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A Quick Guide To Prostate Cancer And What To Look For

Many men, especially those later in life have made the decision with their doctors to simply watch and wait. The male hormone testosterone contributes to the growth of cancer. The prostate is a small, walnut-sized structure that makes up part of a man’s reproductive system; it wraps around the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body – because of this can cause various urinary problems.

About one man in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, but only one man in 34 will die of the disease. About 80 percent of men who reach the age of 80 have prostate cancer. The most common cancer in American men, excluding skin cancer, is prostate cancer.

Weak or interrupted flow of urine and painful or burning urination can be symptoms to watch out for. If cancer is caught at its earliest stages, most men will not experience any symptoms. Blood in the urine or semen and frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs can be symptoms of cancer.

Most prostate cancer symptoms, although associated with prostate cancer, are more likely to be connected to non-cancerous conditions. One prostate cancer symptom is difficulty starting urination or holding back urine. One of the most common symptoms is the inability to urinate, get checked right away.

A chest x-ray may be done to see if there’s a spread of cancer. A prostate gland biopsy usually confirms the diagnosis. Another test usually used when prostate cancer symptoms are present is a digital rectal exam (DRE) performed by the doctor, proctologist or oncologist.

A number of tests may be done to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer. A urinalysis may indicate if there is blood in the urine, which may or may not be related. Your doctor may use either one or two of the most common tests for prostate cancer detection.

Whether radiation is as good as removing the prostate gland is debatable and the decision about which to choose, if any, can be difficult. Prostate cancer that has spread (metastasized) may be treated conventionally with drugs to reduce testosterone levels, surgery to remove the testes, chemotherapy or nothing at all. 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.

In patients whose health makes the risk of surgery unacceptably high, radiation therapy is often the chosen conventional alternative. Surgery, radiation, hormonal therapy and chemotherapy all have significant side effects; know fully what they are before you proceed. OHSU is beginning a study of acupuncture as a treatment for hot flashes for men with prostate cancer or prostate cancer survivors.

Impotence is a potential complication after a prostatectomy or after radiation therapy. Recent improvements in surgical procedures have made complications occur less often. Surgery, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy can interfere with libido on a temporary or permanent basis.

Radiation therapy is used primarily to treat prostate cancers classified as stages A, B, or C. Since prostate tumors require testosterone to grow, reducing the testosterone level is used to prevent further growth and spread of the cancer. Besides hormonal drugs, hormone manipulation may also be done by surgically removing the testes.

The first step in managing your prostate health is to change your diet; I think all experts would agree on this. If possible eliminate all hormone-containing foods like meat and dairy from your diet. 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.

Consider taking cod liver oil or fish oil supplements every day. With natural treatments there will be fewer, if any, side effects or adverse reactions. Drink freshly made carrot juice every day that you make in a juicer or juice extractor.

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. Many men have lowered their PSA levels by eating a diet of living foods.

Because prostate cancer is a slow-growing disease, many men with this disease will die from other causes before they die from prostate cancer. Consider sites, such as this one, just a starting point where you can begin to learn more about prostate cancer. If you do choose invasive conventional treatment, you can always change your diet and do non-invasive natural treatments too.

For more information on prostate cancer treatments and prostate cancer symptoms go to 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