Table of Contents
- 1 All About Prostate Cancer – Prostate Cancer Information
- 2 Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatment
- 3 About Stage 4 Prostate Cancer – Important Information You Should Read
- 4 Alternate Prostate Therapies – Prostate Cancer Awareness
- 5 Natural Treatment for Prostate Cancer
- 6 Benefits of Radiation Treatment for Prostate Cancer
- 7 Advice About Cancer That Can Make A Difference
All About Prostate Cancer – Prostate Cancer Information
Cancer can occur in any part of the body – lungs, intestine, rectum, breast or prostate. Prostate cancer develops as a malignant tumour that starts in the prostate gland. There is a possibility of the cancer spreading from the prostate to the lymph nodes, other organs or bones through metastasis.
This is the second most common type of cancer in men, which can lead to death. However, with the improvement of medicine, survival rates in patients have improved considerably. The cause of prostate cancer has never been found out; however, there are some risk factors that induce prostate cancer.
It has been found out that with the increase of age, the risk of prostate cancer tends to increase. Having family members with prostate cancer increases the risk of developing prostate cancer. Statistics show that African-American men have a higher risk of prostate cancer than Caucasian men. And of course, obese men are more prone to prostate cancer.
There are no specific symptoms for prostate cancer; however as it grows, men tend to suffer from pain in the lower back, upper thighs and pelvis. Other symptoms of advanced prostate cancer are complications in urinating like increase in frequency, interrupted flow, finding it difficult to stop or start urinating, presence of blood in the urine and the presence of pain and burning sensation.
It is suggested that men over the age of 50, have to take a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test every year, along with a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) to find out the presence of prostate cancer. In a DRE, the physician tests for an enlarged prostate, lumps or any abnormal texture by inserting a lubricated and gloved finger into the rectum.
The prostate cells produce PSA, and with the PSA test, its level in the blood stream is determined. Men having PSA levels higher than 4ng/mL have a higher chance of prostate cancer. However, sometimes men with low PSA levels may contract prostate cancer; it all depends on the normal PSA level of a man. If it was always on the higher side, then there is not much to worry; this is why it is better to keep track of PSA levels. It is also possible to diagnose prostate cancer through transrectal ultrasound and biopsies. It is through a biopsy that prostate cancer is correctly diagnosed.
The doctor suggests treatment for prostate cancer depending on its severity. It can be surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or watchful waiting. Through hormonal therapy, the effect of male hormones like testosterone is blocked to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. However, this is not a cure; it just controls the disease.
With the surgical treatment, prostate glands and surrounding lymph glands are removed, depending on the severity of the condition. However this may cause hot flashes, loss of interest in sex, impotence and other problems in the patient. Sometimes, radiation is suggested where x-rays are passed through an external machine or through radioactive isotopes inside the body. The doctor may also suggest chemotherapy where the patient is prescribed medication that is administered either orally or through injections.
However, since prostate cancer attacks older men, they are usually advised watchful waiting. This is best if the tumour is small, is expected a low growth rate or when medical treatment proves to be rather risky and may lead to death. The patient has to be monitored frequently with this treatment, but no treatment is administered.
Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatment
Prostate cancer is one kind of cancer which is not easy to be treated. The vast majority of cases of this cancer are commonly diagnosed at an early stage. Patients are given the very best advantage to have the cancer cells controlled at the earliest stage possible. On the other hand, there are actually still cases once the cancer has already spread and also affected the entire prostate that makes it difficult to treat.
The prostate gland is an organ situated at the neck of the urinary bladder. A malignant growth of the prostate is called prostate cancer that generally grows extremely slowly but surely and also does not exhibit any major symptoms in the first few years. Advanced prostate cancer spreads to the surrounding tissues and also to other parts of the body just like bones, lungs, and also liver. Symptoms of this cancer are for that reason more related to an advanced state of this condition.
Advanced prostate cancer is especially significance since it’s one of the most common cancers in American men and also is the second leading cause of death after lung cancer. It causes symptoms just like pain in the lower abdomen, slow passage of urine, the presence of blood in the urine, and also lower back pain. A spread to the liver may cause pain in the upper right part of the abdomen as well as jaundice, when the spread of the cancer to the lungs may cause symptoms just like cough, breathlessness, and also haemoptysis.
Truth be told, doctors have not found a treatment for advanced prostate cancer. In truth, many advanced prostate cancer patients only get treatment to prolong their life and also not to eliminate the cancer.
Even so, there are actually still several options available for patients with prostate cancer that has already advanced in its stage.
Types of Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatment
For instance, there is the common chemotherapy treatment. The drugs used in chemotherapy will at least control the malignant cells from affecting other parts.
A drug called Provenge is also being introduced. It is not the common vaccine. It slows down the progress of the cancer. Just like chemotherapy, probably the most that it may do is to extend the patient’s life. It may add a month or even a year.
There are actually some hormones that may be given to the patient. It is based on the study that the male hormone, testosterone, is the substance responsible for promoting the growth of the prostate cancer. This means that by causing the body to reduce its production, the growth of the tumour is also slowed down.
Radiation therapy is also another option available. This makes use of an x-ray machine that emits high-energy waves. The radiation is applied directly to the tumour. This was known to be more effective when combined with hormone therapy than hormone therapy alone.
In conclusion, these are just few of the available advanced prostate cancer treatment. Consult a doctor prior to choosing that one will probably be administered to the patient.
About Stage 4 Prostate Cancer – Important Information You Should Read
As with all cancers, prostate cancer is staged according to how far along the cancer has progressed. Usually, these stages are represented with Roman numerals, such as I, II, III, and IV, a system that was developed by the American Join Committee on Cancer to standardize staging. As you might expect, stage 4 prostate cancer is the most advanced and aggressive prostate stage.
If you have been diagnosed with a stage IV prostate cancer, you might be wondering how it relates to the other stages. Often, cancer patients are confused by the staging designations and require some further clarification. As a quick primer, the stages of prostate cancer are listed below:
Stage I To IV
Stage I – Cancer is well within the prostate gland and has not spread. If you’ve had a biopsy, fewer than 5% of the biopsy tissue contained cancer.
Stage II – In this state, the cancer is also within the prostate gland and hasn’t spread. However, during a biopsy, the tissue contained more than 5% cancerous cells.
Stage III – At this point, the cancer has spread outside the prostate gland area, but not to the lymph nodes or other body parts that are farther away from the prostate.
Stage IV – In stage 4, the cancer has spread to other areas of the body, including some that are considered “far away” from the prostate gland (such as the lymph nodes.)Various Options As you can see, stage 4 cancers need to be dealt with more aggressively and efficiently than other types. In fact, many stage 1 patients may choose to adopt a “wait and see” attitude toward their cancer rather than immediately attacking the cancer at its source. However, this isn’t an option for stage 4 prostate cancer patients.
Although treatments are structured in order to make a man healthier when it comes to his health conditions, there can be some forms of medication that can result to several prostate side effects.
Prostate cancer treatments often result to urinary and erectile dysfunction. Most of these side effects are brought about by various antibiotic treatments as well as going through the process of chemotherapy. It is already a well known fact that a man may experience mouth sores or hair loss during chemotherapy.
While going through the prostate treatment, such as stage 4 prostate cancers, it is also possible to experience the inability to control urination, causing a dysfunction in the urinary system.
Alternate Prostate Therapies – Prostate Cancer Awareness
As with most medical conditions, there are some standard treatments and certain types of alternative prostate cancer treatment. The plethora of alternative prostate cancer treatment includes procedures that are under clinical trials and have not been yet launched for widespread endorsements, some nonmedical treatments or procedures which the scientific community or the medical experts do not really endorse or advocate and some methods which are traditional, do not have medical backing but which have some scientific evidences at the crux of the approaches.
One well known alternative prostate cancer treatment is cryosurgery. Others are high intensity focused ultrasound treatment and proton beam radiation therapy.
Cryosurgery is a treatment wherein the prostate cancer cells are frozen and destroyed using a special device. Ultrasound is typically what is used to locate the precise area where the cancerous cells are thriving and accordingly the prostate cancer treatment process of cryosurgery is initiated. There are some side effects, although temporary, with cryosurgery which is why the procedures are being widely tested under clinical settings to make them perfect and free of adverse outcomes.
High intensity focused ultrasound uses ultrasound to kill the cancer cells in the prostate. Usually, an end rectal probe is carried out which initiates the sound waves that eventually destroy the cancer cells.
Proton beam radiation therapy is a more advanced and recent development in the world of prostate cancer treatment. It uses high energy radiation, similar to external radiation surgery or therapy. The purpose is to extract the tumour which develops when one has prostate cancer.
Experts believe that proton beam radiation therapy will not have side effects and would be one of the most sure fire treatments. However, its cost and its actual procedure are yet to be ascertained since it is not widely used publicly by urologists or surgeons.
There are many other types of alternative prostate cancer treatment and which one would be desirable for someone would depend on his or her health, medical history and the stage of the cancer. There are some diets which can hinder the growth of prostate cancer and such an approach can help if one is yet to develop the cancer or is in the very early stages.
If one has developed prostate cancer or is in a severe stage then such an approach is not endurable. Likewise, if one has enlarged prostate and cancer is yet to set in with its obvious symptoms then there are different types of alternative prostate cancer treatment.
Natural Treatment for Prostate Cancer
Millions of men who suffer with prostate cancer desperately search for a natural prostate cure through any method available from alternative medicine. Since many traditional methods like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy that are quite aggressive and also have a number of harmful treatment interactions. This is the main reason why many people are searching for an alternative prostate cancer treatment that could help them survive with the least abrasive effects as possible.
While there is no 100% known cure for prostate cancer, the efficacy of different treatments greatly depend on the patient’s age and which stage of cancer they may be dealing with. The earlier the cancer detection, the better the chances someone has for stopping the cells from metastasizing or eliminating them altogether.
Natural Prostate Treatment
For many prostate cancer patients, it’s important to explore complementary and alternative treatment options to help them get through the cancer process not just physically but also psychologically as well.
There are several natural Prostate treatments available to help promote a healthy immune system and strengthen the body to combat the disease while also resisting the side effects that many get from traditional aggressive treatments. While not everyone will be convinced that these methods are helpful for a serious medical condition, they are quickly gaining in popularity as a safer treatment route compared to chemotherapy and radiation.
To learn more about the alternative treatment options for Prostate cancer patients consider the following:
Relaxation training uses activities and a variety of methods to relax the body while reducing anxiety and stress. This type of therapy focuses on easing muscle tension, lowering blood pressure and promoting cell recovery for proper healing. This is one of the more popular alternative Prostate cancer treatment options available for patients in every cancer stage.
Some of the techniques used in relaxation training are:
- Autogenic Training
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
There are many different forms of meditation that change from one culture to another, but the main focus of meditation as therapy for prostate cancer is to quiet the mind and relax the body through a series of breathing techniques and in some cases, by combining visual cues or mantras, which are words, sounds or phrases that are repeated to help strengthen concentration.
There are different ways the body can be positioned for meditation and each one helps focus on a different part of the mind and body to achieve a sense of freedom and peace. It’s considered an essential natural treatment for Prostate cancer because it helps people on a greater scale than just physically relaxing them but it also helps calm nerves to help them push forward with treatments and healing.
Yoga is a meditative practice that has an ultimate goal of attaining physical, mental and spiritual serenity. While there are different yoga practices, the main treatment practices for prostate cancer patients involves a combination of slow body movements, mental exercises and a variety of breathing techniques.
By focusing energy towards these practices, the body, mind and spirit can calm down and reduce the amount of stress and anxiety that’s felt throughout the entire road to recovery.
3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This is a form of relaxation therapy that promotes healing by forcing the body into a fully relaxed state. The patient is instructed to tense, hold and release individual muscles, starting from the toes and making their way up to the top of the head. By tensing and holding it tight for approximately 10 seconds, then relaxing it for approximately 20 seconds, the body naturally begins to ease into a relaxed state. This practice is generally done once or twice a day for up to 30 minutes at a time.
4. Autogenic Training
Autogenic training combines a type of meditation by using different body movements or sensations along with imagery to induce a state of relaxation. A patient will visualize a peaceful scene that induces a sense of peace. They will then focus on different parts of their body and their movements, usually starting from the toes to the top of the head. Some thoughts will be of a limb feeling warm or heavy and continue along until the entire body has been scanned by the mind.
5. Movement Therapy
Movement therapy focuses on getting the body to relax through physical movement, which is usually in form of a dance. This form of therapy helps patients exercise in a fun and relaxing way which tends to eliminate stress and help give the body a boost of energy by increasing blood flow.
6. Music and Art Therapy
Music and art are used as a form of therapy to help patients focus their energy on things they enjoy doing and letting them express themselves in a creative way. This is not only therapeutic to relieve stress and anxiety but it also helps physical movement to promote better recovery.
7. Acupuncture and Reflexology
Both acupuncture and reflexology are used as a form to alleviate the body from pain and stress that comes from battling cancer or from side effects from traditional treatments like chemotherapy.
Acupuncture uses a series of very fine needles that are inserted into a patient’s skin. The main point of acupuncture is to manipulate the needles in a way so they can touch particular points in the body to relieve pain and promote better circulation.
Reflexology is similar to acupuncture in the sense that pressure points are stimulated on the hands, feet and ears, by using a thumb or finger. The human body is connected through different points, so stimulating particular areas can help target areas that need healing, like the prostate.
One of the natural remedies Prostate cancer patients turn to as effective treatment for prostate cancer is herbal therapy. This is usually applied as a complement to dietary changes specifically for cancer patients and quickly becoming a very popular choice from holistic medicine.
Throughout history, herbs are known to have different healing benefits for humans and getting the right combination of herbs as a natural Prostate remedy in a healthy daily diet can have significant results on cell growth and helping the immune system grow stronger.
Some of the most popular herbs used in this treatment are:
- Green Tea
- Saw Palmetto
Garlic has a wide range of benefit for the human body, which is why it’s widely used in countries all over the world. It’s said to help fight cancer cell growth and is known to be a very effective antibacterial and antiviral agent in the body. Although there is yet to be conclusive data regarding the benefits of garlic with cancer, many people who suffer from heart disease also increase their intake in a daily diet.
b) Green Tea
One of the best antioxidants around, green tea is said to help fight hundreds of different ailments that humans suffer with every day. By eliminating caffeinated drinks like coffee and replacing them with green tea, the body can gain a fair amount of Vitamin C, selenium and some phyto chemical compounds that are said to have positive effects on fighting prostate cancer cells.
c) Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto contains a fair amount of fatty acids that are very healthy for the human body. The extract is generally ingested for the benefits and it’s suspected to help fight urinary problems along with prostate cancer, but it’s mainly known as an effective treatment option for benign prostate hyperplasia. While there are yet to be studies to conclusively show evidence of its true benefits for cancer, it’s still a popular choice for anyone wanting to try alternative treatments for prostate cancer.
Benefits of Radiation Treatment for Prostate Cancer
Radiotherapy is the term for a particular method of radiation treatment for prostate cancer. High-energy beams of radiation are focused on the prostate gland from a source outside your body to kill the cancerous cells, thus controlling their growth and preventing them from spreading further.
Radiotherapy, or external beam radiation therapy, for prostate cancer is the term for a particular method of treatment for this disease. High energy beams of radiation are focused on the prostate gland from a source outside your body. Radiotherapy for prostate cancer requires no anaesthesia, surgery, or pain and is performed completely on an outpatient basis. Although there remains some debate about its results in the long term, most experts agree prostate cancer radiation therapy is as effective as radical prostatectomy for the first 7 to 10 years after treatment.
The intent of radiation treatment for prostate cancer is to kill the cancerous cells, thus controlling their growth and preventing them from spreading further. Experts continue to debate whether the radiation actually kills the malignant cells or only stuns them, because recent studies show prostate cancer can still be present but inactive or dormant, even after years of treatment.
The presence of cancer should not be a concern as long as it remains inactive, which is why your physician will emphasize the importance of monitoring your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels after undergoing prostate cancer radiation therapy. The cancer may start to grow slowly after radiation but never become a problem for you during the rest of your life. Nevertheless, if your PSA levels starts to rise, it suggests that the cancer is growing and to consult with your doctor to see if there is any reason for concern.
The Types of Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer
In the past ten years, radiation treatment for prostate cancer has evolved from using conventional x-rays to more advanced methods of designing and delivering a patient’s radiation treatment. Prostate cancer radiation therapy now uses advanced technology that is able to precisely aim the radiation beams and cause less trauma to the normal tissues.
The current methods of radiotherapy for prostate cancer are:
Three dimensional conformal therapy (3DCRT), which uses specialized computers to map the precise location of your prostate to administer radiation. Three-dimensional imagery of your prostate, bladder and rectum are created so that your radiation therapist can shape the radiation beam to conform to your prostate gland, lessening the radiation on the surrounding normal tissues.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy for prostate cancer (IMRT) is a more advanced technology of three-dimensional therapy. Aiming radiation beams from several directions, your radiation therapist deliver a high dose of radiation to the cancer while reducing any complications. The strength of the radiation beams is adjusted to minimize the dose of radiation reaching the most sensitive normal tissues.
Conformed proton beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer, which is the latest technology related to the 3DCRT and is similar in approach. Instead of using x-rays, beams of positively charged subatomic particles, or protons, are focused on the cancer. The protons destroy the malignant cells in a method similar to x-ray but seem to have less damage to normal tissues they pass through and may lead to fewer side effects. Studies have shown that the outcomes after proton beam therapy are similar to the outcomes after using x-ray therapy.
Good Candidates for Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer
The men with certain characteristics are ideal candidates for radiotherapy. For prostate cancer patients with low risk or early state prostate cancer, external beam radiation therapy is an appropriate option as a primary treatment. Your doctor may have suggested radiation treatment for you prostate cancer if you have:
- T2 stage disease
- Gleason score of 6 or lower
- PSA level under 10
- Without any extensive abdominal scar tissue from other surgeries
- Cancer still restricted to the prostate gland
Even if you do not meet the criteria, this does not necessarily preclude you from using radiation treatment for your prostate cancer. If you have an increased risk of advanced cancer, your doctor may suggest combining hormone therapy and external beam radiation therapy for your prostate cancer. Discuss your options with a qualified radiation oncologist to see if radiotherapy is right for you.
What is Involved in Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer
Before starting radiation treatment on prostate cancer, imaging from MRIs, X-rays and CT scans help doctors determine the exact location of your prostate gland and the appropriate dosage of radiation. Because they need images of your prostate, bladder, rectum and any other critical structures within the pelvis, you may be required to take an enema the evening before the procedure to empty your bowels and maintain a partially-filled bladder just before the procedure.
Your radiation team will then mark areas on your skin with ink. Later, they will use these inked marks as a guide to focus the radiation. Patients undergoing this treatment are fitted with a plastic mold resembling a pelvic cast to minimize movements during actual treatments. The entire process can take 1 to 2 hours. Usually, in about 5 to 10 days, your team will ask you to come back for additional fine-tuning before having you begin the actual radiation treatment on prostate cancer.
When it is administered in standard daily doses, usually external beam radiation therapy on the prostate cancer will usually occur over a period of about 7 weeks, and sometimes up to 9 weeks. An ultra sound image may be taken of your pelvis each day to make sure your prostate is in the proper position for treatment. The radiation treatment itself is painless, and each session will occur Monday through Friday, lasting about 10 to 15 minutes. This schedule of radiation treatments allows your body’s normal cells to recover over the weekend, and over time, this will help destroy or disable the prostate cancer cells more efficiently.
Because of the characteristics of cancer cells, including the rate of their growth and ability to heal, the schedule of radiation treatment for prostate cancer should not be shortened. Sometimes, doctors can reduce the treatments to 3 days a week. While it sounds more convenient, especially for men with busy schedules, reducing the amount of treatment means increasing the amount of radiation dosage. It is also less effective and increases your chances for side effects and complications.
After undergoing radiotherapy for prostate cancer, patients will need to return to their doctor every 3-6 months to check their PSA level and evaluate any remaining side effects from the treatment.
Advantages of Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer:
- No surgery, no anaesthesia
- Less impotence after surgery
- No transfusion risk
- Incontinence is less than 5%
- Good control of cancer
- Daily treatment is Monday through Friday for 7 weeks
- Possibility irritation of bladder and/or rectum (10%-15%)
- Rare risk of serious complications (1%)
- No lymph-node analysis
It takes time for the cumulative effects of radiation to manifest, so for the first few days, and sometimes up to two weeks, of prostate cancer radiation therapy, most men are able to continue with their normal activities, such as working, driving, exercising, and having sex. By the third week, most men experience mild to severe side effects of radiation treatment for the rest of their treatment schedule. The more obvious side effects from prostate cancer radiation therapy is pubic hair loss and marked fatigue, which begins about half way through the course of the radiation treatment.
Side Effects of Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer
- Pubic Hair Loss
- Changes in Urination
- Bladder or Rectal Irritation
- Bleeding in the rectum or bladder
- Erectile dysfunction
Although its long-term efficacy is still being determined, all forms of radiotherapy or external beam radiation for prostate cancer remains a mainstay of treatment for men with localized prostate cancer. Whether or not the prostate cancer radiation therapy kills or stuns the cancerous cells is still up for debate, but it can mean the next 7 to 10 years without the symptoms or signs of prostate cancer. You should discuss with your doctor the potential risks and side effects, as well as the benefits of radiotherapy for prostate cancer.
Advice About Cancer That Can Make A Difference
In our lives, most focus on what we look forward to getting done in our lifetime. On the other hand, there are some battles we can’t afford to suffer defeat in, and cancer is one of them. Arm yourself with the right cancer-fighting information by reading the article below.
When you have cancer, it affects everyone in your life, especially those closest to you. You should be checking in with your doctor regularly, as new ways to treat and even cure cancers are always being developed.
Exposure to the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer. Skin cancer is a very common type of cancer. Protect both your face and your skin from cancer by wearing a hat and sun block lotion on sunny days.
The moment you receive a cancer diagnosis, you have to stop smoking immediately. Many cancer patients mistakenly think that it doesn’t matter if they quit smoking or not. This however, is not true, as the amount of carcinogens the body receives can be reduced if they stop smoking. A decrease in carcinogens means a better chance of recovery.
Make sure that you are fully prepared for any of the physical side effects associated with cancer treatments. Your doctor will be able to tell you what affect treatment and drugs may have. You may have to wear a wig or use makeup if you get really pale. Taking care of your physical appearance may help may your feel less self-conscious about the changes caused by different cancer therapies?
There are various people who have outdated notions about cancer. Some people are under the impression that cancer is infectious, or that a person has to give up working. Be honest about the extent of your condition.
Most people know smoking can lead to lung cancer, but few know it also can lead to colon cancer. The smoke you breathe in causes carcinogens to build up in the colon. The tobacco can make the colon polyps bigger, too. Knowing all the risks, you have no excuse to keep smoking.
If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with cancer, consider attending their doctor’s appointments with them. Bringing along someone with a second perspective can help the patient ask the right questions when speaking to your doctor.
Don’t let the thought of some mild discomfort discourage you if you need to be screened for breast cancer. It will be over in just a few short minutes. It just could be that you have cancer and it is caught in time to prevent you from losing your life and your breasts. Push through any fear or discomfort you have and get the screening.
A lot of people know that a fish like wild salmon is healthy for them. However, you may not be aware that salmon and other healthy fish can also help prevent cancer because they contain omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming several servings of salmon each week can assist you in eliminating the cancer cells located in your body.
Sodas and other sugary drinks can increase your chances of getting cancer, so stop drinking them. Sugary sodas and other high-sugar beverages are caloric and full of simple sugars, which can cause you to get fat, and accelerate the growth of cancer.
Pintu Mandal is involved in healthcare market research since 2010. He writes about herbal health, alternative medicine along with some other healthcare topcs.