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Hormone therapy is known as one of the treatments for prostate cancer. We have heard success stories with hormone therapy for prostate cancer patients from Internet and medical publications. Here we discuss why hormone therapy can be applied to treat prostate cancer. The prostrate gland is found near the base of the urethra.
This is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out through the penis. The front end of the prostrate gland surrounds the urethra and the rear part of the gland presses against the rectum. The prostrate gland is found in the males and is susceptible to tumor growths. These tumors can be benign or malignant. Malignant means that the tumor is cancerous and life threatening.
Faulty Genes Put Right With Hormones
Having a cancerous prostrate tumor is no cause for alarm because if the tumor is diagnosed well in advance, for which there are many symptoms the layman can understand, the prostrate gland can be surgically removed along with the tumor. Thus, one can prevent the spread of the tumor to other parts of the body through the blood and lymphatic system.
It is very rare to find a patient under fifty to have prostrate cancer. The patient can become weary of a tumor on the prostrate gland if he finds the following symptoms: dribbling before or after urinating, feeling that the urinary bladder is never empty completely, discomfort or pain while urinating and passing of blood sometimes while urinating, false calls or frequently wanting to urinate without actually urinating.
Getting Rid Of the Gland
Apart from having the prostrate removed surgically, there are some hormone treatments for prostrate cancer as well. Some of these hormone treatments have known to have produced dramatic results. But, then it is the stage of the disease as well as the age of the person who is treated that also counts. Doctors all over the world have known for a long time now that cancer can be treated with hormones as prostrate cancer has been known to be hormone or gene related. For instance, men who have had prostrate cancer in the family are more likely to contract the disease that men who have no family history of prostrate cancer.
This led to research on treating cancer with hormones. Research has shown that men live longer with prostrate cancer if it is treated with hormone therapy along with radiation treatment.
The standard hormone treatment is for three years but in many cases dramatic results have come about within six months of the treatment. Researchers from Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital discovered that men treated with six months of androgen suppression therapy in addition to radiation improved faster and better than men treated with only radiation.
Prostate cancer can be treated. Click here for more information on hormone therapy for prostate cancer. Read also other options for prostate cancer treatment here. We provide facts and information about prostate cancer for free.
We really do care about your health and happiness and are thrilled you are interested in our articles, but please always check with your doctor before trying something new!
Green Tea And The Latest In Skin Care And Promising Cancer Treatments
With all the latest research and developments into skin care it has recently been found that Green tea actually has more to offer than originally thought. It could possibly be the newest anti cancer wonder treatment. In research conducted in Thailand by Dr. Ptong of the Skin Education Foundation it was evidenced that Green tea when taken orally or applied externally had a marked effect on the skin in relation to cancer and carcinogens.
In animal studies where the skin was treated with various carcinogens and chemicals or radiation with mutagenic properties it was found that skin treated prior with a rub or salve of the polyphenols had a much lower rate of mutations afterwards. This resulted in a much lower chance of growths and cancer developing. In one study it was shown that the the resultant damage that normally occurs from excessive UV radiation did not happen to skin pre treated with a GTP salve. It is important to note that they have now found identical results with human research.
According to Dr. Ptong:
Every area we tested the polyphenols we made significant discoveries and every time it was very positive. The polyphenols extracted from green tea are extremely active against all types of cancer in this study. It was also found that, along with external application, oral use of the polyphenols reduced the risk of developing skin cancer more than in half in over 1000 patients. In another test, patients with malignant melanoma were given green tea to drink and after one month it was found that the growth rate of the cancer slowed tremendously. It was found that hot, green tea contained the highest concentration of the beneficial polyphenols. From these studies one can easily surmise that green tea shows great promise in skin care and in treating and reducing the risk of cancer and other similar maladies. Just from these studies it is enough to conclude that it should be made a part of the daily regimen for optimum health.
David Maillie is an alumni of Cornell University and specializes in biochemical synthesis for public, private, and governmental interests. For more great information please visit: Bestskinpeel.com
Complementary Treatment, Alternative Therapies and Natural Cures for Prostate Cancer
Complementary and alternative therapies for cancer of the prostate are health care practices that are not usually part of common medical treatment methods. These therapies can include natural cures for prostate cancer such as herbs, vitamins and minerals and dietary supplements. They can also be procedures such as acupuncture, massage, homeopathy and the use of magnetic fields.
Most medical societies are not advocating natural cures for prostate cancer as a lone treatment method. According to them, these alternative therapies should be used in conjunction with regular treatment options and should not be expected to cure cancer. Some scientists are against the use of these alternative methods because they allegedly create false hopes. Scientists have warned that alternative cures should be considered as methods designed to improve the quality of life of a cancer patient and not to treat cancer. They also cautioned that although some alternative therapies are harmless, they might detract, delay or interfere with regular therapy which could create negative results.
Ptong elucidated that it was the antioxidants, commonly referred to as green tea polyphenols (GTP), that caused this new functionality. The polyphenols of showed the ability to actually prohibit and retard the growth of various skin cancers. From basal cell carcinoms (the mildest and most common form of skin cancer) to malignant melanoma and its variants (the deadliest and fastest spreading form) all were shown to be effected by these GTP polyphenols.
One example of these alternative therapies is homeopathy. Homeopathy is a treatment philosophy that follows the like-cures-like principle. The basic principle is that substances that cause symptoms of illness in healthy people can be used in small doses to cure similar symptoms among those who are ill. Advocates of this philosophy have recommended Chimapilla, umbellata, Clematis, Causticum, Staphysagria and Bartya carb as homeopathic remedies. Some studies have also advocated the use of magnetic fields to cure cancer in the prostate. It has been suggested that sitting for hours in a magnetic pad can inhibit the growth of prostate tumors. This result is allegedly due to the ability of the north pole-associated field to slow down the biological growth of a tumor. In this therapy, the magnet's north pole field is the only one used to treat prostate cancer.
Acupuncture and massage are primarily recommended as complementary therapies to relieve some of the stress and tension that can result from being diagnosed with cancer. These procedures are primarily used as complementary and not as alternative treatments. The importance of maintaining a more relaxed body and mind can help a cancer patient cope better with the disease. Most doctors do not oppose the use of massage and acupuncture as long as it does not interfere with a patient's regular treatment regimen.
The debate on the effectiveness of complementary treatments, alternative therapies and natural cures for prostate cancer is still ongoing. For patients, the best thing to do is to discuss with their doctors the advantages and disadvantages of adding these methods to their regular treatment programs.
Most breast cancer patients wonder why radiation is necessary if a breast cancer has been removed. Despite local removal of the cancer tissue, about 30% of women will have a relapse without radiotherapy. Pathologists often have difficulty determining if there is a clear margin of normal tissue surrounding the cancer, given the difficulty of measuring of minuscule amounts of cancer cells. It is also known that there may be "skip" areas between the cancer tissue and small hard-to-detect satellite cancer nodules in the immediate vicinity. Thus, in spite of clear margins, cancer cells may be resting on the other side of the biopsy margins. Cells may have migrated through the breast duct system and come to rest outside of the biopsy site as well. Radiotherapy is important because it has a good chance of destroying those random cancer cells beyond the breast cancer margins.
The method of radiotherapy involves the use of a machine called linear accelerator, which converts radioactive particles into a high-energy radiation beam that is used to treat a specific, defined area of the body. Radiation affects cells in the area of the tissue beneath the directed beam of radioactive particles and dividing cells are affected more by radiation than resting, non-cancerous cells. Cancer cells are, therefore, more affected than healthy cells, but both cell types are damaged by radiation. On the other hand, normal cells have a greater ability to repair themselves following radiation exposure, compared to cancer cells. Radiation places cancer cells into a cell death cycle at the time of the next scheduled cell division. This cell death cycle is known as apoptosis.
Radiation delivered to the chest area is sometimes also recommended following breast resection (mastectomy) if the cancer extended to or through the surgical margins or if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. The addition of radiotherapy in these situations reduces recurrence risk considerably.
So is radiation always necessary? If it were easy to pick 60 to 70 percent of women who would not have a local recurrence, then radiotherapy could be optional in most cases. Unfortunately, this is not so easy to do. If the cancer is small, with a large clear margin of non-cancerous tissue and if there is no local spread to the lymphatic system, then one might consider observation alone and no radiation may be necessary, especially if the woman's breast has a large amount of fat tissue. As a woman ages, the ratio of fat tissue to glandular tissue increases. It is quite normal for the female breast to contain significant amounts of fat, which is not necessarily related to obesity. In fact, thin women can have breasts that contain a large percentage of fat. Thus, the fat content of the breasts may be a factor in considering the need for radiotherapy after mastectomy.
There are adverse effects from radiation to the breast. It is usual to have some skin changes, which will manifest as redness and some inflammation that usually heals over time. 90% of women have an excellent cosmetic result once healing is visible. 10% have some fibrous tissue formation, shrinkage of the breast and a reduction in skin elasticity and sensitivity in the breast area. There are several treatments that can be used on the breast skin to facilitate healing and reduce the long-term effects of radiation.
Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Breast Cancer
Even the Best Prostate Cancer Treatment Can Have Side Effects
In helping patients choose the best prostate cancer treatment, several factors are taken by doctors into consideration. These factors include the patient's age, his health condition, the stage and grade of the cancer, other diseases that the patient might have and possible side effects. It is a sad reality that even the best prostate cancer treatment can have side effects. For each therapeutic option, there usually exists a corresponding side effect. It is important for every patient and doctor to know the possible ramifications of treatment procedures, be it surgical, radiation-based, chemotherapy, hormonal or cryosurgery.
Surgical procedures for treating prostate cancer include radical retropubic prostatectomy, radical perineal prostatectomy, laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and transurethral resection. The risks associated with radical prostatectomy include anesthetic risks, heart attack, stroke, blood clots in the legs and lungs and infection at the incision site. Major side effects of surgical procedures can also include urinary incontinence, impotence, sterility and lymphadema. Lymphadema is a rare complication characterized by swelling and pain particularly in the legs and the genital area. This is caused by fluid collection due to the removal of lymph nodes.
When it comes to external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), the most notable side effects reported by researchers are bowel problems, bladder problems, incontinence, impotence, and in some cases, fatigue. Lymphadema is also possible after EBRT. Brachytherapy, or internal radiation therapy, carries some of the side effects also associated with EBRT; with bowel problems and frequent urination as the most common. Impotence can also occur although this is not as common with brachytherapy compared with other treatment methods.
Aside from the cancer grade, the prostate specific antigen (PSA) level of the patient prior to the confirmation of the cancer is also important. The pre-diagnostic PSA is often used to evaluate how advance the cancer was before it was detected. In most cases, the higher the PSA level, the more aggressive the disease.
The side effects associated with cryosurgery or cryoablation are often worse if the procedure is done on a patient who has already undergone radiation therapy. Men who have had radiation therapy and cryosurgery can sometimes have blood in their urine and experience soreness in the areas where the needles were placed. Swelling of the scrotum and the penis is also possible, and so are impotence and urinary incontinence. In some cases, a fistula or abnormal opening or connection between the rectum and the bladder may occur. This could result to urine leaking into the rectum and may require surgery to repair.
The debate on whether hormone therapy should be started early or used only at the advanced stage has yet to be resolved. The primary problem with the use of hormones is that over time, majority of patients become resistant to this treatment. Aside from this, hormone therapy can also cause impotence, hot flashes and loss of sex drive. Chemotherapy, just like hormone therapy, is unlikely to result in a cure but is primarily used to slow the growth of the cancer. The main problem with chemotherapy is that it could also damage normal cells. Some of the temporary side effects associated with this procedure include nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, hair loss, mouth sores, increased risk of infection, bleeding or bruising and blood clots.
Side effects can exist even in the best prostate cancer treatment. The best thing for a patient to do is to discuss these possible risks with his doctor before deciding on the type of treatment or maintenance method.
In any type of cancer, early diagnosis is a great advantage. Cancer, after all, is best controlled if it is detected at its earliest stage. With cancer of the prostate, majority of early-stage cases show no symptoms at all. In rare situations when early symptoms prostate cancer does appear, a patient should discuss his options with his physician first and carefully weigh the pros and cons of getting tested at this stage. Early symptoms prostate cancer should not be a cause for anxiety and neither should it be ignored. Symptoms might be there for reasons other than cancer and the best thing to do is to arm yourself with important information about the potential condition. Having a thorough discussion with your physician is, of course, essential.
Should the symptoms proved to be cancer, the first thing to do is to know its grade. Prostate cancers are usually graded using the Gleason system. The system assigns a grade of 1 to 5 based on the arrangement of the cancerous tissue. If the cancerous tissue looks very much like a normal tissue, a grade of 1 is assigned. If the tissue lacks normal features and the cells seemed to be spread haphazardly through the prostate, a grade of 5 is given. The middle numbers 2,3 and 4, are used to grade intermediate features.
In most cases, areas produce different grades. Pathologists assign a grade to two of the areas that make up most of the cancer and the two grades are added up to derive the Gleason score or the Gleason sum. The sum yielded can range from 2 to 10. The higher the Gleason sum, the more likely that the cancer will grow and spread fast.
Pathologists sometimes encounter cases when prostate cells do not look cancerous but still show abnormal characteristics. In such cases, the results are reported as suspicious and are categorized either as atypical or prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). PIN can be either low grade or high grade. Atypical results or high-grade PIN can mean that cancer is already present somewhere else in the prostate gland. In high-grade PIN results, cancer has a 30 to 50 percent chance of being found. Because of this, repeat biopsies are often recommended.
The Gleason score, PSA level results and even the assessment of early symptoms prostate cancer, are then summarized into nomogram charts. These charts are used to evaluate whether additional treatments are needed and also to assess the likelihood of a patient being cancer-free after the treatment.
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