein. Natural sources of selenium include dairy products, garlic, molasses, kelp, nettle, ginseng, fenugreek, fennel seed, chamomile, wheat germ, brown rice, alfalfa, whole grains and sarsaparilla. 200 mcg daily in divided doses may help if you have prostate cancer;otherwise take according to label instructions.

ASTRAGALUS, HUANG QI – Stimulates the immune system, assists in healing and digestion, improves fatigue and is used for cancer and after chemotherapy. Take according to label instructions. Works well if used alternately with echinacea. Do not take if a fever is present. Do not use for more than ten consecutive days.

CHAPARRAL – A free radical scavenger, helps during radiation, relieves pain and reduces the risks of cancer. Take according to label instructions. Chaparral in large or prolonged doses may damage the liver.

DANDELION – Is thought to reduce the risk of cancer. Take according to label instructions. Avoid dandelion if you have ulcers or gall stones.

ECHINACEA, PURPLE CONEFLOWER. – Stimulates the immune system. Works well if used alternately with astragalus. Do not take if you are allergic to plants in the sunflower family. Do not use if you have an autoimmune disease or have a progressive disease such as multiple sclerosis or tuberculosis.

GINGER – Helps to alleviate nausea and vomiting which is experienced with chemotherapy and radiation and improves circulation. 1 gm daily in divided doses may help. Do not use for a prolonged period if you have gallstones.

GREEN TEA – Is thought to reduce the risk of cancer. Drink liberally.

PAU D’ARCO, TAHEEBO, LAPACHO – Used in cancer, has healing and cleansing properties. Use according to label instructions.

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