Health - The prostate is in the news again.
More cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in men than breast
cancer in women. The number of cases is expected to increase in
the future. There are appeals for more funding to study this
problem and to make people more aware of its existence.
Between 1990 and
1994 almost 170,000
men died from prostate cancer. Almost 400,000 new cases of
prostate cancer are diagnosed every year, more than ever before.
Yet there is still disagreement among physicians as to what is the
best course of prevention and treatment of this disease.
Some experts, such as the American
Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and the American
Urological Association, recommend routine screening for men over
50 with a Prostate Specific Angigen (PSA) blood test and a digital
rectal examination. Others, such as the American College of
Physicians, insist that there is no value in routine screening.
While doctors are arguing, one
thing remains clear - prostate cancer simply does not happen in a
healthy prostate. It is no coincidence that there is an increase
in the rate of prostate cancer at the same time as another very
common condition is on the rise - Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH)
or enlargement of the prostate.
Changes in the
A medical textbook calls BPH a
"universal phenomenon among aging men." Aging does not
mean old, just over the age of 40. Up until that age the prostate
remains completely normal, but then it begins to increase in size.
Normally, the prostate is the about the size of a walnut. It looks
like a small doughnut and is located just under the urinary
bladder. The urethra, which is a flexible pipe that connects the
bladder to the outside of the body, passes right through the
middle of the prostate.
As the prostate increases in size,
it begins to compress the urethra, causing various urinary
problems. This does not happen immediately, there is usually a
five to ten year period when a man has no symptoms at all, until
the prostate reaches a certain critical size. At that point the
symptoms become obvious.
Most of the symptoms are related to
urination. There is an increase in the frequency of urination. A
man may notice that he even has to get up at night to go to
urinate. Some men have to more than once during the night. There
is a decrease in the urine stream and a feeling that the bladder
is not completely empty at the end of urination.
At times, a man may have to wait
before urination begins, or even have to strain to begin
urinating. Sometimes there is a feeling of urgency and the
inability to "hold it" without embarrassing
consequences. Most men also experience a decline in their sexual
desire and performance.
Why does the prostate start growing
as men age? There are a number of factors. First, most men have
various nutritional deficiencies that make the prostate unhealthy.
Second, as a man grows older there are certain physiological
changes, such as increases in dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an
altered form of testosterone (a male sex hormone) and estradiol (a
female sex hormone). These changes, along with others, can cause
the cells of the prostate to divide and multiply, causing the
gland to become larger.
We may not know all of the reasons
for prostate enlargement, but we do know that by the age of 50
almost 50% of men have this problem. By the age of 80, almost all
men have this problem. In the United States alone, there are
almost 30 million people suffering from the enlargement of the
Fortunately, in most men the
multiplication of the cells of the prostate does not lead to
cancer, that is why it is called benign enlargement of the
prostate. Yet, as more and more men develop BPH, there is a
defining trend towards increasing incidence of prostate cancer.
European doctors also think that
there is a relationship between these conditions and that is why
they aggressively treat men who only have the benign enlargement.
Lucky for them, they actually have a way to treat the condition,
not just control the symptoms.
For over 20 years, doctors in
Europe have been using certain natural substances that have been
shown in medical studies to not only improve the symptoms of the
prostate enlargement, but to actually reverse the process and
shrink the prostate gland.
These natural substances include Saw Palmetto, Pygeum Africanum
and Stinging Nettles. Doctors in Europe do not give their patients
drugs like Hytrin, Cardura or Proscar. Instead, they prescribe
Pygeum Africanum and Saw Palmetto. The results are much more
impressive with the natural substances than with the drugs,
without the side effects.
For example, many studies have
shown that Saw Palmetto decreases the size of the prostate in over
60% of patients. Pygeum Africanum was even more successful - over
70% of the participants in the study experienced a reduction in
Historically, other substances have been used to improve the
health and function of the prostate gland. Nutrients like zinc, a
mineral that is absolutely essential for a healthy prostate, amino
acids alanine, glycine, and glutamic acid, ginseng, pumpkin seed
extract, essential oils and certain B vitamins.