Knowing Your Cancer Risk
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men after skin cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Based on this statistic, most people might assume that the majority of American men are well educated about how best to fight prostate cancer, where to turn for more information and what support group an uncle or golf buddy relied on during their respective battles with the disease.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. While women regularly host breast cancer awareness and fund-raising walks across the country, men have been less proactive on matters related to their health, including essential measures such as soliciting second opinions and researching treatment options. The result of this passive approach is that the average man does not always make good, informed decisions about his own health care.
A new program is encouraging men to alter their approach to health care, at least when it comes to battling prostate cancer. Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network, along with Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, have founded the "Partner's Program" to help men with prostate cancer and their partners face the diagnosis together, encourage them to seek information regarding treatment options, and ultimately, make more well-informed treatment decisions.
This program clearly responds to an unmet need. Recently, an Us TOO- and Y-ME-commissioned survey found that, although the majority of men with prostate cancer have heard of both surgery and radiation as treatment options, up to 38 percent don't know that other treatments, such as hormonal therapy, even exist. Even more alarming, less than 50 percent of men with prostate cancer take the time to get a second opinion on their diagnosis or proposed treatment. These facts are sure to concern anyone who loves a man at risk of developing prostate cancer.
The good news for wives and partners is the survey found that men don't want to face prostate cancer treatment choices alone, making a resource like the "Partner's Program" attractive for both men and women. While men are not typically as open as women on subjects such as prostate cancer, the survey found that almost 70 percent of men age 50 and older indicated that they would like their partner to play an active role in the process of choosing an appropriate course of therapy.
Now, with the help of the "Partner's Program," the average American man may become more proactive about his health.
Could Pomegranates Be The New Prostate Cancer Natural Cure
Pomegranates have long been used in traditional folk remedies to treat sore throats, inflammation, and rheumatism. And recent scientific research has suggested they are also potentially effective in both preventing and treating prostate cancer.
One study, conducted on human prostate cancer cells in lab dishes, at the University of Wisconsin, found that there were dose dependant improvements. Another study at the same facility injected mice with human prostate cancer cells. These mice developed malignancies. Some mice were fed plain water, whilst two other groups of mice were given water mixed with different concentrations of pomegranate extract.
Those mice that had water only had tumors that grew much faster than the pomegranate and water groups. The quantities given to the mice were comparable to that which people might get if they drank pomegranate juice on a daily basis. And whilst pomegranate juice hasn't been tested on humans with prostate cancer yet, the results are very good.
The study did not indicate what aspects of pomegranate juice were responsible for slowing down prostate tumour growth. But the scientists involved did mention the antioxidant polyphenolic compounds, which are more effective than green tea and red wine.
Pomegranate extract not only inhibited the growth of cancer cells, it also worked by another means - apoptosis.
Apoptosis refers to a way that cells can die. Cancer growths are characterized by an uncontrolled growth of cells that do not follow the normal processes of cellular differentiation of regular, healthy cells. Cellular differentiation means that the characteristics of a cell change and get the functions that a mature, healthy cell would. For example, liver cells have specialized liver functions, as do prostate, breast, kidney, and all other types of cells. This is normal and healthy.
In tumour growths, although some cells fully differentiate, many only differentiate partially, and some not at all. And the tumors which have more undifferentiated cells grow faster. So, inducing cellular differentiation is one approach to cancer treatment. The other two ways that doctors and researchers try to treat cancer is by causing the death of cancerous cells. They do this through apoptosis, mentioned above, and necrosis.
In apoptosis, cell death is programmed into the cell when it is 'born'. So the cell dies in a more natural way that is less destructive on its environment. By this I mean it doesn't cause inflammation and the damage associated with it to neighboring cells that may be healthy. Cells die either when they reach cellular old age or when their death benefits the body as a whole. Necrosis, on the other hand, does cause inflammation.
Generally, prostate cancer grows very slowly, although it is unpredictable and can grow quickly and spread.
1. John Boik, Cancer and Natural Medicine (Oregon Medical Press, 1996)
2. Australian Healthy Food, March, 2006
A Little About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer affects an estimated one out of every six males. Therefore it's understandable that most men want to know at least something about prostate cancer, especially as they are approaching their 40s. This article is going to touch on some of the symptoms and treatments, as well as some of the side effects that come from prostate cancer and prostate cancer treatment. This article is not intended to be a substitution for your doctor's advice, so make sure that you seek a professional opinion if you feel that you may have prostate cancer.
One thing that's important to note is that you may not suffer any symptoms at all. That is why it's very important to be checked for prostate cancer frequently, and especially more so as you get older because they can find the prostate cancer before any symptoms show up at all in most cases. Some men that have prostate cancer may experience some of the following symptoms. Frequent or difficult urination, as well as a weak urine flow, erectile dysfunction as well as painful ejaculation and blood in the urine or semen.
There are many different treatment options for prostate cancer and you will want to discuss these with your doctor or healthcare professional before any decision is made. A few of the choices are active surveillance, radiation or hormone therapy, chemotherapy or surgery. There are also other choices and as I said before you should discuss these with your doctor.
One of the best things that you can do for your prostate is to make sure you take care of it in the first place. This may reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Just knowing some simple things such as taking vitamin E, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and being informed about eating fats and red meat can reduce your risk of prostate cancer.
Team Approach Urged In Prostate Cancer Treatment
An estimated 230,000 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005 - enough to fill a baseball stadium four or five times. But research shows that a partner's involvement in health care decisions is positively associated with better outcomes for prostate cancer patients.
Ali Torre, wife of legendary baseball manager and prostate cancer survivor Joe Torre, knows firsthand the important role that family members play in helping a person with prostate cancer make treatment decisions.
"I learned through my husband's experience with prostate cancer that assembling a multidisciplinary team of medical specialists, including a urologist, a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist, is the best way to ensure that all treatment options are fully explored."
Torre is partnering with the Prostate Cancer Foundation on a new program called Women Join the TEAM Approach: Prostate Cancer Treatment, Education, Awareness and Management. The campaign urges partners and caregivers of men with prostate cancer to become active in their loved ones' treatment decisions.
In particular, the program encourages men with prostate cancer to seek the advice of an integrated team of health care specialists to best determine a course of action for the disease. A TEAM Approach has become standard in treating other cancers, such as breast, colon and lung cancer, but this is currently not the case in prostate cancer.
The combined expertise of various prostate cancer specialists can help men explore all available treatment options to decide upon the best course of treatment.
Research has also shown that partners may enhance the quality of decision-making by gathering information, helping the patient to ask questions, or helping advise them about treatment decisions.
Torre's goal is to help partners and caregivers learn from her experiences in supporting loved ones with prostate cancer. Through not only her husband's, but also her father's prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment, Torre became acutely aware of the vital role she played in their health care decisions.
"Prostate cancer treatment has lagged behind other cancers where multidisciplinary teams of physicians collectively guide treatment," said Dr. James McKiernan, Assistant Professor of Urology at Columbia University Medical Center and Attending Physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia and a spokesman for the Women Join the TEAM Approach program.
"We need to do a better job of educating men with prostate cancer not to wait until their disease has progressed to a late stage to seek the advice of a medical oncologist, and of changing our approach in the management of prostate cancer by combining the specialists early on to benefit the patient."
Prostate Health Diet That Reduces Enlarged Prostate
There are sixteen different supplements that you can add to your prostate health diet. But let start with the ones you should start using right away. The first one you should start using is beta-sitosterol.
Beta-sitosterol is the main active ingredient in the herbs saw palmetto and pygeum. Both of these herbs do not have enough beta-sitosterol to be of real value in giving you prostate health. Now, beta-sitosterol, which can be obtained from sugar cane pulp, can be purchased in capsule doses of 300 - 600 mg, which gives you an effective dose to eliminate your enlarged prostate. Pygeum can only provide around 30 mg and you need upwards of 600 mg daily.
Go to the Internet to find a good beta - sitosterol price and quantity.
Flax Seed or Fish Oil
The nutrient to use for the best prostate health diet is flaxseed oil. Flax seed oil contains more omega-3 than omega-6 and so it makes it a good source of omega-3. The more omega-6 use, from olive oil and other vegetables oils, the more prone you will be to prostate cancer. This is not the case with omega-3 oil and this has been verified through clinical studies.
Omega-3 protects the prostates cells and has anti-inflammatory properties. Using fish oil can also be a better choice than flax seed oil since your body digests it better.
Use 1 - 2 grams of flax seed or fish oil per day.
Soy Isoflavones have been shown in clinical studies to have good effects on your prostate and should be added to your prostate health diet. These isoflavones are flavones and contain no photoestrogen so the have no estrogen effects in the body.
The active ingredients in the isoflavones are genestein and daidzein. Buy a brand that has up to 40 mg of isoflavones Use this quantity daily.
The prostate needs minerals. Adding these to your prostate health diet is critical. You cannot have good prostate health without plenty of minerals and your regular diet cannot supply what you need.
Use the Ionic Minerals, which are liquids, but not the colloidal minerals. Ionic Minerals are absorbed immediately into your blood stream soon after they enter your mouth.
In addition to these ionic minerals, you need to make sure you get plenty of zinc and selenium. The prostate has more zinc than any other part of the body. So take 15 - 20 mg per day and not to exceed 40 mg.
Vitamin D is another critical vitamin that you want to make sure you get plenty of. If you are out in the sun a lot, then you will not need to supplement with this vitamin. Otherwise, use up to 800 IU of this vitamin.
This is the next most important Vitamin you should supplement with. Use up to 400 mg per day of the natural mixed tocopherols. Clinical studies have shown that vitamin E can reduce and suppress prostate cancer cells.
There you have it. Use, beta sitosterol, isoflavones, minerals, vitamin D, and vitamin E in your prostate health diet and see improvements in your prostate symptoms and health.
What To Do For Enlarged Prostate Or For Prostate Cancer
By age of 50, most men will already have an enlarged prostate and three of these men will have cancer cells forming in their prostate. Prostate cancer is the main cancer found in men and by age 75 three out of four men will have prostate cancer.
The facts are pretty clear, if you are a male you will have to deal with BPH, enlarged prostate, or prostate cancer.
So how do you know if you have BPH or prostate cancer? Well, here are a few of the symptoms:
"getting up at night to urinate
"having difficulty urinating
" not completely emptying your bladder
"having pain during sex
"having pain when urinating
Medical test that you can get for enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.
"PSA, prostate specific antigen, which gives a good indication of your prostate health
"PAP, prostate acid phosphatase, a test that is more accurate than PSA, but many doctors don't use it or are unfamiliar with it.
"Sonogram is a safe and accurate way to check your prostate
"MRI, magnetic resonance imaging, is also accurate but is the most expensive test.
There is other tests that doctors like to make and that is,
Biopsy of the prostate - Don't have it done. It's very harmful to the prostate and should never be done.
The ideal way to take care of prostate health issues is to change or improve you diet and lifestyle. Here are some area that you need to look at to make changes.
"eliminate addictive substances - smoking, alcohol, coffee, non-herbal tea)
"stress, anxiety, and emotional issues
The first thing you need to do is start using a supplement that will start to heal your prostate condition. Then you need to change your diet. Here I will tell which supplement to buy immediately and in another article I will outline a good diet to follow.
Go out and immediately but a supplement that contains Beta-sitosterol. You will find beta-sitosterol in saw palmetto and pygeum africanum, but these herbal plants have very little beta-sitosterol. This make them useless for prostate health. You need 325 to 610 mg per day and these herbal products 30 mg or less.
A good beta-sitosterol to buy is the NSI Phytosterol Complex with Beta-sitosterol - 240 Tablets. This is only $20.00 plus shipping.
You will find this product contains the following ingredients:
All of these chemicals are called Phytosterol, which are consider the fat inside a plant. These sterols have an anti-inflammatory property and help to buildup your immune system. They have been found effective in reducing the inflammation of the prostate, BPH, lowering cholesterol, and aiding in many other illnesses.
Take the first step in keeping a health prostate and avoid having to deal with enlarged prostate or prostate cancer. Look for more of my articles on prostate health.
Your Prostate Is Your Weakest Link
Prostate health is one of the most important concerns for men, and each man should have it checked yearly after a certain age. Most prostate problems for men happen past age 65, which is why good prostate health is so important earlier in life. However, maintaining a healthy gland is still the best way to avoid having to undergo strenuous treatment tactics to manage these problems.
I certainly feel that having a healthy prostate is an excellent way to keep cancer at bay. Maintaining it healthy is still the best way to avoid treatment techniques that may cause discomfort and pain. The secrets to a healthy prostate have existed for decades and some of them
are no further than your own backyard.
1- A 2003 study found that men who got the most ultraviolet (UV) exposure from sunlight tended to maintain healthier glands than those who got very
little UV. Spend more time in your back yard - or in your garden, on a hiking trail or in a sprawling meadow - means you're out in the sun.
2- A 10-20 minute prostate massage at least once a month, and as often as once a day, is important for a healthy gland. This can help equal the sensual playing field between partners; if a healthy prostate is massaged correctly, it can become super stimulated and feel like it is glowing.
There are other ways of determining a healthy prostate, one of them being a blood test which measures the concentration of a protein called Prostate
Specific Antigen. There are three well-known plants that are often used to help promote a healthy prostate. One of them, Saw palmetto has been tested
in numerous clinical studies and it has now been shown to help promote a healthy prostate in several ways. Another important benefit of Saw Palmetto, Pygeum, Stinging Nettles and Beta Sitosterol is that they help control unhealthy DHT levels and estrogen levels. It is probably the reason why Saw Palmetto, Pygeum and Stinging Nettles work so well to promote healthy prostate function.
Natural prostate health is the best choice that many men are making today to ensure their health, since natural health is about taking care of
your body as a whole. Remember that a healthy body means a healthy prostate, and the key to good prostate health is to keep your body in tiptop shape through exercise, proper drinking habits, and vitamins and minerals. Prostacet is an all-natural product that is very effective for
reducing prostate size. There's no question about it, no matter how strong your health at this moment, your prostate is your weakest link...
Prostate Cancer Morality Vs Science
With such widespread diseases as prostate and various other forms of cancer, there are concerns which eventually arise about the treatments and tests for such illnesses. Because such illnesses are so prevalent in developed countries, diseases like cancers and diabetes are widely studied by research institutions all over the world in hopes that there will be better cures and quicker tests to determine if someone has the illness or not. However, by developing such treatments, preventative measures and genetic tests, people fall into the problem of what constitutes morality. For illnesses like prostate cancer, morality is on the verge of being sent to the wayside in an effort to allow high risk individuals to be tested for the prostate cancer gene long before they reach the age in which prostate cancer will spring up within their bodies.
Perhaps the biggest debate over prostate cancer morality is whether or not scientists should develop early screening tests for the illness in high risk patients. Due to the extremely high genetic correlation between those affected by prostate cancer and the probability of their children getting the disease when they are older, a genetic test would be an excellent way to help people realize if they will have prostate cancer in the future or not.
Unfortunately for the technologies which could ultimately screen for prostate cancer, morality soon enters the debate. If people find out when they are young that they will have a high risk for prostate cancer at age sixty or so, they may have a slightly traumatic experience growing up and feeling that they will die at around age sixty - especially if there is no cure for prostate cancer by that time. Furthermore, they would have difficulty finding health insurance - as no self respecting insurance agency will want to insure a person who will be catching a costly disease at age sixty. These are two major concerns from a point of prostate cancer morality.
On the opposite side of the argument, however, people who say that prostate cancer morality should take a back seat to scientific advancement proclaim the benefits of early genetic testing. People should be aware of the status of their health. If more people were to receive blood tests to determine if they are at risk for prostate cancer, they would go get more prostate exams which would in turn lower the mortality rate for prostate cancer. After all, it is pretty difficult for those who support prostate cancer morality to argue against less people dying.
The whole battle between prostate cancer morality and the necessary science to help cure people will certainly turn into a raging debate in the future. Ultimately, the outcome will determine how well we handle other emerging diseases and whether or not we will do whatever it takes to combat them.
Risk Factors For Prostate Cancer
The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped sex gland in men that produces the seminal fluid, which nourishes and transports sperm. The growth of the cells in the prostate gland is stimulated by the male sex hormone called testosterone. Though its causes are unknown, prostate cancer is a frightening prospect for men. This cancer threatens not just their lives, but also their sexuality. Possible consequences of treatment (even if the treatment has been successful in saving a person's life) include erectile dysfunction and bladder control problems. Prostate cancer progresses very slowly and the early stages show little or no symptoms. If detected early, effective treatment with minimum side effects is possible. Once the cancer spreads (metastizes) treatment becomes more difficult.
A man's vulnerability to prostate cancer increases with age. Most often, prostate cancer is detected very late and people who lose their lives do not die from prostate cancer, but die WITH prostate cancer. As the cancer develops, it eventually squeezes the urethra, which surrounds the prostate. This is when signs and symptoms begin to appear:
-Urgency in urination
-Difficulty in starting urination
-Dull, persistent ache in the lower pelvic area
-Painful urination, a very slow flow (almost like a dribble)
-Intermittent urine flow, and a sensation that the bladder is not empty
-Frequent urination, sometimes including blood
-Persistent pain in the bones, lower back, hip and thighs
-General ill health, loss of appetite, and decline in weight
If the cells from the cancerous prostrate break away, the cancer will spread. Most commonly, prostate cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, bones in the hips or the lower back, lungs, and sometimes even the brain.
The risk of prostate cancer increases with age. As with almost any other cancer, heredity also plays a key role. For reasons unknown, African-American men seem to have a higher risk of prostate cancer. A fat-rich diet and sedentary lifestyle also contributes to the risk. Fat causes an increased production of testosterone, which may in turn lead to the development of cancer cells. High levels of testosterone mean higher chances of developing prostate cancer. Therefore men who suffer from hypogonadism, or have been undergoing long-term testosterone treatments are at risk. A vasectomy may also result in prostate cancer, though there is no conclusive proof of this.
A routine screening test may reveal the beginnings of prostate cancer. A DRE (Digital Rectal Examination), which involves inserting a gloved finger into the rectum, helps the doctor to examine the prostate. Any change in shape or size of the gland may mean trouble. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test analyzes a blood sample for the levels of PSA. If a higher than normal level is detected, a prostate infection or cancer may be suspected. A transrectal ultrasound helps to further evaluate the prostate using sound waves. If initial tests produce positive results, a prostate biopsy may be done to verify the presence of cancer. If cancer is confirmed, the next step is to investigate the spread of the cancer. A bone scan, CT scan, and Ultrasound scan may be used for this.
The mode of treatment directly depends on how aggressive the cancer is. For most men, a combination of treatments (surgery, radiation paired with hormone therapy, chemotherapy) may prove effective.
The best way to reduce the risk from prostate cancer is to eat a diet rich in fiber and low in fat. Regular exercise also helps.
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