In most cases, the treatment is not immediately necessary for prostate cancer. However, the progression of the disease is continuously monitoring, ensuring it doesn’t progress aggressively. If the treatment is necessary, some natural herbs may help along with standard and conventional treatments for this form of cancer.
Since prostate cancer is more likely to develop and grow slowly, many patients are suggested to choose ‘watchful waiting’ option.
In fact, many patients with this cancer are older than 50, a condition of when the slowly growth of this cancer is unlikely to significantly affect the rest of patient’s life. The potential risk of side effects from the treatments is another reason of why many patients tend to delay taking the treatment.
But watchful waiting doesn’t mean you can ignore the existence of the disease. You may not need to take the cancer treatment immediately, but the progression of your cancer will be continuously monitored.
When there is a signal that the disease will get worse or start to progress aggressively, the treatment is now immediately necessary! And the aim of the treatment is dependent on the stages of prostate cancer.
When it is at early stage or has not spread yet, the goal of the treatment can be focused to treat the disease and improve the chance of curing the disease. But if it has spread, the treatment is not to cure but to ease the symptoms and improve the quality of life of patient in the rest of their life.
There are lots of conventional treatments for prostate cancer. The following are some of them:
Radiotherapy (radiation therapy)
It uses high-energy rays to help destroy and shrink cancerous cells.
The radiation can be delivered externally or internally. Even sometime doctor may need to use the combination of those two methods. See more this treatment in this section!
Like healthy cells, cells of cancer require plenty of nutrients to grow. In prostate cancer, these cancerous cells rely on male hormones (testosterones). If the supply of these hormones stops, this can limit the foods for cancerous cells.
Hormone therapy is usually used before or after taking radiation therapy. It is used to help discontinue the supply of testosterone for cancerous cells.
Depending on the severity, doctor may need to remove the affected prostate gland, some tissues and lymph nodes with surgery.
But like most things in surgery, radical prostatectomy could carry some risks. Make sure to talk with your surgeon /doctor about this issue before taking the surgery!
It is used to freeze and heat the cancerous cells. In this method, there are 2 major steps involved.
First, the surgeon will insert a very cold substance to the affected area to make cancer cells freeze. And then a second substance is inserted to re-heat the cancer cells. A short time of this freeze & heat mechanism is intended to destroy the cancerous cells.
With radiation therapy, chemotherapy is one of common choices for conventional cancer treatment, including for prostate cancer. It can be administered orally (a pill form) or/and through a vein in the arm.
Other conventional treatments include the use of ultrasound to heat the cancer cells, immunotherapy, the use of steroids when the cancer is resistant to hormone therapy, and so on – consult with a doctor /specialist for more detailed information!
Some lifestyle approaches (such as diet changes and exercise – see more in here) and taking safely herbs along with the main treatments of prostate cancer may help make the outcome of the treatment work better.
Do natural herbs really work?
Unfortunately, most herbs for prostate cancer are not scientifically proved yet. That’s why they should be only used for a complementary choice.
And to keep safe, never take any herbal medicines without having a doctor’s supervision! Because some can interact to other cancer treatments, too!
However, some experts and herbalists believe that the use of certain herbs may help strengthen & tone the system of the body, which then eventually could bring health benefit for men with prostate cancer.
It is rich in some essential nutrients, including antioxidants. And we know well that antioxidants are essential property to help fight against cancerous-triggers (such as free radicals).
For this reason, pomegranate is thought may help both prevent and treat cancer, though there is still no strong evidence to confirm this claim. The good news, there are some studies that have observed the effectiveness of pomegranate for prostate cancer.
According to one research, pomegranate juice may help stabilize PSA levels in men with prostate cancer. The stable level of PSA may signal that the cancer is less likely to progress aggressively.
This study did not confirm clearly that pomegranate can help treat cancer of prostate, but at least this finding suggests that pomegranates might help control the progression of this cancer.
PSA stands for prostate-specific antigen. Elevated levels of PSA may signal some problems related to prostate, including the chance for the existence of prostate cancer.
However, again the effectiveness of pomegranate for prostate cancer treatment is unclear yet. If you do believe that you can get benefit from this herb, ask your doctor first because it may interact with other cancer medications!