Surveillance instead of treatment for Low and Intermediate risk Prostate Cancer

As I woke up this morning , I heard on the radio that the National Health Service (I am based in the UK) has suggested that patients suffering from Low and Intermediate risk Prostate Cancer should merely be watched and observed rather than actively treated for the disease. (See this link for more details http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/prostate-cancer-surveillance-instead-treatment-2999412)

from the guardian

from the guardian

My ears pricked up at this. Surely, I thought, it would be better to treat the disease rather than just watch it from afar. So, I did some research.

Prostate Cancer can be very slow growing, and patients within the low and intermediate risk groups will be the patients where this is the case. From my reading, it appears that there are many men who are never even diagnosed with prostate cancer and it is only discovered when they die. The article I read says that patients would be “monitored with blood tests, biopsies and physical checks to see how the cancer is developing.”

Anything is better than invasive surgery and all the potential issues that could cause. Although it would be nice to think that they have the best interests of the patients at heart, my cynical side does rather suspect it is due to surgical interventions being so expensive to the National Health Service.

How can Herbalism help in these sorts of cases?

Herbal remedies do not cure diseases or illnesses, and I would suggest you be cautious of any which claim such things. Herbal remedies instead support and bolster the natural healing power of each body. The body is an amazing machine, and each and every one of us has the power to heal ourselves. The Chinese call this healing energy Chi, and I am sure other cultures have other names for it, but the essence is that the body WANTS to be well. To achieve that wellness the body needs to be in balance. Anything which is out of balance will cause illness.

I want to be clear that I am not suggesting that herbal remedies can cure cancer. I honestly don’t believe they can, but what they can do is help, encourage, and promote better function of the body, in this case, the prostate.

The prostate is a walnut sized gland in the male body which provides a vital part of the seminal fluid that carries sperm. This gland is located just below a man’s bladder. If the gland is enlarged it can cause problems because it presses on the urethra causing difficulties with urination and weakening the bladder.

Some symptoms of prostate problems include difficulty in urinating, frequent urination (especially at night), difficulty starting urination, a burning sensation when urinating or pain behind the scrotum. If ejaculation is painful, that might be another symptom of prostate problems, and if you have any of these symptoms, then please go and get yourself checked out. Early diagnosis of any problem has got to be better than sticking your head in the sand and ignoring it.

from Cancer Research UK

from Cancer Research UK

What does nature offer?

Eat some pumpkin seeds. They are best if you eat them plain, and have diuretic properties and plenty of zinc which helps repair and build the immune system. You could also try the pumpkin seeds as a tea. Crush a handful of fresh seeds and place in bottom of 1 pint jar, fill with boiling water and allow it to cool to room temperature before you strain it and drink that 1 pint per day. I am afraid, I have not tried this, so I do not know how it tastes!

pumpkin seeds

You are what you eat, and a good diet is very important for maintaining health. You should try and get 2 servings of fish high in Omega-3 oils like tuna, mackerel or salmon.  If you don’t like fish, then you could try more soy products. Soy contains phyto-oestrogens which are thought to help reduce testosterone production, which is believed to aggravate prostate cancer growth. And while we are on the diet, eat more tomatoes. They are PACKED with lycopene, an antioxidant which is already known to fight cancer.

There is a supplement which has been shown to work as well, or better, than prescription drugs in improving urinary flow, which is saw palmetto. It apparently works by altering hormone levels,thus reducing prostate enlargement.

In addition, drink 8 glasses of water a day, limit the intake of fatty foods and red meats, and watch your alcohol intake, especially if you like to drink beer. Apparently beer raises prolactin levels in the body and high levels of prolactin can lead to prostate enlargement.

At the risk of repeating myself, if you see ANY of the symptoms described here, please get to your doctor and get yourself checked. Early diagnosis is very, very important. If you wish to have preventative measures, then change your diet, drink a lot of water and reduce the amount of beer you drink.

If it helps your health, it has got to be worth it right?

Have you ever changed your diet to improve a health condition? Did it work for you? Let me know!

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1 thought on “Surveillance instead of treatment for Low and Intermediate risk Prostate Cancer

  1. Isobel Morrell

    You’ve hit the nail on the head here – you’ve got to go and see the doctor IF you feel you’ve got any of the symptoms. Men, alas, are not good at that – although they are getting better, I’m told! My experience with my husband was that once ill, any odd symptoms were always reported and checked. But he had been poorly or seriously ill for many years. It’s the “fit” ones that are prone to procrastination – at THEIR PERIL(s).

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