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By stage IV, the cancer has grown beyond the prostate and may have spread to other areas of the body. The cancer staging system continues to evolve and is becoming more complex as doctors improve cancer diagnosis and treatment.


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Your doctor uses your cancer stage to select the treatments that are right for you. Your prostate cancer treatment options depend on several factors, such as how fast your cancer is growing, how much it has spread and your overall health, as well as the potential benefits or side effects of the treatment.

For men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer, treatment may not be necessary right away. Some men may never need treatment. Instead, doctors sometimes recommend active surveillance.

Complementary and alternative medicine in urology

In active surveillance, regular follow-up blood tests, rectal exams and possibly biopsies may be performed to monitor progression of your cancer. If tests show your cancer is progressing, you may opt for a prostate cancer treatment such as surgery or radiation. Active surveillance may be an option for cancer that isn't causing symptoms, is expected to grow very slowly and is confined to a small area of the prostate.

Active surveillance may also be considered for someone who has another serious health condition or who is of an advanced age that makes cancer treatment more difficult. Active surveillance carries a risk that the cancer may grow and spread between checkups, making the cancer less likely to be cured. Surgery for prostate cancer involves removing the prostate gland radical prostatectomy , some surrounding tissue and a few lymph nodes.

Radical prostatectomy can be performed in several ways:. Radical prostatectomy carries a risk of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Ask your doctor to explain the risks you may face based on your situation, the type of procedure you select, your age, your body type and your overall health. Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy to kill cancer cells.

Prostate cancer radiation therapy can be delivered in two ways:. Side effects of radiation therapy can include painful, frequent or urgent urination, as well as rectal symptoms such as loose stools or pain when passing stools. Erectile dysfunction can also occur. Hormone therapy is treatment to stop your body from producing the male hormone testosterone. Prostate cancer cells rely on testosterone to help them grow. Cutting off the supply of testosterone may cause cancer cells to die or to grow more slowly. Hormone therapy is used in men with advanced prostate cancer to shrink the cancer and slow the growth of tumors.

In men with early-stage prostate cancer, hormone therapy may be used to shrink tumors before radiation therapy, which can increase the likelihood that radiation therapy will be successful. Side effects of hormone therapy may include erectile dysfunction, hot flashes, loss of bone mass, reduced sex drive and weight gain. During cryosurgery for prostate cancer, small needles are inserted in the prostate using ultrasound images as guidance. A very cold gas is placed in the needles, which causes the surrounding tissue to freeze. A second gas is then placed in the needles to reheat the tissue.

The cycles of freezing and thawing kill the cancer cells and some surrounding healthy tissue.

Moyad, Mark A.

Initial attempts to use cryosurgery for prostate cancer resulted in high complication rates and unacceptable side effects. However, newer technologies have lowered complication rates, improved cancer control and made the procedure easier to tolerate. Cryosurgery is more frequently used as a salvage therapy for men who haven't been helped by radiation therapy. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill rapidly growing cells, including cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be administered through a vein in your arm, in pill form or both. Chemotherapy may be a treatment option for men with prostate cancer that has spread to remote body locations.

Chemotherapy may also be an option for cancers that don't respond to hormone therapy. Permanent prostate brachytherapy involves placing many radioactive seeds within the prostate to treat prostate cancer. During the procedure, an ultrasound probe is placed in the rectum to help guide the placement of seeds. The seeds emit radiation that dissipates over a few months. Biological therapy immunotherapy uses your body's immune system to fight cancer cells. One type of biological therapy called sipuleucel-T Provenge has been developed to treat advanced, recurrent prostate cancer.

This treatment takes some of your own immune cells, genetically engineers them in a laboratory to fight prostate cancer, then injects the cells back into your body through a vein. Some men do respond to this therapy with some improvement in their cancer, but the treatment is very expensive and requires multiple treatments. Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

No complementary or alternative treatments will cure prostate cancer.

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However, complementary and alternative prostate cancer treatments may help you cope with the side effects of cancer and its treatment. Nearly everyone diagnosed with cancer experiences some distress at some point. If you're distressed, you may feel sad, angry or anxious. You may experience difficulty sleeping or find yourself constantly thinking about your cancer. Discuss your feelings and concerns with your doctor. In some cases, treatment for distress may require medications. When you receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer, you may experience a range of feelings — including disbelief, fear, anger, anxiety and depression.

With time, each person finds his own way of coping with a prostate cancer diagnosis. If you have signs or symptoms that worry you, start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner.

Prostate health: Mayo Clinic Radio

If your doctor suspects you may have a problem with your prostate, you may be referred to a urinary tract specialist urologist. If you're diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may be referred to a cancer specialist oncologist or a specialist who uses radiation therapy to treat cancer radiation oncologist. Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be prepared.

Here's some information to help you get ready and what to expect from your doctor. Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. Oil from babassu nuts has also been shown to inhibit the production of testosterone, while other parts of the nut contain compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Stinging nettle contains similar antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds as pygeum and saw palmetto.

Nettle root is sometimes used in combination with saw palmetto. More research is needed, however, to determine whether it is effective. Pumpkin seeds contain beta-sitosterol, a compound similar to cholesterol and found in some plants. Preliminary studies have shown that beta-sitosterol may improve urine flow and reduce the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination. Lycopene is a naturally occurring pigment found in many fruits and vegetables.

One study found that it may help slow the progression of BPH. Tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene available to most people. But a few other fruits and vegetables contain lower levels of this antioxidant. Usually, the deeper pink or red the fruit or vegetable is in color, the higher its lycopene content.

Chronic zinc deficiencies have been shown to potentially increase the likelihood of developing BPH. Taking zinc supplements, or increasing dietary intake of zinc may help reduce urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate. Zinc is found in poultry, seafood, and several types of seeds and nuts, such as sesame and pumpkin. Green tea has a lot of antioxidants called catechins that have been shown to enhance the immune system and potentially slow the progression of prostate cancer.

It is important to keep in mind that green tea contains caffeine. Caffeine can stimulate the bladder and cause a sudden urge to urinate, potentially worsening BPH symptoms. Lifestyle tips that may help someone manage the symptoms of an enlarged prostate include the following:. In a vast majority of cases, BPH is idiopathic, meaning it has no known cause.

Doctors and researchers are still trying to figure out exactly how and why some people's prostate cells start to divide abnormally. But most cases of BPH impact men of at least 40 years of age, most commonly those 50 years of age and older. So most studies suggest that BPH is related to hormonal changes, specifically those that occur naturally with age. As men grow older, their hormone levels change, especially levels of testosterone, estrogen , and a by-product of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone DHT.

A few studies have shown that changes in the balance of these hormones may trigger some prostate cells to abnormally grow and divide. Most men have a 50 percent chance of having BPH by the age of 60 years old, and a 90 percent chance by the age of 85 years old.

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Benign prostatic hyperplasia | Complementary and Alternative Medicine | St. Luke's Hospital

Making dietary changes may help manage or prevent an enlarged prostate and any resulting symptoms. Article last reviewed by Sat 17 March All references are available in the References tab. Benign prostate enlargement. Enlarged prostate. Espinosa, G. Nutrition and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Current Opinion in Urology , 23 1 , 38— Keehn, A. Complementary and alternative medications for benign prostatic hyperplasia.