Prostate Problem

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Prostate Cancer

Diseases of the prostate and their treatments

Aging and the prostate

As a man gets older, his prostate may increase in size. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

By age 70, more than 40% of men will have enlargement of the prostate that can be felt during a physical examination. If the prostate grows large enough, it may press against the urethra and make the flow of urine weaker or slower.

An increase in the size of the prostate and a change in urine flow do not necessarily mean you have cancer; there is no evidence that having benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostatitis increases the risk for developing prostate cancer, you may have an infection or another urologic condition.

The three most common Prostate problems are:

Each of these conditions affects the prostate differently.

Non-Risk Factors

Things That Have Been Shown NOT to Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

Other Prostate Conditions

Non-cancerous conditions of the prostate account for a high percentage of prostate-related symptoms and can sometimes cause unnecessary worries about prostate cancer itself.

While some of these symptoms can be similar to those of prostate cancer and should be thoroughly examined by a doctor.


BPH refers to the non-cancerous enlargement of the transition zone of the prostate – the area of tissue around the urethra.

BPH causes the inner prostate tissue to press on the urethra, making it more difficult for men to urinate freely.

By age 70, 70% of men have some degree of BPH and 25% of them require treatment.

A number of research studies show that BPH does not make a man any more or less likely to develop prostate cancer.

Today there are a number of good treatments for BPH and most of them have few major side effects.


Prostatitis is the most common cause of urinary tract infection for men and 25% of men who see a physician for urological problems have prostatitis.

Symptoms include fever, chills, burning during urination or difficulty urinating. Some forms of prostatitis are caused by a bacterial infection and can be treated with antibiotics.

However, some of the most common forms do not respond to antibiotics and treatment is aimed at symptomatic relief.

Many men find that a change in diet and lifestyle can help resolve prostatitis symptoms. Prostatitis is not cancerous and has not been shown to increase or decrease chances of developing prostate cancer.


Vasectomy has been rumored to place men at higher risk for prostate cancer.

There is no evidence to support this theory. The only possible connection between the diagnosis of prostate cancer and vasectomy is that men commonly visit a urologist to have a vasectomy performed.

At that time, a screening for prostate cancer may be performed. This would increase the chance of detecting prostate cancer at an early stage, but would in no way increase the likelihood of getting prostate cancer.

Cigarette Smoking

Although smoking cigarettes significantly increases the chances of developing lung cancer (which accounts for the highest number of cancer-related deaths), it has not been shown to increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Sexual Activity

High levels of sexual activity or frequent ejaculation have been rumored to promote prostate cancer risk.

This is untrue. In fact, preliminary studies show that frequent ejaculation may, in fact, slightly lower the risk of developing prostate cancer.

It is important to note that BPH is not cancer, nor has it been shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer. However, a man can have both BPH and prostate cancer.

Maintaining prostate health

Research has suggested that about one-third of the cancer deaths that occur each year are due to nutrition and physical activity factors, including obesity.

For peoples who don't use tobacco, eating right and staying physically active are the most important ways to reduce your risk of cancer.

Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles found that regular exercise and a low-fat, high-fiber diet may slow the growth of prostate cancer cells in vitro.

Similarly, researchers at the University of California at San Diego found that a healthy diet combined with stress reduction lowered the rate of increase of PSA levels — a measure of prostate activity — in men with recurring prostate cancer.

There is a growing body of evidence that diet may significantly influence the development and growth of prostate cancer.

The research studies that have been conducted to date have investigated three major areas:

  • dietary patterns that may increase risk for prostate cancer;

  • nutritional strategies and natural substances that may help prevent prostate cancer; and

  • nutritional strategies and substances that may help in the management of prostate cancer that has already been diagnosed.

Maintaining prostate health - through your diet

Men wanting to reduce their risk of prostate cancer eat fewer red meats and high-fat dairy products, eat five or more servings of vegetables and fruits each day, exercise regularly and maintain a normal weight.

In addition, several large studies testing agents that might prevent prostate cancer are ongoing.

Most notable are studies of vitamin E with selenium, and others evaluating the possibility that a class of drugs known as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (Proscar or Avodart) might prevent prostate cancer occurrence.

Researchers continue to look at what we eat and how it impacts our risk of developing diseases like cancer. Some studies have shown the benefits of the nutrients described below in maintaining prostate health. However, before you make changes to your diet, be sure to consult your doctor.

Lycopene For Prevention

Lycopene is an antioxidant found in tomatoes and other fruits, it is a natural substance found in high quantities in tomatoes and other red-colored fruits such as watermelon and pink grapefruit, which may help prevent prostate cancer.

Tomato products, especially those that are heated and consumed with a little oil, appear to have greater amounts of biologically available lycopene than unprocessed tomatoes.

Tomato products may also contain other phytochemicals that contribute to prostate cancer risk reduction. Therefore, lycopene supplements may not provide the same potential benefits as the consumption of actual tomatoes and tomato products.

A recent large-scale study published in the March 6, 2002, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that consuming two or more servings of tomato sauce each week may lower the risk of prostate cancer.


Isoflavones have been shown to slow the growth of prostate cancer cells in the laboratory. And according to a report in the July 2001 issue of Urology, a flaxseed-supplemented, low-fat diet may help thwart prostate cancer by influencing hormone levels. However, more study is needed to determine if either of these foods can help prevent prostate cancer.

Saturated fat

A diet that includes saturated fat from meat and dairy products is associated with higher rates of cancer, and with more aggressive cancer.

Researchers suspect that the link between prostate cancer and saturated fat may help explain why prostate cancer is more common in the United States than in countries such as China and Japan, where people traditionally have low-fat diets.

In particular, diets that consist of high levels of red meat and dairy products have been correlated with an increase in the risk of advanced prostate cancer.

It has also been shown that reducing dietary fat intake can reduce circulating levels of testosterone and other hormones that are known to fuel the growth of prostate cancer cells.

The reduction of dietary fat has been shown to slow the growth of prostate cancer tumors in animal laboratory studies.

Based on these various findings, many physicians recommend that intake of animal products such as red meat and dairy products should be limited and total dietary fat intake should not exceed 20% of your daily intake.


The role of testosterone

Testosterone, a male sex hormone, is an important factor in the normal growth and function of the prostate gland. The testicles produce most of a man's testosterone, although small amounts are also produced by the adrenal glands.

Testosterone and prostate cancer

Testosterone is a concern for those diagnosed with hormone-dependent prostate cancer.

As a result, as long as the body produces testosterone, prostate cancer will most likely continue to grow and possibly spread. The goal of hormonal therapy for prostate cancer is to lower the production of testosterone and/or block its effects.

One treatment option is hormonal therapy using luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) agonists, such as Lupron Depot® (leuprolide acetate for depot suspension), that have been shown to decrease testosterone production.

However, hormonal therapy does not cure prostate cancer.

Lupron Depot is indicated for the palliative treatment of advanced prostate cancer. The most common side effect associated with Lupron Depot is hot flashes.

Like other treatment options, LH-RH agonists may cause impotence.

Symptoms may worsen over the first few weeks of treatment. Periodic monitoring of PSA and serum testosterone levels is recommended. The -4 Month 30 mg, -3 Month 22.5 mg and 7.5 mg dosage forms are not indicated for use in women.


The above opinionated views and information serves to educated and informed consumer .  The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. .It should not replaced professional advise and consultation.  A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions 

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