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As we males get older Prostate
Issues start to loom larger. They come as:
1) Enlarged Prostate (frequent urination)
2) Elevated PSA levels
3) Prostate Nodule
4) Prostate Biopsy
5) Prostate Cancer
Each of these is separate issues that are often not related which makes
all of it confusing. I had low PSA count, no enlargement, a
healthy non-meat diet, excellent weight and yet still contracted an
aggressive form prostate cancer. This page is meant to share what
Although I never had enlarged prostate issues, my brother has been
dealing with this for years. Over the years he has tried dozens of
herbal prostate supplements and found a few that he thinks works best.
In general it does take about a month of herbal usage to get results as the
herbs beneficial qualities build up in your system.
His currently recommended herbal formula is made by Carlson and is
Nutriment Prostate Formula.
I use a number of Carlson
products and consider them top notch.
The use of PSA testing has some controversy, A recent study has found
PSA screenings did not
significantly reduce prostate cancer deaths. This information is
really confusing because prostate cancer is curable if discovered before
it spreads out of the prostate. PSA (prostate specific antigen)
shows up in the blood stream in greater amounts as we get older and can
be released into the blood from certain exercises (bicycling) or even
sex. Prostate cancer does causes increased amounts to show up. Therefore the
primary thing to watch with PSA testing is what is known as PSA velocity
or how fast are the numbers increasing. Although the rate of PSA
increase is an indicator of increased levels of prostate cancer, some
aggressive prostate cancers release only small amounts of PSA. It
all makes the PSA test important but un-reliable.
Once we males hit the age of 50 it's time to start getting DRE's
(digital rectal exam). Although prostate cancers can form without
any detectable hard nodules and if a hard nodule does form in the
prostate it has a good chance of being cancerous. This is a simple test that can be
done by your primary physician. Two years before my surgery, my primary physician found a
small pea size prostate nodule. At the time my PSA was a very low 0.7.
Generally the PSA level of concern is 4.0 or greater but some consider
this number should be reduced to 2.0 but as I mentioned before it's the
PSA velocity that is important. Generally when a nodule is
found the next step is to biopsy the nodule. I waited two
years to biopsy it because of my low PSA.
The prostate biopsy is done in the urologist office. The urologist
will insert a needle sampling and sonar head into your rectum and gather
4 to 12 samples of your prostate through the walls of your rectum.
It sounds awful and it certainly is uncomfortable but was over in ten
minutes. After wards you have to suffer with blood in your urine
for a week and blood in your semen for up to a month. A friend of
mine suffered through a nasty infection from it even though he used the
recommended anti-biotic and his results were all negative.
Although my urologist recommended a biopsy at my first visit, I decided to watch and wait
since my PSA was so low at 0.7. Over the next two years my PSA
climbed to 1.1 and then to 1.7. My nodule also increased in size.
During that time I became a strict vegetarian to minimize my cancer risk
but I did not take any special herbal or supplement prostate formula's.
I finally agreed to a biopsy in January of 2009 based on the PSA and
nodule increase. In February I learned that all the samples of the
nodule were cancerous and more critical they were an aggressive type.
Aggressiveness of prostate cancer cells are ranked by a 1 to 5 scale
know as the Gleason score. The higher the number, the greater the
aggressiveness of the cells. The Gleason score is the 1-5
number of the greatest concentration of cells added to the 1-5 number of
the next largest group of cells. My number was a 4 + 3 = Gleason
7. Not good.
WHAT INCREASES PROSTATE CANCER RISK
There are a few foods that appear to increase the risk of prostate
cancer. They include red meat fat and dairy fat. In addition
there are studies that found increased prostate risk as the amount of
calcium consumption increased. There is also an association
between increased prostate cancer and exposure to chemical fertilizers
WHAT POPULATIONS HAVE LOW PROSTATE CANCER RISK
Orientals tend to have much lower rate of prostate cancer until they
move to the west and then they tend to have similar rates which implies
that diet is the reason. Some researchers think it is the
higher consumption of soy based foods while other researchers are
concerned that soy based foods will raise male estrogen levels which can
increase cancer risk. This conflicting information made me avoid
consuming too much soy based foods. I would suggest only moderate
amounts of minimal processed soy products.
India has only 1/10th the prostate cancer compared to the US.
Studies have found turmeric to be a strong cancer fighter. The
curcumin in turmeric appears to be the potent ingredient. I would
certainly include this in an anti-prostate cancer program. However
curcumin is poorly absorbed. There is noe product called Curamed
by Terry's Natural that has much high absorption and has been used in
the clinical trials with success.
Italians have lower prostate risk. The lycopene in tomatoes has
been found to be an anti-cancer agent. The absorption of lycopene
in the tomatoes is greatly enhanced if the tomatoes are eaten with oil.
I would suggest drinking an organic tomato or tomato based vegetable
juice in the morning with a high quality fish oil sold by Carlson or
Barleens?? These fish oils have almost no fish taste and they
provide tremendous cardio-vascular and other benefits.
The French also have lower prostate cancer risk as well as for other
cancers. Researchers consider the resveratrol in red wine is the
When I learned of the
aggressive nature of my prostate cancer I began the interviewing process
with surgeons and a radiation doctor. Radiation is more suited for
older patients. If you have surgery you can still use radiation
but if you use radiation you can't follow-up with surgery. For me
radiation was not a good choice. In Philadelphia we have two top
surgeons who use the new DiVinci robotic method. I had my prostate
removed by the robotic method. The surgery went smoothly however
if I had it over again I would have tried to find a surgeon who would
try to save the nerves that lay around the outside of the prostate that
effect your sex life. It takes very special skill to save these
tiny nerves and most surgery does not.
The big part of the recovery
involves learning to use a small weak muscle at the base of the bladder
to control your bladder. It gives you a whole new appreciation for
what women go through as you experience the same effect when you laugh
too hard or strain at anything. I was fortunate that I was able to
retrain that small muscle and get back to normal after about a year.
There are special exercise's that I did that helped. Anyone who
has bladder issues should do them. The book is "Beyond Kegels" by
Janet Hulme from Phoenix Core Solutions. Now my PSA is at 0 so I'm