Prostate Gland Cancer – Different Treatment Options and Prevention
Prostate Gland and Its Function
Prostate gland is an important organ that is found only in men. Its main function is to produce fluid which protects and enriches sperm. Normally, the size of this organ is that of a walnut. But as the age increases, it will become enlarged. This change in the size usually starts after 50 years of age.
Prostate Gland Disorders
There are four main disorders found in connection with this gland. They are:
Prostatitis: This is the swelling (inflammation) of the prostate and is caused by some infection. This disorder is painful, but it can be cured by the administration of antibiotics.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): This is the enlargement of the prostate that affects older men who are above 50 years of age. This can be treated with antibiotics. If the enlargement is large enough to squeeze the urethra, an operation will be required to widen the urethral passage.
Prostatodynia: This prostate gland disorder causes pain and discomfort in the pelvic region. This is a long standing prostate disease. Antibiotics and non-steroid anti-inflammatory agents are used for its treatment.
Prostate Gland Cancer: This is a life-threatening disease and is affected normally in men over 50 years of age. If you have a family history of this disease, your risk level is higher. The growth rate of cancer is comparatively slow in prostate gland cancer, in comparison with the cancer growth of other areas.
Function and Location of Prostate Gland
Prostate Gland Cancer
Statistics show that 10 men out of 100 will develop cancer in their prostate gland, as their age increases. Prostate cancer is the second largest cause of male cancer deaths, the first being the lung cancer.
As the result of abnormal growth of cells in the prostate area, a swelling or tumor will be formed. The cancer will spread into the bones and lymph nodes producing secondary tumors. Early detection of the cancer will give the possibility to cure the disease. Periodic check up of men over 50 years of age is the only practical way to lower the death rate by this cancer.
Symptoms of Prostate Gland Cancer
Symptoms of all of the above disorders are more or less same. When the disorder intensifies, the discomforts will also increase. The main symptoms of prostate gland disorders including prostate cancer are:
- Sudden or urgent need to urinate and the feeling of discomfort when urinating.
- Difficulty in starting to urinate and the slow flow of urine.
- Sleep disturbance because of the frequent temptation to urinate.
- Blood discharge in low quantity with urine or semen.
- Decrease in sex urge and the experience painful ejaculation.
- Reduced ability to get an erection.
Early detection of cancer will be good for its cure. Periodic checking for the detection of prostate cancer in men over 40 or fifty is helpful to take early precaution. If you have any urinary problems or a family history of prostate cancer, you should compulsorily do the periodic check up. Different tests are available for the detection of cancer in prostate gland. Some of them are Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test and Digital Rectal Examination (DRE). Analyzing a biopsy sample of the affected area is also helpful for the detection of the disease.
Gleason Grade is the measurement used to determine the level or the stage of the cancer in the affected area. Gleason score 2 to 5 indicates a slow growing cancer and a score from 5 to 7 denotes a moderately aggressive cancer. If you have higher Gleason score, more tests such as CT scan, MRI or bone scan may be done by the physician to find out severity of the disease. Chance of survival is 60 to 90%, if the cancer is detected in the very early stage itself.
Gleason Score Table
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Prostate Gland Cancer Treatment
For the treatment of Prostate cancer, various options are available in conventional medicine but the selection of suitable treatment option should be based on the practical aspects such as the age and general health of the patient, the stage of the cancer, the Gleason score and the level of PSA in the bloodstream. The different treatments that are available in conventional medicine are:
Active Surveillance: This is also known as ‘Watchful Waiting’. The process here is only monitoring the disease without giving any treatment to the patient. This is usually doing for men over 70 years of age with low grade cancers or with more complication because of other diseases. The risk factor in this procedure is the chance to develop the cancer into a stage where there is no cure.
Prostate Gland Surgery: Prostate gland surgery is known as ‘Prostatectomy’. Surgery is successful in some cases but the disadvantages with this method are the risk of inability to get an erection and the inability to fully control leakage of urine.
External Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT): It is the traditional method of the use of various types of X-rays for the treatment. Treatment continues for seven weeks (five days a week) and in some cases hormone therapy will also be done as a part of the treatment.
Brachytherapy: In this treatment low active radioactive seeds will permanently placed within the prostate to kill the tumor. Patient will get a quick recovery and the side effect of this treatment procedure is the frequent temptation to urinate. Impotency risk is very low in this treatment method.
Hormone Therapy: Testosterone, produced by the testicles will encourage the spreading of cancer of prostate glands. Hormone therapy is used to shrink the prostate and the tumor. This therapy will be administered before the commencement of radiation treatment. Side effects of this treatment are hot flushes, sweating, loss of energy, loss of libido/erections and mood swings.
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU): In this treatment, intense heat is applied thorough the rectum to destroy the prostate and the cancerous growth. This method is useful for old age patients whose health condition is not allowing to do the surgery or radiotherapy.
Alternative Treatments for Prostate Gland Cancer
Complimentary Therapy: This therapy is used along with ongoing treatment procedure for the disease, to help to ease the anxiety, pain and other symptoms. Complimentary therapy will improve the physical and medical well being of the patients when it is doing in combination with the present medical care. The aim of this therapy is not the cure or prevention of the cancer but the simplification of the symptoms.
Meditation and Relaxation: These are used for the improvement of the lifestyle and for reducing stress and anxiety. Regular exercise is also recommended along with the meditation and relaxation techniques for better results.
Massage Therapy: This therapy aims for the relaxation of the mind and body of the patient. It is a system that works by stroking and pressing the soft tissues of the body. While doing the massage, special attention will be given to the muscles and the acupuncture points.
Many types of massage therapies are available such as Swedish massage, Sports massage, Shiatsu, Aromatherapy massage, Reflexology etc. It will help the patients to manage with stress, anxiety, pain and headaches. Massage therapy should be avoided if the patient has heart problems, arthritic problems or if the patient is taking cancer treatment. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are also excluded from doing this therapy.
Natural or Naturopathic Medicine: Naturopathic treatment is based on patient’s diet and by the usage of herbal medicines and supplements. This treatment aims to the overall health of the patient and helps to prepare the body to do the recovery by itself. If patient is having positive result, other more serious treatment options such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can be avoided. For doing naturopathic treatment, you have to follow the instructions of a qualified and licensed naturopathic physician.
Testimonial of Prostate Gland Cancer Cure
Lifestyle Changes for the Prevention and the Treatment of Prostate Cancer
Studies show that nutritious food and good physical exercise are two strong factors that can play important roles in the cancer treatment; because these two factors will improve the immunity power of the body and make the body capable to fight against the adverse situation by itself. Follow the tips below to keep a healthy lifestyle for a cancer patient:
- Avoid sugar, dairy products, junk foods, caffeine, alcohol, food additives and refined foods.
- Limit high fat, red meat consumption.
- Drink a lot of clear water (water without chlorine and fluoride).
- Increase the intake of fiber foods, protein, vegetables, essential fatty acids etc.
- Vitamin A, Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin C and Zinc will help in the treatment process and improvement of immunity, if the patient uses them in recommended doses. Follow your physician’s guidance to use them.
- Avoid smoking completely because smokers are likely to have a more aggressive form of prostate cancer.
- Do regular exercises such walking, running, bicycling, swimming etc. for the improvement of the body’s immunity power and for getting better metabolism.
Yoga Exercises for Prostate Gland Health Care
Yoga practice will help the development of the physical well being of the body. Regular practice of yoga exercises will give body the power and strength to defend and cure many common diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart ailments, obesity etc. Practice of yoga, which involves deep breathing, stretching exercises and mediation will help the patients who have problems for their prostate gland to feel better.
Regular practice of the following yoga exercises will give strength to the pelvic region of the body, especially to the prostate gland:
- Pranayama (Breathing Technique)
- Yoga Nidrasana (The Yogic Sleep Pose)
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (The Half Spinal Twist Pose)
- Mandukasana (Frog Pose)
- Dhanurasana (The Bow Pose)
- Paripurna Navasana (Boat Pose)
- Navasana (The Boat Pose)
- Trikasana (The Triangle Pose)
- Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose)
- Sarvangasana (The Shoulder Stand Pose)
- Sirshasana (The Headstand Pose)
Under the supervision of an experienced yoga trainer practice some of these yoga exercises regularly. If you begin the yoga practice in your younger age, many of the future problems of your prostate gland can avoided. For the patients who are having prostate gland cancer also, these practices will help to reduce their symptoms considerably.