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Your Must-Know Guide To Prostate Cancer

Aug 17, 2007
Early prostate cancer is confined to the prostate gland itself; most of the patients with this type of cancer can live for years without any problems. Men have traditionally been less likely to seek medical attention than women, especially for minor problems which often serve as warning signs for more serious underlying illness. The second leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the U.S. is from prostate cancer.

Like other cancers, the cause of prostate cancer is not known; it appears to be more common in African American men and men with a family history of the disease. Prostate cancer is simply a malignant tumor of the prostate gland. In most men, prostate cancer grows very slowly; most men will never even know they have the condition.

Most prostate cancer symptoms, although associated with prostate cancer, are more likely to be connected to non-cancerous conditions. There are other symptoms that may not be mentioned here. Blood in the urine or semen and frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs can be symptoms of cancer.

Weak or interrupted flow of urine and painful or burning urination can be symptoms to watch out for. One of the most common symptoms is the inability to urinate, get checked right away. If cancer is caught at its earliest stages, most men will not experience any symptoms.

A urinalysis may indicate if there is blood in the urine, which may or may not be related. A chest x-ray may be done to see if there's a spread of cancer. CT scans may be done to see if the cancer has metastasized (spread).

There is a newer test called AMACR that is more sensitive than the PSA test for determining the presence of prostate cancer. Another test usually used when prostate cancer symptoms are present is a digital rectal exam (DRE) performed by the doctor, proctologist or oncologist. A PSA test with a high level can also be from a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.

Medications can have many side effects, including hot flashes and loss of sexual desire. Surgery, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy can interfere with libido on a temporary or permanent basis. Thoroughly discuss all your treatment options and concerns with your doctor and other health professionals; it never hurts to get a second or even third opinion or more if necessary - don't be afraid to ask.

Be aware that some men chose natural treatment options and forgo any surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. Urinary incontinence can be one of the possible complications of surgery. The conventional treatment of prostate cancer is often controversial.

Hormone manipulation is mainly used as a treatment to relieve symptoms in men whose cancer has metastasized (spread). In patients whose health makes the risk of surgery unacceptably high, radiation therapy is often the chosen conventional alternative. Some drugs with numerous side effects are being used to treat advanced prostate cancer, blocking the production of testosterone, called chemical castration; it has the same result as surgical removal of the testes.

An oncologist, a cancer specialist, will usually recommend treating with a single drug or a combination of drugs. Anyone considering surgery should be aware of the benefits, risks and the extent of the procedure. Medicines can be used to adjust the levels of testosterone; called hormonal manipulation.

For an easy fiber boost, mix in two tablespoons of ground up flaxseeds in raw applesauce, from 2-3 apples, made in your food processor. Consider taking cod liver oil or fish oil supplements every day. For natural treatment for the prostate make an appointment with a naturopathic doctor, called a naturopath; ask around for referrals.

Making a ginger tea, by adding a thin slice or two of fresh gingerroot to hot water, is helpful to many people I know. Supplements that help any disease or ailment include vitamin B12 -- the methylcobalamin type not cyanocobalamin, and sub-lingual -- dissolves slowly under the tongue; and vitamin D3 - especially if you can't get a daily dose of 15 to 20 minutes of sun on your arms and legs so you can make your own vitamin D3. Use flaxseed oil or walnut oil in your daily dark green salad.

Make smoothies with fruit only, using a base of two bananas, adding a cup of frozen or fresh blueberries and mango chunks or substitute any other fruit and add an energy boost of two tablespoons of coconut oil; add one or two leaves of kale for another highly nutritional boost. Eat at least one, preferably two organic apples with the skin on every day. Make highly nutritious raw applesauce using a food processor and put in 3-4 cored pesticide-free apples, with the skin on, and mix for a minute; so much better for you than canned highly processed applesauce and add 1/4 tsp. cinnamon or two tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseed for another boost.

Evidence indicates that many patients detect cancer at an earlier stage because of annual screening, so make sure to get a good exam. Just about all men with prostate cancer survive at least five years after their diagnosis, 93% survive at least 10 years, and 67% survive more than 15 years. Once diagnosed you may be want to join a support group whose members share their experiences and problems.
About the Author
For more information on prostate cancer treatments and prostate cancer symptoms go to http://www.BestProstateHealthTips.com Helen Hecker R.N.'s website specializing in prostate and prostate cancer tips, advice and resources, including information on prostate tests and natural prostate cancer treatments
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