What Is Prostate Cancer?
The prostate gland is a male reproductive gland located in the lower abdomen that produces seminal fluid. It is about the size of a golfball in younger men, but once a man is over 40 years of age, the gland typically starts to grow.
Prostate cancer occurs when an abnormal growth of cells (known as a tumor) forms in the prostate. Cancer can then spread to other areas of the body.
Prostate cancer is typically categorized by the speed with which it spreads. In aggressive prostate cancer, the tumor develops and grows quickly, and cancer then spreads to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes and bones. Conversely, with nonaggressive prostate cancer, the tumor either grows very slowly or doesn’t grow at all.
Who’s Most at Risk?
Certain factors increase your risk of getting prostate cancer. Risk factors include:
Age (men 65 and older are at highest risk)
Family history of the disease (especially first-degree relatives)
Certain ethnicities (African-American men are at greatest risk)
Weight (obese men are at increased risk)
Geographic location (men living in disadvantaged or rural areas are at greater risk)
What Are the Symptoms?
While there are often no symptoms with nonaggressive prostate cancer, symptoms can occur with the aggressive form of this cancer. One common symptom is urinary urgency, difficulty starting the stream of urine, bleeding with urination, urinary frequency. This is usually the first sign of prostate cancer.
Sexualy dysfunction can be another problem. Men can experience erectile dysfunction. Also, in cases in which intercourse is impossible, prostate cancer can cause blood in the semen. Additionally, when cancer spreads to other parts of the body, the person can experience pain in the pelvic region, lower back, hips, upper thighs, or chest. In severe cases in which cancer has metastasized in the spinal cord, feeling in the legs can be lost.
What Are the Screening Recommendations?
Men who are experiencing any of the described symptoms should be screened for prostate cancer. Also, it’s recommended that men with risk factors, such as age and ethnicity, should get a prostate screening even if they don’t have symptoms. While the risk of prostate cancer is highest for men over 65 years of age, it’s recommended that annual screenings start at the age of 50 for normal men and 40 for men in high-risk groups.
Screening can be done with a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test that measures PSA levels in the bloodstream. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate, and it becomes elevated when a man develops prostate cancer. However, an elevated PSA level can also be caused by other conditions, so follow-up testing is often needed. Additional testing can include a Prostate Health Index test, a digital rectal exam, a prostate biopsy, and possibly medical imaging procedures such as a CT scan, an MRI, an ultrasound, or a bone scan.
We also recommend having testosterone levels drawn on an annual basis. Testosterone levels can decline after the age of 40. There is a new testosterone therapy used for treatment of prostate cancer that is only done by special physicians.
Prostate cancer is a risk that all men need to be aware of. Because it’s the second most common cancer for men, it’s important to know your risk factors, seek help if any symptoms occur, and start having annual screenings as you age. Thankfully, when prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated early, the outlook is generally positive.
Natural Remedies and Herbs for a Healthy Prostate
If you suffer from prostate enlargement then it’s important to be aware of the nutritional supplements that support the prostate. These herbs support the body and assist in decreasing symptoms and slow the disease progression. Here are some of the top prostate herbal remedies:
- Cat's Claw - Has been used to support prostate cancer naturally, cat’s claw can help to improve the immune system through a natural compound called pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POAs). POA’s enhance immune activity to fight cancer cells.
- Oregano - Oregano contains an active ingredient that can help our immune system fight cancer. Take oregano herbs for prostate health.
- Pumpkin Seed - Pumpkin seed can help reduce the swelling of the prostate it has a high zinc content, which is important for prostate health. Pumpkin seed oil specifically may help to combat prostate tumors.
- Baking Soda - Baking soda is an alkalizing ingredient, which may help to reduce prostate tumors.
- Milk Thistle - Milk thistle main ingredient called silymarin, which supports liver function and assists the body with detoxification.
- Ginger - Ginger is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that can help to reduce the swelling of the prostate. It is also good at assisting with nausea and stomach discomfort.
For men that are experiencing issues without cancer shockwave therapy can be beneficial in improving the blood flow to the pelvis.
If you have questions about men's health, testosterone therapy, or shockwave contact Serenity Health Care Center at 262-522-8640. contact our hormone experts at Serenity Health Care Center in Waukesha, WI now to schedule an appointment.