What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland in men. This gland is an important part of the reproductive system and works to control hormone levels.
While we tend to talk about “prostate cancer” as if there was only one kind, that isn’t true.
Primary and secondary cancers can affect this gland. The prostate is also susceptible to the metastasis of other cancers.
This is how someone may have a primary diagnosis of lung cancer and that cancer will appear in the prostate.
Those tend to be fast developing cancers. When a man is suffering from primary prostate cancer, growth is slow.
This is why it is so important to have regular screening. The faster you can spot prostate cancer the better you will be able to treat it.
What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
There are few signs of prostate cancer that are evident in its earliest stages. As it progresses you may notice difficulty in urination or loss of stream force, pelvic pain, blood in intimate discharge or swelling.
Periodic screenings by your doctor can also help to detect problems that aren’t showing any symptoms.
How can natural remedies help with prostate cancer?
While the best way to combat cancer remains medications, surgery and/or radiation treatments there is more aware of how natural remedies can help you to successfully battle cancer.
It isn’t that one works better than another for certain people, but that oncologists (doctors that specialize in cancer treatment) have seen that putting medical treatment and natural remedies together can improve a person’s chances of survival radically.
When it comes to prevention, stress reduction and pain management – natural and alternative therapies are some of the most effective; Very often they are what allows the person to tolerate the medical treatment that is necessary to clear their cancer.
They are not, however, ever to be considered a substitute for cancer treatment.
Natural remedies for the prevention of prostate cancer
Studies have managed to identify several factors that boost your chances of developing prostate cancer, although no evidence has shown what specifically causes it yet.
With these factors identified it can be easy to make some changes to your lifestyle that can help prevent cancer, or make it easier to treat should it develop.
Key to all of these suggestions is that they work to boost your body’s immune system. This is what keeps you helping and lets you battle cancer better.
Eat a balanced diet
This can be hard to do if you have a cancer diagnosis because the natural instinct is to try all the cancer cure diets on the market. The only known diet that can help is one that is well balanced.
The key things to avoid are processed foods and fatty foods – none of them have anything that is going to help your body support itself as it fights prostate cancer.
You want to follow the new guidelines for healthy eating that emphasize fruits and vegetables, but that also include proteins, carbs, and other nutrient sources. Food works in the body because it works off everything you have eaten to digest into a form of fuel that is helpful.
Eliminating a type of food, or eating a lot of another, won’t help you get what you need. The balance on your plate means balance in your body and that is what helps your immune system.
Get plenty of rest
Sleep hygiene refers to the habits you create that allow you to get the amount of sleep you need to be able to function well during the day, and that allows your body time to rest and recuperate.
This is exceedingly important if you are undergoing treatment for cancer. The body’s immune system can work best when you are sleeping. To get between 6 to 8 hours of sleep can be hard for some people.
You can create better sleep habits by going to bed at a regular time and getting up at a regular time too.
You should also make sure that your bedroom is free of distractions and minimize exposure to any type of electronic screen for an hour or so before bed.
That means no cell phones, laptops, computer screens or TV. The goal is to let your body unwind and begin to relax before you lie down.
There are also some natural sleep aids that can help, but be sure to check with your doctor first as some can interact with cancer medications.
When you stop smoking the body begins to repair itself from damage that your habit has done. It doesn’t matter what you smoke (chew or dip), tobacco products are definitively linked to an increase in cancer.
They are also linked to poor immune systems. If you want your body to be able to fight cancer and want to lower your risk factor for developing prostate cancer then quitting smoking is your best bet.
People quit through a variety of methods, so don’t feel like you can’t do just because you try a method and it doesn’t work for you.
Talk to a smoking cessation counselor or your doctor and they can give you ideas and direction on what to try.
Natural remedies for the side effects of prostate cancer treatments
As mentioned earlier, natural remedies are very effective in helping you heal by supporting your body through the rigors of traditional cancer treatment.
Traditional treatment is also very necessary treatment – but it comes with a raft of side effects that can include complications from invasive surgery, nausea, weight loss/gain, increased pain and mood problems, among others.
There are medications that can be prescribed to help you with those side effects, but every medication comes with another side effect.
Most doctors would rather their patients take as small a dose of medication as possible while using natural remedies and therapies to deal with side effects. This can make the medication more effective and help the person to recover the quality of life faster too.
Meditation is something that you might want to consider if you are suffering from prostate cancer. Undergoing chemotherapy and surgery is very stressful, as is coping with a potentially deadly disease.
All these things take a toll on both your physical health and your mental health, too, and often people suffering from cancer also suffer from mild to severe depression as they battle against their illness for sometimes years on end.
Meditation can be a powerful way to strengthen your mind against the mental challenges of battling prostate cancer.
If you take just fifteen minutes each and every day to focus on your body and on your breathing and to reflect upon your day can help to steady your mind and fortify yourself against what is one of the most stressful and scary experiences you will ever undergo.
As well as battling depression, meditation can help you to feel more alert and awake, thus battling against the fatigue that is often felt as a side effect of medicines used to tackle prostate cancer.
It need not take up a lot of time, it is free to try by yourself and it is something that you can get your friends and loved ones to join in with if you feel as though you would like some help and support.
Take nutritional supplements
An important aspect of getting a balanced diet is also taking nutritional supplements. Supplements aren’t a replacement for good eating, but they can help replace vital nutrients and minerals that may be hard to get through even the best diet and that also may have an increased drain placed on them by cancer treatments.
There are also some non-traditional supplements that have shown promise in fighting or preventing cancer too. Make sure that if you do choose to add these to your diet that they aren’t going to interfere with any medication you take.
You should also only take those that have solid evidence behind them. Many companies will advertise “secret” herbal cures.
The truth is that cancer costs so much to treat those insurance companies would provide any miracle cure for free just to get away from the costs of treatment.
The following are the most commonly recommended supplements for those trying to prevent, or in treatment for, prostate cancer.
This is the power behind the soy nut and why soy is one of the recommended foods for those with cancer. It is easier to take it in a supplement form as the active dose is measured at 200 mg.
There is some evidence that suggests it may be as good as green tea in retarding the growth of cancer in the body. If you can slow aggressive cancer down enough it can be treated better.
There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that green tea may work to prevent or slow the growth of cancer in the body.
The recommended dose is no more than four cups per day. Any more and you may get jittery.
There are many different types of green tea, try several to find the one you like best.
Melatonin, which is known for promoting better sleep naturally, has also been found to help with the side effects many people experience from different types of radiation therapies. Take 20 mg to help with the side effects, but then take the recommended dose at night to help you with sleep and you have a winning combination.
Zinc and copper (either together or separately)
Both of these have evidence behind them that shows they help to boost the body’s immune system. They are most effective in preventing colds, flu, and other infectious diseases.
This may seem like an odd choice as a cancer remedy, but when you consider that chemotherapy all but destroys the immune system, trying not to catch a cold while undergoing treatment becomes vitally important.
Homeopathy is a subject of much argument. There are those who swear by its effectiveness and those who claim it is little more than a placebo.
Either way, as a complementary natural remedy it can work very well with prescribed cancer medications.
Even the placebo effect can be positive with the results you see with your traditional treatments.
What many people like about homeopathic remedies is that when they find one that has a positive effect on relieving their side effects they don’t get iller from the remedy that is giving them relief.
Homeopathic remedies for prostate cancer tend to focus on working to relieve pain, reduce stress and promote better sleep. There are also some that people have had a great deal of success in helping remain alert.
One of the common side effects of traditional cancer meditation is the fatigue it can cause. Homeopathic remedies may work for you in increasing your energy.
You don’t have to feel energized enough to run a marathon, but being able to focus enough to enjoy daily activities will help a great bonus.
That can help reduce your stress and help you to manage pain on your own even better.
Look into acupuncture
While acupuncture is an ancient Chinese art it has had a renewed popularity in modern times.
There is a growing body of evidence that suggests it can be profoundly helpful in dealing with chronic pain and reducing stress.
There are a lot of suggestive trials that indicate it may also be helpful in healing, but nothing firm enough to recommend it as a replacement treatment.
For some people, acupuncture can help them deal with the side effects of traditional cancer treatments. For others, it is of no effect.
Rather than decide you are going to do it or avoid it – talk to your doctor about trying it. No matter what you try to do, the bonus is that there are no ill effects from acupuncture known.
Get frequent massages
Massages play two important roles in helping people handle the stress and strain of cancer treatments – and they can also play a role in reducing your risk factor for developing prostate cancer.
For one, a good massage releases stress. This is one of the reasons it is one of the most recommended natural remedies for just about everything.
It can serve to decrease and eliminate muscle tension and improve circulation – all of which reduce the physical effects of stress in the body.
The second role it plays is even more important. The act of massage serves to stimulate the lymph system of the body.
The lymph system has no built-in pump the way the circulatory system has the heart.
It is dependent on the movement of the skin and muscle to pump. Why is this important?
Because one of the specific jobs of the lymph fluid is to remove cancerous and precancerous cells. The more it moves, the lower your risk.
Work with your doctor as a team
You may be surprised to find out that your best ally in deciding which natural remedies for prostate cancer to pursue is your doctor.
There is a growing body of evidence that is accepted by the medical community that shows how natural and alternative remedies and treatments can aid in cancer treatment.
Your doctor will also know what you can and cannot take that may interfere with your cancer medication. Don’t set up a dynamic where you see yourself as fighting traditional medicine – you both have the same goal – to make yourself cancer-free.
Many doctors can also recommend you to an RN to pursue natural remedies too.
An RN has access to a different diagnostic manual that could mean the difference between having your massage paid for by your insurance, or you having to pay for it yourself. The idea is to create a care team of which you are a valued part.
That is the best and only way to treat prostate cancer effectively. By combining natural remedies with traditional methods and alternative therapies – you can only improve the quality of your life.
Prostate cancer is a diagnosis that is frightening and hard to deal with for anyone. Your best bet is to become proactive with your treatment.
Follow your doctor’s recommendations but also explore and suggest natural remedies. It could allow you to tolerate cancer treatments better so that you don’t have to suffer as you get well.
The real thing to remember is that every person is different. How they will react to prostate cancer is different, and how they respond to treatments will also vary.
Be willing to try several remedies before you decide whether or not they are for you.
Keep a journal of everything so you and your doctor have solid information to examine as you work together as a team to bring you out from under the dark cloud of cancer.
Many people survive prostate cancer, so keep an open mind to trying a wide variety of therapies in combination.