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Prostate Cancer Symptoms - Finding The Right Treatment For You

Aug 18, 2007
Men have always been less likely to get medical attention than women, especially for minor problems which often serve as warning signs for a more serious underlying illness. You may have prostate symptoms right now that mimic prostate cancer symptoms. If you do get diagnosed with prostate cancer it's important to know that many men, especially those later in life, have made the decision with their doctors to simply watch and wait rather than undergo conventional cancer treatment. Many men decide to make dietary changes and work on approaching it with natural treatment.

To state it simply, cancer that grows in the prostate gland is called prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is characterized by the 'grade' and 'stage'. The grade is given to indicate how quickly a cancer is growing - the higher the grade, the more likely it's that the cancer will grow and spread rapidly and the size and extent of the tumor will determine its stage. It's estimated that approximately 234,460 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and approximately 27,350 will eventually die of the disease. And the most common cancer in American men, except for skin cancer, is prostate cancer.

Many men, in their lifetime, will experience symptoms that could indicate the presence of prostate cancer. Because prostate cancer symptoms can look like other diseases or disorders, men who experience any of these symptoms should undergo a thorough work-up to determine the underlying cause of their symptoms. The need to urinate frequently, especially at night is a common symptom of prostate cancer and other prostate problems like BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy), in other words an enlarged prostate.

Weak or interrupted flow of urine and painful or burning urination can be symptoms to be aware of for prostate cancer. If cancer is caught in its earliest stages, most men will not experience any symptoms at all. Another prostate cancer symptom is difficulty starting urination or holding back urine.

Keep in mind that experts report that the PSA (prostate specific antigen) tests are not reliable and they are trying to find better ways to diagnose prostate cancer. One downside to PSA testing is that health care providers are detecting and treating some very early-stage prostate cancers that may never have caused any harm to the patient. Your doctor may use either one or two of the most common tests available these days for prostate cancer detection.

Now when a digital rectal exam is performed it often reveals an enlarged prostate with a hard, irregular surface. And urine or prostatic fluid cytology may reveal some unusual cells. The decision about whether or not you should pursue a PSA test should be based on a discussion between with your doctor.

Some recent improvements in surgical procedures have made surgery complications occur less often. Other medicines or drugs used for hormonal therapy, with side effects, include androgen-blocking agents, which prevent testosterone from attaching to the prostate cells. And radiation therapy is used primarily to treat prostate cancers classified as in stages A, B, or C.

If chemotherapy is decided upon, after the first round of chemotherapy, most men receive further doses at an outpatient clinic or their doctor's office. Many men simply want the best treatment they can get - but what is important is choosing the right and best treatment for you. Some cancer drugs with numerous side effects are being used to treat advanced prostate cancers, blocking the production of the hormone testosterone. This is called chemical castration. It has the same result as surgically removing the testes.

And side effects of chemotherapy drugs depend on which ones you're taking and how often and how long they're taken for. In the earliest stages, surgery and radiation may be used to try to remove or kill any cancer cells or shrink any tumors. Thoroughly discuss all your treatment options and concerns with your doctor and other health professionals. You have the right to make decisions about your own body. If it doesn't feel right to you don't do it. You have the right to turn anything down. Don't feel pressured to do something you don't want to do. Also it never hurts to get a second or even third opinion or more if necessary - don't be afraid to ask for one but choose a doctor that is not your doctor's associate. And seek the advice of alternative doctors if you'd like to pursue a more natural approach to treatment.

The approaches to conventional treatment include: ever watchful waiting to see whether the cancer is growing slowly and not causing any symptoms. If you choose surgery, radiation therapy, and/ or hormonal therapy they can interfere with libido on a temporary or permanent basis. And chemotherapy medications are often used to treat prostate cancers that are steadfastly resistant to hormonal treatments.

For natural treatment options for the prostate make an appointment with a naturopathic doctor, called a naturopath; ask around for referrals, or find an M.D. with a natural medicine practice.
For part of a dietary approach no matter what treatment you decide on, if possible eliminate all hormone-containing foods like meat and dairy from your diet. Drink plenty of pure filtered water, at least a quart a day, to remain hydrated and help your body eliminate toxins.

For an easy fiber boost, mix in one or two tablespoons of ground up flaxseeds in raw applesauce, made from 2-3 apples, and processed in your food processor. And with natural treatments there will be fewer, if any, side effects or adverse reactions as with conventional treatment. Supplements that help any disease or ailment include vitamin B12 -- methylcobalamin sub-lingual not cyanocobalamin, let it dissolve 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.

A good dietary, natural treatment approach is to avoid all dead, acidic, inflammatory foods, meaning foods that are not living. Eat plant food. Eat at least one, preferably two organic apples with the skin on daily. In studies done on antioxidant vitamins their value is questioned when they are not contained in food. It's clearly better to consume these antioxidants in living foods because they may also need to work with other nutrients present in the foods to work properly. But many people choose to take them anyway in the event something might work.

Consider articles, like this one, just a starting point where you can begin to learn more about prostate cancer, prostate symptoms and prostate cancer symptoms. While the number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer remains high, survival rates are also greatly improving and maybe because of they've improved their diets. If you do choose invasive conventional treatment, you can always change your diet and treat non-invasively with natural treatments too.
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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