Prostate Remedies
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Prostate Problems
Herbal & Home Remedies Herbal Remedies Home Remedies

Prostate cancer is the cancer most often diagnosed in men. It is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in Canadian men aged 65 and over. Every year, about 19,000 Canadian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer.

As an important part of the male reproductive system, the walnut-shaped prostate gland produces liquid that moves sperm. It is located between the rectum and the pubic bone.

When the condition is found early, and if it is located only in the prostate gland, treatment of prostate cancer can be more successful. If the cancer spreads to other areas of the body, treatment may become more difficult.

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There are a range of different prostate symptoms that might point to developing problems and, as with most things, these symptoms can also be caused by a whole range of other problems. In most cases however if the symptoms are not being caused by problems with the prostate they will tend to be short lived, arising perhaps from a bacterial infection which clears up in a week or two without the need for treatment. If however any of these symptoms appear on a regular basis, or appear and stay with you, then there it is likely that they will originate in the prostate gland.

The symptoms are:

  • Difficulty in starting to urinate and a need to strain in order to start urinating.
  • A weak flow of urine.
  • A tendency for the flow of urine to stop and start.
  • A feeling that you have not emptied your bladder even after you've just been to the bathroom.
  • A feeling that you need to visit the bathroom urgently and difficulty in "holding on".
  • The need for more frequent visits to the bathroom and, in particular, a need to get up during the night.
  • A tendency to continue to dribble urine after you have finished in the bathroom.

These prostate symptoms are the body's warning signs that problems may be starting to develop and, whilst in most cases, this is not serious and nothing to be worried about, for all too many men these are the warning signs of a serious and in many cases fatal disease.

The only way to find out whether you fall into the former or the latter category is get yourself checked out and that means not ignoring the warning signs but talking to your doctor without delay.

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It is common for men in their sixties and seventies to experience the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

Cancer tumours grow from cells that have undergone genetic mutations. These changes cause cells to multiply at very fast rates. They eventually form a mass that keeps growing; this is called a tumour.

In some people, the genetic mutation is inherited. Some prostate cancers occur in men who have particular genetic mutations, such as genetic mutations seen in some families with breast and ovarian cancer. However, most cancer-causing genetic changes occur after birth.

Some genes don't directly cause cancer, but may make cells more vulnerable to carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) found outside the cell. Men of African descent have almost double the prostate cancer rates of Caucasians, possibly due to this factor.

Various factors can increase or reduce the chance of mutations, and therefore cancer. The following factors are believed to increase the risk of prostate cancer:

  • age - especially over 65
  • family history - having a father or brother with prostate cancer doubles your risk
  • race - men of African descent are more likely to get prostate cancer and men of East Asian descent are at a lower risk
  • geography - prostate cancer is rarer in Asia, Africa, and South America
  • weight, physical inactivity - overweight and inactive men have higher rates of prostate cancer

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Home Remedies

Corn silk. The silk from corn has been used by Amish men for generations as a remedy for the symptoms of prostate enlargement. When fresh corn is in season, cut the silk from 6 ears of corn. (Corn silk can be dried for later use, too.) Put in 1 quart water, boil, and simmer for ten minutes. Strain and drink a cup. Drink 3 cups a week.

Fish. From the deep comes a way to fight prostate cancer and tumor growth. Try to get 2 servings a week of fish high in omega-3 oils (the good oil), such as tuna, mackerel, or salmon.

Soy. Learning to like and use soy foods is an easy and good way to help nip prostate problems in the bud. Soy-based foods contain phytoestrogens, which are thought to help reduce testosterone production, which is believed to aggravate prostate cancer growth. The phytoestrogens are believed to limit the growth of blood capillaries that form around tumors of the prostate.

Tomatoes. Seize that salsa! Pour on the spaghetti sauce! Down that tomato juice! Learn to add more tomatoes to your diet. Studies have shown that as little as 2 servings of tomatoes (including cooked tomatoes) a week can help men reduce their risk of prostate cancer by half. These red orbs are full of lycopene, an antioxidant compound that helps fight cancer.

Watermelon seeds. The Amish use watermelon tea to flush out the system and help with bladder problems and prostate problems. Enjoy a slice of watermelon and spit the seeds in a cup. When you have 1/8 cup fresh watermelon seeds, put them in a 1-pint jar and fill with boiling water. Let the tea cool, strain, and drink. Drink 1 pint of tea every day for ten days.

Quercetin is a flavonoid that is found in capers, apples, onions and many vegetables and fruits. Lab studies have found that quercetin helps to block the growth of prostate cancer cells, and at least one small study showed significant improvement in symptoms of chronic prostatitis. More research is needed, however, before it can be recommended.

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Herbal Remedies

Saw palmetto - This herb, derived from the berry of the American dwarf palm tree, has been used to treat prostate problems since the 1800s. Today, saw palmetto is especially popular among men who experience the weak urine flow and frequent urination symptomatic of an enlarged prostate. According to a survey in Consumer Reports, more than half of all men who tried the remedy said it eased their symptoms "a lot" or "somewhat."

What does science have to say? Some research has found that saw palmetto really does seem to ease urinary symptoms. A study of 85 men published in the December 2001 issue of the journal Urology found that men who took capsules of saw palmetto for six months reported slightly fewer symptoms than men who took a placebo (a "dummy" pill). Other studies, however, have found that saw palmetto and placebos work about equally well.

According to an editorial that accompanied the Urology report, it's still possible that saw palmetto is, in fact, simply an extra-powerful placebo. Perhaps it works because men expect it to work. A study published in 2006 found that saw palmetto had no effect on enlarged prostates, adding more weight to the idea that the benefits of saw palmetto are all in the mind.

If you do decide to try saw palmetto, here are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, you should stick with the generally recommended dose of 320 milligrams each day. The herb is safe at this level, and there's no evidence that an extra-large dose will work any better. Also, be aware that herbal supplements tend to vary widely in their purity and potency. You can help protect yourself by choosing products marked with "NF," the seal of the United States Pharmacopeia and National Formulary. Finally, saw palmetto is no substitute for a doctor. If you have urinary problems, get a thorough checkup and talk to your doctor before trying saw palmetto or any other herbal product.

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Wellness Program

Lowering estrogen intake in foods (most meats and dairy products), along with lower sugar and starch intake.

A good intake of anti-oxidants.

Exercise and an active sex life also appear to contribute to prostate health. Regaining progesterone and testosterone levels of course, has the happy effect of also enhancing libido and sex drive.

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