..The Intuitive Times
Naturopathic View


Prostate Cancer

by Matt Targett

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One of the most common health concerns among older men is cancer of the prostate. The prostate is a lobed gland that surrounds the urethra and excretes several substances that help make up seminal fluid. The unfortunate truth is that among North American men the incidence of prostate cancer is on the rise. Over 50 percent of men over 40 will develop Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, a condition where the prostate enlarges and can cause urinary difficulties. Some experts believe that this condition is linked to an increased chance of developing prostate cancer. It is now estimated that around 10% of all North American men will develop prostate cancer. Both of these conditions can cause increased frequency of urination, decreased urine flow and volume, and incomplete urination.

To detect either of these conditions early on, a yearly digital exam is recommended with your annual physical for men over 40. If cancer is suspected a reliable blood test can be performed. The PSA level which is "prostate specific antigen," is a protein produced by the prostate, and will be elevated in individuals with prostate cancer.

There are many steps that can be taken to prevent the occurrence of both of these conditions. Diet is the first area that must be addressed. A diet low in sugars, animal fats, dairy and animal proteins is a must. Also, all chemicals and pesticides should be eliminated from the diet as these toxins have a great tendency to collect in the prostate. It is very beneficial to increase carotene rich foods such as yellow, orange and leafy green vegetables, as they are excellent anti-oxidants and anti-cancer compounds. Zinc is another element that plays an especially protective role in the prostate, and it is found in higher concentration in this gland than anywhere else in the body. Food sources of Zinc are pumpkin seeds, almonds, and sesame seeds to name a few. Essential fatty acids are also extremely important to keep down inflammation and protect the prostate. These can be found in flax seeds, salmon and other cold pressed oils. Another good rule of thumb is to eat foods which promote a more alkaline body chemistry. These include most fruits and vegetables.

If cancer is detected there are further dietary steps that can be taken to detoxify and decrease inflammation throughout the body. Herbal Medicine also offers some invaluable tools for maintaining prostate health. Saw palmetto berries are recognized around the world for their effect on the prostate. They have been used for many years to decrease inflammation associated with both BPH and prostate cancer. Pygeum is another herb which has been gaining recognition for its protective effect on the prostate and is often used in combination with Saw Palmetto. Several other herbs are often used to detoxify lymphatics, liver, and digestive tract organs in individuals dealing with all types of cancers. Several physical therapies are also very beneficial for prostate cancer patients. Hydrotherapy offers the benefit of increasing circulation and lymphatic flow throughout the body. Physical activity such as aerobic exercise or rebounding will achieve similar results as well as increasing overall sense of well-being.

Lastly it is important to address one's mental well being to both prevent and treat any type of cancer. Many physicians now believe that unexpressed emotions can contribute to increased risk of cancers. It is also undeniable that patients with a positive attitude achieve better results from any type of treatment conventional or otherwise. It is therefore important that cancer patients or anyone who wants to optimize their health develop strategies such as relaxation techniques, meditation, stress reduction techniques or otherwise to deal with stress and other harmful emotions. If you feel you may be experiencing any symptoms of BPH or prostate cancer it is important that you speak with your physician. It is also strongly recommended if you are over 40 that you receive regular physical exams and digital exams, as the key to treating any cancer is early detection and prevention.

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