What is Prostate Cancer?
disease in which cancer develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. It occurs when cells of the prostate mutate and begin to multiply out of control. These cells may spread from the prostate to other parts of the body, especially the bones and lymph nodes.
What are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?
As with most cancers, early prostate cancer does not cause noticeable symptoms. If the cancer causes the prostate to swell or if the cancer spreads you will notice:
- A frequent need to urinate.
- Difficulty starting or stopping the urinary stream and a burning sensation when urinating or ejaculating.
- A weak or interrupted urinary stream.
- Blood in urine or semen.
Eventually, if the condition is left untreated: Dull pain or stiffness in the pelvis, lower back, or upper thighs.
What are the Causes of Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer affects mainly elderly men. Men with relatives who have prostate cancer are more likely to die of it than others. It is not known for sure what causes this disease but experts agree that diet contributes to the risk. Men who consume great amounts of fat (particularly from red meat and other sources of animal fat) are most likely to develop symptoms of advanced prostate cancer. Fats can stimulate production of testosterone and other hormones, and testosterone speeds the growth of prostate cancer and can cause dormant prostate cancer cells into activity. Eating meat can also be detrimental to the cancerous cells if cooked at high temperatures, they can contain carcinogens.
Traditional Medical Treatments for Prostate Cancer
Doctors know which prostate cancers are the most in need of treatment. It is advisable to seek several opinions with regard to your condition. Depending on many factors, your treatment may include a combination of radiation therapy, surgery, and hormone therapy. The standard operation involves the removal of the prostate and nearby lymph nodes. Speak with your doctor about the implications and side effects that this may entail in your particular case. All prostate cancer patients need to be examined regularly to ensure the problem does not return.
Complementary/Alternative Treatments for Prostate Cancer
As fat has been implicated in the development of prostate cancer, it is highly advisable that men eat a low-fat, high fibre diet. This is particularly advisable for those with family history of the disease. Studies indicate that men with chronic deficiencies of vitamin A or selenium are prone to advanced prostate cancer. Always speak with your doctor before taking these nutrients as they can be toxic in high doses. Good natural sources of vitamin A include most green and yellow fruits and vegetables, as well as liver, lamb.