Alternative Therapies for Prostate Cancer

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Alternative Therapies for Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men, but it’s also highly treatable. Unfortunately, traditional treatments – medication, radiation or surgery – often come with unpleasant side effects like incontinence, impotence or fatigue.

Men with prostate cancer often consider alternative therapies as a possible means to relieve symptoms and enhance their quality of life during treatment. These can include dietary supplements, herbs, exercise, and massage therapy.

Herbal remedies for prostate cancer have become an increasingly popular treatment option, but should only be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan and discussed with your doctor. Unfortunately, some herbal remedies can interfere with certain prescription medications and cause negative side effects like lowered blood counts.

Chemotherapy is another common option, which utilizes drugs to destroy rapidly expanding cancer cells. It can be administered intravenously, in pill form or both.

Immunotherapy is an alternative therapy that encourages your immune system to identify and destroy cancer cells. Your doctor may suggest this option for treating advanced prostate cancer that does not respond to hormone therapy or other conventional treatments.

Alternative therapies include high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and cryotherapy. These procedures heat or freeze prostate tissue in an effort to destroy cancer cells, and may be utilized when surgery or chemotherapy has not worked for small prostate cancers that cannot be removed with surgery or chemotherapy.

Dietary and herbal supplements can also be used to reduce the risk of prostate cancer and slow its progression for those with early-stage disease. These products typically contain antioxidants, a class of chemicals which fight free radicals in the body and are found in fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Research suggests that eating a nutritious diet, including vegetables and fruits high in antioxidants, may lower the risk of prostate cancer development and slow its progression. This is especially pertinent to men who have prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), a condition which often precedes prostate cancer formation.

Yoga is another suitable option for men undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. This meditative practice consists of slow, graceful movements combined with deep breathing and can help reduce stress levels.

Yoga not only strengthens the body and relaxes the mind, but studies show that men who take yoga classes twice a week during their prostate cancer treatment experience fewer side effects such as fatigue or sexual dysfunction and improved urinary function than those who don’t do yoga.

Acupuncture is an alternative medicine that uses pressure points on the body to relieve pain, relax muscles and stimulate the mind. It often works in combination with other medical treatments.

Hormone therapy can be used to shrink and control prostate cancer that has spread beyond the prostate gland. It may be administered intravenously (injected into the prostate) or taken as a pill form.

Other therapies to consider if you have prostate cancer include cryotherapy, radiation and HIFU. These may be used for advanced cancer that does not respond to hormone therapy or for small prostate masses that cannot be removed through surgery.

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