Treating prostate cancer
A note on PSA testing: Prostate cancer, meaning cancer of the prostate gland, is a common adenocarcinoma in men. The probability of getting prostate cancer rises with age. It is generally treated by surgically removing the small prostate gland or with radiation. It is generally detected by high PSA levels and / or by surgical biopsies. Having said that, it is now known that the PSA level is not a good indicator of prostate cancer.
Prostate glands are walnut-sized glands that secrete fluids that support sperm cells and are part of the male reproductive system. Prostate cancer starts in the prostate glands, are above the rectum, below the bladder, surrounding the urethra.
Sometimes prostate cells grow abnormally or stop growing altogether. These abnormal changes can raise your risk of developing precancerous cells, which have a high probability of developing into prostate cancer.
Three types of precancerous conditions that have a high probability of developing into prostate cancer are:
- ASAP, or atypical small acinar proliferation
- PIN, or prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia
- PIA, or proliferative inflammatory atrophy
Adenocarcinoma is the most common form of prostate cancer. This form of prostate cancer develops in the glandular cells which have a role in making part of the seminal fluid.
Other rare forms of prostate cancer include:
- sarcomatransitional cell carcinoma
- transitional cell carcinoma
Causes & Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Researchers have found that the largest cause of prostate cancer seems to be a genetic predisposition.
Other risk factors include:
- Inflammation of the prostate
- Lack of exercise
- Diet high in fat, dairy, red processed meats
- Exposure to high levels of testosterone
Symptoms of prostate cancer include:
- Urinary changes including
- change in frequency — more often
- change in urgency — need to go intensified
- feeling you cannot completely empty the bladder
- pain during urination
- Blood in urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation
Symptoms that occur later in prostate cancer include:
- weight loss
- feeling tired
- weakness or numbness in the extremities
- loss of bladder or bowel control
- pain in bones, especially back, hips, thighs or neck
Who Gets Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men, worldwide, with 1 in 6 men, on average, diagnosed in their lifetime. The risk factor for men developing prostate cancer rises with age. Risk rises in men over 50 and most cases are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. Men of African descent seem to have the highest risk of developing prostate cancer while men of Asian descent have the lowest. The reason for the differences in risk within ethnic populations is unclear.
Prognosis if You Have Prostate Cancer
A high percentage of cases of prostate cancer are found in the early stages. When this is the case, the 5-year survival rate is close to 100%. The earlier the prostate cancer is found, the better the prognosis.
A Gleason Score is used to indicate the aggressiveness of cancer. Scores range from 2 (least aggressive) to 10 (most aggressive). A score of under 7 indicates a more favorable prognosis; a 7 indicates a moderate prognosis; a score over 7 indicates a less favorable prognosis.
T1 and T2 tumors (confined to the local area) are indicative of a better prognosis than T3 and T4 tumors which have metastasized.
Conventional medicine’s main types of treatment for prostate cancer include:
- Radiation therapy
- Palliative therapy
Sources: American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research UK, Canadian Cancer Society
Treating Prostate Cancer
Is it necessary to have the prostate gland removed? That is where the paradox of prostate cancer begins.
Once the cancer has spread it may become fast growing and may have spread to vital organs. By this time, the slow growing cancer in the prostate area is no longer of any concern, it is the cancer in other areas that are of concern.
But what about the situation where the cancer is still totally contained within the prostate gland? If the cancer is totally contained within the prostate gland, because the prostate cancer cells are slow to multiply. Thus, if the cancer has not spread, alternative treatments may be a viable solution.
Once the cancer has started to spread, doctors sometimes want to do castration or some other procedure to help stop the cancer from continuing to spread from the general area of the prostate gland.
A question to raise might be, “How does cutting something out improve the immune system?”
Let us consider the different orthodox treatments:
- “At present there are three major conventional treatment options for non-metastatic prostate cancer. Expectant management essentially means to watch and see if the cancer gets worse. Prostate tumours grow very slowly (doubling every four years) so for many men, especially older ones, this approach is quite viable. Expectant management often includes androgen-deprivation therapy (castration or estrogen). External beam radiotherapy involves the shrinking or destruction of the tumour by radiation. Radical prostatectomy involves surgical removal of the entire prostate gland. This procedure carries a substantial risk of subsequent impotence (60 per cent incidence rate) and incontinence (39 per cent incidence rate).”There are other treatments, such as implanting radium “seeds,” but in general orthodox treatments for prostate cancer are not the preferred treatment.
“The number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer has increased dramatically since the introduction of the PSA (prostate specific antigen) test. Widespread use of the PSA test has led to more men undergoing biopsies, prostate surgery, radiation therapy, and castration (orchidectomy) – this despite the fact that no randomized clinical trial has ever demonstrated that screening and treatment will increase the life expectancy of men diagnosed with prostate cancer.“ ~ http://www.yourhealthbase.com/prostate_cancer_treatment.html
The Cancer Diet
Absolutely no alternative cancer treatment will work without a proper “cancer diet.” There are many vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, etc. that actually contain nutrients that may be effective in supporting the body to combat cancer progression. Avoiding and including certain foods are based on theories regarding adjusting the internal pH via food consumption to inhibit microbial reproduction and thus, cancer progression.
Here is a typical cancer diet for cancer patients: Cancer Diet
How to Prevent Prostate Cancer
There is no known way to prevent most prostate cancers as the main cause is a genetic predisposition.
There are lifestyle decisions you can make to lower the risk of developing prostate cancer, including maintaining a healthy weight by being active and eating a healthy diet: vegetables; fruits; whole-grain bread, pasta, and cereals; fish; poultry; and beans. Also, you should limit processed meat and red meat.
The immune system contains many different types of “cells,” however, only a handful of these white blood cells actually kill cancer cells. It should be the intent of a person with cancer to focus on treatments that quickly increase the count of the cancer-killing white blood cells.
Immune System Health
A healthy immune system remains your body's best defense. Not only is a weak immune system a major reason patients have cancer — and cancer itself can further weaken the immune system.
Beta glucans help regulate the immune system, making it more efficient. In addition, beta glucans stimulate white blood cells (lymphocytes) that bind to tumors or viruses and release chemicals to destroy it.
Beta Glucan has been approved in Japan, Australia, South Korea, and Taiwan as an immunoadjuvant therapy for cancer. In fact, helping with cancer is just the beginning with Beta Glucan. There are studies showing the product can protect against infections, lower your cholesterol, lower blood sugar, reduce stress, increase your antibody production, heal wounds, help radiation burns, and support the immune system.
Harvard Medical School suggests following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy:
- Don't smoke.
- Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Control your blood pressure.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
- Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.
Your diet plays a role in a healthy immune system. The top vitamins your immune system needs to perform include:
- Vitamin C — helps to repair and regenerate tissues and aids in the absorption of iron
- Vitamin E — a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection
- Vitamin B6 — supports adrenal function and is necessary for key metabolic processes
- Vitamin A — aids immune function and helps provide a barrier against infections
- Vitamin D — modulates cell growth, promotes neuromuscular and immune function, and reduces inflammation
- Folate — key in development of red blood cells (a lack of Folate can make the body susceptible to cancer)
- Iron — helps your body carry oxygen to cells
- Selenium — slows the body's over-active responses to certain aggressive forms of cancer
- Zinc — slows the immune response and control inflammation in your body