Prostate Cancer Symptoms – Benefits Of Early Diagnosis

 

 

 

Prostate CancerCancer of the prostate is typically a slow progressing cancer and symptoms often do not arise for many years. If the cancer is caught at an early stage, there might be no noticeable symptoms. Some men, however, will experience symptoms that could indicate the presence of prostate cancer. These might include:

* A need for frequent urination, particularly at night
* Difficulty starting urination
* Weak or interrupted urine flow
* Pain or a burning sensation during urination
* Difficulty in obtaining an erection
* Pain during ejaculation
* Blood in the urine or in semen
* Recurring pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

Sometimes the first symptoms will be lower back, hip or pelvic pain caused by cancer which has already spread.

It is important to be aware that the symptoms of both benign enlargement of the prostate gland (i.e. non-cancerous) and malignant tumours (cancer) are similar and might include any of the following symptoms:

* Difficulty starting urination
* Frequent urination, particularly at night
* Pain during urination
* Blood in the urine

Also, men over 50 years of age often have an enlarged prostate gland due to the non-cancerous condition of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or hypertrophy.

Therefore if you notice any of the above symptoms it is important that you see your doctor and have them investigated. But note that most enlargements of the prostate are not due to cancer and can regularly be dealt with quite effectively.

EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF PROSTATE CANCER

Prostate cancer can often be discovered at an early stage by testing the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. Prostate cancer can also be detected early by your doctor performing a digital rectal examination (DRE). Since the prostate gland is situated close to the rectum, a doctor can physically detect if there are any cancerous signs in your prostate.

Unfortunately the PSA and DRE tests are not totally accurate and conclusive. This can lead to anxiety and confusion, or even to a false sense of security. So important things to consider are your age, your general health and your lifestyle. If you are young and develop prostate cancer, if not caught early enough, it could shorten your life. If however you are older or in poor health, then prostate cancer might never become a serious problem due to its slow-growing nature.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men commence having the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal examination (DRE) annually from the age of 50. Those at higher risk, such as African Americans and those with close relatives who developed prostate cancer at an early age are recommended to commence testing at 45.

The prognosis for prostate cancer sufferers has improved dramatically in recent years. In the past twenty years the overall survival rate for all stages of prostate cancer has increased from 67% to 97%. Thus more men are living significantly longer after diagnosis. In all likelihood this is due to early detection programs, increased public awareness, particularly of prostate cancer symptoms, and the adoption of healthier lifestyles.

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Powerful Herbal Remedies Scientifically Proven To Heal An Enlarged Prostate (BPH) or Prostatitis

 

 

 

Prostate Herbal RemediesIf you’re familiar with conventional treatments for prostate disorders and are interested in finding out more about gentler, safer, more natural remedies to heal your prostate condition, then you’ll want to read every last word of this article.

Research has shown that there are safe, non-drug, non-surgical natural remedies that work every bit as effectively as prescription drugs in healing common prostate conditions.

You may have already heard about the amazing healing power of saw palmetto and how it can help heal even the most enlarged prostate. You may even be taking it yourself. But, as you’re about to discover, there are two other very powerful, and highly effective healing herbs proven to heal an enlarged prostate (BPH) or prostatitis, as effectively as prescription drugs.

Healing Herb #1) Pygeum africanum

The first of these powerful healing herbs is Pygeum (Pygeum africanum) and it is used extensively in France and other European countries to treat prostate disorders. In several double-blind studies pygeum was shown to improve prostate symptoms significantly with no appreciable side effects. One such study also found that pygeum increased sexual ability.

Pygeum comes from the African prune tree, an evergreen that grows in central and southern Africa. Historically, natives found its powdered bark to be an effective treatment for urinary disorders. Europeans in Africa took note and pygeum came into use as a valuable treatment for BPH.

In France, over 80 percent of all doctors’ prescriptions for BPH include pygeum extract. The extract from pygeum contains phytosterols that have been shown to produce anti-inflammatory effects on the prostate. Studies show that pygeum also reduces prolactin levels and blocks the accumulation of cholesterol in the prostate. Other studies show that pygeum acts as a mild antibiotic, which is why it helps relieve the symptoms of prostatitis as well as BPH. Controlled research studies conducted in European countries have clearly demonstrated pygeum’s effectiveness in treating prostate disorders. An example is a double-blind study involving 263 patients that was carried out in eight centers in Germany, France and Austria (Barlet, 1990). A double-blind study is one in which neither the doctor nor the patient knows whether he is taking the medication or a placebo until the end of the trial. The therapeutic results were significant. They showed a remarkable 66 percent improvement in the group receiving pygeum and there were no significant side effects. An Italian study of men suffering from BPH or chronic prostatitis was done to evaluate the efficacy of pygeum on those conditions (Carani, 1991). Because of the high frequency of association of sexual disorders with those two pathologies, the study was also extended to include a study of sexual disturbances. The results showed that pygeum extract improved all the urinary parameters they investigated and there was also improvement in sexual function. No side effects were observed during the treatment.

Healing Herb #2) Stinging Nettle Root (Urtica dioica)

An herb that grows wild in the United States, stinging nettle has been shown to have a highly therapeutic effect on the prostate gland. Like pygeum, urtica dioica contains phytosterols that exert a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on prostate tissue. Scientists have found that Urtica dioica works synergistically with pygeum. In fact, doctors in Europe commonly prescribe a Urtica/Pygeum combination for patients who suffer from prostate disorders. In a recent study using a combination of pygeum and urtica dioica, of the 2,080 patients suffering from BPH, a vast majority of the patients showed marked improvement in their symptoms by the end of the study (Schneider, 1995). Another study conducted by the Department of Clinical Pharmacology of Tokyo College of Pharmacy in Japan (Hirano, 1994) investigated the effect of Urtica dioica on BPH tissue. The conclusion was that stinging nettle root inhibited certain activity in the prostate to suppress prostate cell metabolism and growth.

With such impressive results from treatments that have proven to be effective, are without dangerous side effects, and are preferred by European doctors, why is it that the medical establishment in the United States continues to put so much emphasis on drugs and surgery? Possibly part of it is our fascination with new technologies, part of it training. Undoubtedly, a large part of it is the immense profitability for drug companies who aggressively market their products to the medical establishment. Merck, manufacturers of Proscar, has predicted sales of the drug will soon reach $1 billion a year. And this despite its known health hazards!

Julian Whitaker, M.D., a well-known physician and critic of currently established medical practices, says our government “continuously and irresponsibly ignores the findings of these superior botanical supplements” and has “jumped into bed with the drug companies.” Michael Murray, N.D., a leading researcher in the field of natural medicine and co-author of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, illustrates the fallacy of assuming that drugs are the only answer for treating prostate problems. In Health Counselor magazine he reports that numerous studies on the saw palmetto extract have shown it to be effective in nearly 90 percent of patients, usually in a period of four to six weeks. In contrast, Proscar is effective in reducing the symptoms in less than 37 percent after taking the drug for one year! Murray states, “Clearly, the saw palmetto extract is superior to Proscar. Although Proscar has received much attention, based on the clinical trials, it is much less effective than the extract of saw palmetto berries. Less than 37 percent of patients on Proscar will experience clinical improvement after taking the drug for one year and it must be taken for at least six months before any improvement can be expected.”

An additional drawback is that Proscar can result in decreased libido, ejaculatory disorders and impotence. Another alarming hazard of Proscar is that it can cause birth defects in male infants if a pregnant woman comes in contact with it. It is absorbed through the skin, so just handling the bottle could be dangerous. There have also been reports that even coming in contact with the semen of a man taking Proscar can cause these birth defects, but this has not been substantiated as yet. In contrast, phytonutrients are safe and effective treatments for prostate health problems. They are virtually free of harmful side effects, far less expensive than drugs (in terms of money, not to mention the price of terrible side effects), and they have the advantage of enhancing other life functions besides the specific condition for which they are being given.

Healing Herb #3) Saw Palmetto

If you’re like most men who suffer from prostate problems, chances are you’ve heard of Saw Palmetto, and may even take it.

But what you may not know is that Saw Palmetto extract does much more than simply relieve you of your symptoms. Scientists have determined that saw palmetto extract may actually reverse the hormonal mechanism that causes prostate disorders.

Brief History Of Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto is a dwarf palm that grows in the southeastern United States. Its berries were used by the American Indians to treat genitourinary tract difficulties and as a general tonic as well. In the 1960s, European research on saw palmetto led to it becoming the most popular phytomedicine in Europe for treatment of an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In Germany, saw palmetto and other plant extracts are used to treat nearly 90 percent of BPH patients.

How Does Saw Palmetto Work?

To understand how saw palmetto works, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what causes the prostate gland to become enlarged in the first place. It’s widely believed that the primary culprit that causes prostate enlargement is a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is a derivative of testosterone that causes the prostate tissue to grow abnormally large. An increase in the production of DHT begins to occur in men with age (usually after 45).

Research has revealed that the extract of the saw palmetto berry contains very powerful compounds. These compounds found hidden in saw palmetto berry extract consist of fatty acids, and phytosterols (plant sterols). These compounds combat prostate disorders in three unique ways:

1) They inhibit the production of DHT.

2) They inhibit the binding of DHT to androgen receptors in the prostate cells.

3) They block the effect of estrogen on prostate tissue (acts as an aromatase inhibitor).

In recent years, scientists have discovered a synergistic effect by combining the herbs Pygeum africanum, Nettle Root and Saw Palmetto. In fact many prostate formulas now have this combination of herbal ingredients, which have proven to be the most effective herbs in fighting prostate health problems.

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If You Suffer From Prostate Enlargement… Here’s What You Need To Know

 

 

 

Enlarged ProstateProstate enlargement is one of the most common health problems men experience. In fact, if you are a man over the age of 45, there’s a 50 percent chance you already suffer from it! Medically, it’s known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), both of which are just medical jargon for an enlarged prostate.

Studies show that approximately 50 percent of men over the age of 45 have BPH, and according to the National Institute on Aging, by age 70 that figure rises as high as 90 percent. Over 10 million American men suffer from an enlarged prostate! Between 9 and 12 million men with BPH have symptoms so severe they must seek medical treatment, and one out of four undergo surgery.

So, what causes prostate enlargement?

Though many factors come into play, the hormonal changes that occur as men age are a primary cause of prostate enlargement.

Around the age of forty-five, men’s levels of testosterone in the blood plummet and levels of other hormones, such as prolactin and estradiol, increase. The end result of these changes is an increase of a very potent form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone or DHT in the prostate gland. Leading scientists say DHT is the prime culprit that stimulates an over-production of prostate cells, which leads to an enlarged prostate.

As the prostate enlarges, it pinches the diameter of the urethra, partially blocking it, which in turn puts pressure on the bladder. Imagine putting a kink in a garden hose, and you’ll get the picture. The pressure weakens or stops the flow of urine. The same thing happens when the urethra is blocked. The urine stream is lessened, and the bladder is unable to empty com- pletely.

Eventually the backed up pressure can severely weaken and damage the bladder. Bacteria breed in the stagnant urine that isn’t passed and the bladder may become infected. The kidneys can also be dangerously affected by a resulting increase in pressure when the bladder can’t be properly emptied, much as household plumbing backs up when there is an obstruction in the system. Infections in the bladder can easily be transmitted to the kidneys.

The most common symptoms of an enlarged prostate are difficulties with urination, and sexual function can be affected as well. One of the most noticeable symptoms is the need to pass urine frequently, a problem that becomes increasingly more troublesome with time.

Many men with enlarged prostates find their sleep disrupted by having to get up several times at night to urinate. Added to that is the frustration of having difficulty starting or stopping the urine flow, and dribbling or even incontinence. Pain and burning are additional symptoms, and there may be blood in the urine.

It’s possible to have an enlarged prostate and not be aware of it because no noticeable symptoms have yet surfaced. However, symptoms can occur suddenly and dramatically√≥ for example being unable to urinate at all. This is a condition known as acute urinary retention, which can be brought on by a number of factors, one of which is alcohol. Some common over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines can also trigger this condition, because they contain ingredients that prevent the bladder from emptying.

There are urgent reasons to get prostate enlargement under control. If allowed to go on too long, it can cause serious health problems, including permanent bladder and kidney damage, urinary infections and incontinence. It is important to treat BPH early to lower the risk of complications. There are several examinations to detect prostate enlargement. For convenience, some of these are referred to by their initials.

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Benign Prostate Hyperplasia – The Cause Remains A Mystery

 

 

 

Each day a huge number of men (something in the region of 13,000 in the US alone) call to see their doctor with a variety of problems associated with urination and come away having been told that they are suffering from an enlarged prostate.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH, to give it its proper medical names, is an extremely common and treatable problem seen in many men over the age of 65 and is suffered by as many as half of all men in their sixties and ninety percent of men in their seventies and eighties.

But what causes this condition which is a simple part of the natural aging process and is as common as your hair turning grey with age?

The simple answer is that, despite all the advances in modern medicine, we don’t know. We do, however, have enough evidence to start to unravel the mystery.

Men are more likely to suffer from BPH if their father, or a brother, has suffered from an enlarged prostate. This suggests that there is, at least in part, a genetic component to the problem.

One theory here is that genetic instructions given to the cells of the prostate to control its growth during puberty are again activated in later life and either cause further growth in their own right or make the cells of the prostate more sensitive to hormones which promote growth.

We also know that men who have their testes removed at an early age (before puberty) do not suffer from BHP. There is therefore a link between the aging of the testes and the development of an enlarged prostate.

Although the exact role played by the testes is not clear we know that men produce both the male hormone testosterone and small quantities of the female hormone estrogen throughout life. With increasing age however the quantity of testosterone present in the blood decreases although the level of estrogen does not fall in the same proportion. The theory, supported to some extent by research carried out on animals, is that the higher proportion of estrogen present in the prostate promotes the activity of other hormones which are responsible for cell growth.

Although this theory has been around for some time now researchers have found it somewhat difficult to explain satisfactorily the link between the theory and the fact that the removal of the testes before puberty results in a failure to develop the problem of an enlarged prostate.

The final, and perhaps at present most credible, theory is that an enlarged prostate is caused by the presence of a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

We know that DHT plays a crucial role in the development of the sex organs during pregnancy and that it is also largely responsible for the development of facial hair, the deepening of the voice and the development of the prostate during puberty.

DHT is derived from testosterone and is found in the prostate where it is believed to play a role in the growth of the prostate gland. However, as testosterone levels drop with age the body’s ability to produce DHT does not appear to diminish and indeed DHT accumulates in the prostate and continues to promote growth. It is also interesting to note that men who lose their ability to produce this hormone derived from testosterone do not develop enlarged prostate glands.

Although it may be some years yet before researchers uncover the exact cause of BPH. While it is almost certainly the result of hormonal changes resulting from the aging process, the precise nature of these changes and the effects which they trigger remain something of a mystery today.

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Discover Important Facts About Prostate Disease

 

 

 

The prostate is a male sexual reproductive gland, normally weighing around 20 grams and measuring about 3 centimeters in diameter, about the size of a walnut. It is located beneath the urinary bladder, and directly in front of the rectum. A portion of the prostate gland engulfs the upper part of the urethra, the tube in which urine exits the body from.

Within the prostate gland are hundreds of smaller glands each packed with thousands of cells that are responsible for creating an alkaline fluid that eventually contributes to the individual’s semen. Semen is made up of both sperm and several seminal fluids, made by the prostate gland and two other nearby glands. The fluid made by the prostate contains fructose and is slightly basic and is therefore both an energy supply to be utilized by the sperm and a protective shield against the mild acids present in the vagina.

Fluid production by the prostate is controlled by the male sexual hormones testosterone, made by the testes; dehydroepiandrosterone, made in the adrenal glands; and dihydrotestosterone made in the prostate itself. These hormones are also called ‘androgens’, and are also responsible for a man’s sex drive and secondary sex characteristics, such as facial hair, a lower voice, and increased muscle mass.

There are three common disorders in men that affect the prostate. The first is prostate cancer, a malignant tumor of the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, but if caught in the early stages is usually not fatal. It is most prevalent in men over the age of 50. Early stages of the disease usually have no symptoms, but eventually the added size to the gland may begin to impinge on the urethra, causing urinary problems such as pain, or blood in the urine. A prostate specific antigen (PSA) test can often detect prostate cancer even in its early stages, and is therefore a good test for a man over 50 to undergo regularly.

Another common prostate disorder that can mimic prostate cancer is called benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. BPH is basically a condition in which the prostate enlarges and impinges on the urethra, much like it would in the middle stages of prostate cancer, causing difficulty urinating, frequent urges to urinate, and pain while urinating. Simple tests can be done to determine if an individual is suffering from BPH or prostate cancer. BPH is not fatal, does not lead to cancer, and a number of treatments are available today to alleviate the symptoms.

Finally, the prostate itself is vulnerable to infection. The same bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) can also infect the prostate, leading to prostatitis. Prostatitis usually involves some of the same symptoms involved in BPH with respect to urinary difficulties, yet is usually also accompanied by fever, chills, and pain in the lower back. Like most bacterial infections, prostatitis is usually treated with antibiotics.

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