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Prostatitis, Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, and Prostate Cancer

Prostatitis

Men commonly believe that they won’t have to think about their prostate until well into their 50’s but this doesn’t hold true with the problem of Prostatitis. This is a disease of young men and can affect men in their early 40’s. Prostatitis simply means an inflammation of the prostate gland and can be classified as chronic or acute. Acute Prostatitis is usually the result of bacteria and is easily treated with antibiotics. However, Chronic Prostatitis, which is also called Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome, is the most common form of Prostatitis. Unfortunately it’s not known what causes it and treatments vary widely from alpha-blockers to counseling for erectile dysfunction.

credit @Flickr: El Payo

credit @Flickr: El Payo

The following are symptoms of Prostatitis:

  • Fever, chills
  • Shaking
  • Urgency and frequency of urination
  • Painful urination
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Erectile dysfunction

Acute Prostatitis is treatable with antibiotics. The following are treatment options for Chronic Prostatitis:

  • Plant Sterols
  • Saw Palmetto
  • Fish oil
  • Lycopene
  • Nettles
  • Zinc
  • Copper

 

Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) is when the prostate enlarges but there is no malignancy. It’s believed that this condition begins developing in the mid- 30’s and slowly continues to grow until the man begins experiencing more frequent urination. What causes the hypertrophy, or hyperplasia, is unknown and can be treated surgically if the growth isn’t stopped. Symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Bladder fullness
  • Bladder infection
  • Complete cessation of urination
  • Kidney injury

If the BPH is left untreated it may become necessary to surgically remove the transition area of the prostate that is around the urethra. However, if caught earlier there are options that seem to slow the growth and keep the prostate at a manageable level resulting in a surgery rate of only 10%. These options are:

  • Transurethral needle ablation of the prostate (TUNA)
  • Transurethral microwave thermotherapy
  • Prostatic stent
  • Laser procedures
  • Diet low in fats and red meat
  • Alpha-blockers are used to relax smooth muscle
  • Plant Sterols
  • Fish oils
  • Magnesium
  • Querctin
  • Berberis aquifolium
  • L-arginine
  • Vitamin A

 

Prostate Cancer

The most serious condition is Prostate Cancer. However it is usually slow growing and confined within the prostate for years. Occasionally a faster growing cancer can occur and metastasize to the lungs, bone or liver. Prostate Cancer is the leading cancer in men and the second most common cause of death from cancer after lung cancer in America taking the lives of 30,000 people in 2009.

Risk factors include chemical and toxin exposure from industrial products, BPH, genetic predisposition, high levels of testosterone, presence of a sexually transmitted disease, advanced age and African American descent.

The symptoms of Prostate Cancer are usually non-existent for quite some time and the disease is most often detected by rectal exam or Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) which is done with a blood test. If you have the above risk factors for Prostate Cancer you will want to get the following more advanced prostate testing done starting at age 50.

  • PSA, Free PSA, PAP (prostate acid phosphatase), PHI (phosphohexose Isomerase), PCA3 (prostate cancer gene 3)

Treatment for Prostate Cancer needs to be selected based on an individual’s health and age. The following options are currently used but will have to be discussed with your doctor based on your specific health needs:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation
  • Cryotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • High Intensity Ultrasound therapy (not FDA approved in USA)
  • Planted Based diet (adjunctive therapy care)

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