Prostate

Prostate

 

Located just under the bladder and the size of a walnut the prostate gland provides the seminal fluid in which the sperm swim and are nourished in order to reach the female egg so that fertilisation can take place, thus creating a new life. This function gives rise to the description of the prostate as a sex gland. The urethra, the tube that takes the urine from the bladder through to the penis and out of the body passes through the prostate gland. When the prostate gland is healthy and a normal size the process of urination works well and everything is fine. However, when the prostate gland starts to malfunction as happens as you get older, serious issues can arise.

prostategland2

There are three main problems when the prostate gland malfunctions, namely, prostatitis (an inflamed or infected prostate) benign prostatic hyperplasia –bph – (in which the gland slowly enlarges) and finally prostate cancer.

Prostatitis comes in two forms, acute and chronic. Acute prostatitis is caused by a virus or bacteria and manifests itself by severe pain. A course of antibiotics is usually enough to put things back to normal within a short period of time. Chronic (on going) prostatitis, however, is much trickier. No one knows what the underlying cause is therefore it cannot be really treated. It normally manifests itself by periods of erectile dysfunction (the inability to get or maintain an erection) which can last for a week, a month, a year or even longer and just as mysteriously as it appeared it can disappear and you are back to normal.

Let us explain the term “benign prostatic hyperplasia” beginning with the last word. Hyper means over and above what is normal. Plasia relates to growth. Prostatic relates to the prostate and benign means it is not cancerous. So it is a growth or enlargement of the prostate that is not cancerous. Although in bph this growth is benign, it can pose several health and personal problems. The following are symptoms of bph. A weak urinary stream when passing water, passing water more often than normal especially during the night, urgently having to rush to the toilet when you have to urinate, dribbling or incontinence, straining or difficulty when starting to pass water and feeling as though you have not really emptied your bladder and erectile dysfunction (the inability to get or maintain an erection). When these problems manifest themselves there are different ways in which to approach them. These can involve surgery, nutrition, herbs, vitamins, specialist formulas and exercise:

  • Surgery: This involves the removal of the inner part of the prostate gland thus freeing up the urethra from constriction. This then allows for the free passage of urine. This should be a last resort.
  • Nutrition: This should be the first recourse as prostate problems are associated with high fat diets, lack of fibre to help the food pass quickly through the intestines, lack of minerals and vitamins from eating few fruits and vegetables and lack of zinc and vitamin D. Avoid alcohol, sugar, processed foods, dairy products, additives and preservatives, hydrogenated fats (especially from coking oils), aluminium cookware, tobacco and water with fluoride and chlorine. Eat more avocados, guavas, pomegranates, oysters, sweet potato and tomatoes and green vegetables especially broccoli and coconut
  • Herbs: Damiana, ginseng,  pygeum, saw palmetto, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed and hempseed and lycopene, turmeric and cayenne pepper.
  • Vitamins: Zinc, vitamin C, selenium, vitamin D3 and beta sitosterol.
  • Special Formulas: some health care manufacturers provide specially made formulas to cater for specific ailments and special prostate formulas are available here.

protease imageAs you get older it becomes more difficult to “work out” physically, so you should consider exercises that do not put unnecessary strain on you body. Tai chi is very suitable for older people and there is nothing wrong with a half hour walk, but one form of exercise that you can engage in at anytime and anywhere is known as kegels or pelvic floor exercise. There are muscles situated underneath your body that support your torso and because of their location they do not get much exercise. Imagine that you want to pass water but you are holding it back by squeezing up your genitals. Squeeze up, count to three, release. Do this 25 times a day. No one knows you are doing it. Apart from walking, kegels and dancing, of course, there are two other prostate specific exercises. These are prostate massaging and prostate milking.  Prostate massaging can be carried out by yourself or your partner and is very much akin to a DRE (digital rectal examination) except that instead of just being felt the prostate is gently massaged. Prostate milking goes beyond that to the point where ejaculation takes place (milk). The term prostate milking has now replaced the old “m” word. These two exercises are aimed primarily at men who are not considered to be sexually active. Apparently they are highly recommended alongside ‘Prostease’ which is the picture shown on the left that can be purchased here at one of our partner sites.

Researchers and scientists say that 80% of all cancers are preventable and that 90% of  diagnosed prostate cancers cases and BPH are diet related. This begs a question. Why is it then, that such a disproportionately high number of black men suffer from BPH and prostate cancer? What are black men eating or not eating to bring about this discrepancy? Do black men eat a healthy proportion of prostate friendlyfoods or are there other issues? A recent report suggests that the high incidence of prostate cancers in black men can be attributed to a very serious lack of vitamin D. This is very significant. Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin” plays a very important part in the maintenance of overall good health and has a very positive impact on the prostate gland. It has been stated that even at the height of summer in northern latitudes, black men need about 30% stronger sunlight for the absorption of an equivalent amount of vitamin D through the skin as Caucasians, due to melanin, which gives black men their darker complexion. If this is the case in summer, what is happening in winter?  Would taking a vitamin D supplement reduce the high incidence of prostate problems, especially cancer, in black men? What about those black men who live in Africa and the Caribbean and are exposed to tropical sunshine? Are their prostate issues diet related as it cannot be due to a lack of vitamin D? No one really knows.pomegranate_picture_167090

Prostate cancer is generally regarded as a slow growing cancer and normally affects middle aged and older men. The broad consensus is that you are more likely to die with it than from it. Black men however, are not only more likely to suffer from prostate cancer than Caucasians by a ratio of 3 to1 but are also more likely to see this cancer become aggressive and life threatening. Recent research has attributed this to a lack of vitamin D but again, logically, this should only apply to those living in northern latitudes and not hotter regions. It has therefore got to be a combination of factors and not one isolated cause.

When you visit your doctor for a discussion on your prostate you may proceed to a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test and a digital rectal examination (DRE).  There are, however,  a  number of things that affect the reading e.g. medication, exercise, engaging in sexual activity within 72 hours before having the test. It is these variables that make many in the medical profession regard the PSA test as unreliable.  The digital rectal examination involves the insertion of a gloved finger into the back passage but seems to generate more negative reactions from men than any other medical procedure . The problem here, being purely psychological.

There are modern methods of dealing with prostate cancer other that the surgical removal of the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy) and one such method is cryosurgery (cryo from the Greek meaning- cold). This is where a few incisions are made between the scrotum and the anus. An ultra sound is then used to locate the cancerous cells and liquid nitrogen or argon gas is targeted to the cancerous cells to kill them by freezing. Apparently when this method is used the patient could retain about 85% of his sexual prowess instead of becoming impotent. Another method is high intensity

 index.jpgSweet potato salmon broccoliIn the event of prostate cancer being diagnosed it is advisable to always seek a second opinion. The reason for this stems from past experience where the PSA blood test gives a high reading (which can occur for a variety of reasons) and a prostate biopsy (tissue sample) returns a positive result. There have been instances in the past where men have had their prostate glands removed unnecessarily, following these two initial tests due to misunderstanding, misinterpretation or misreading of the results. These results being classified as “false positives,” when in fact they should have been negative, hence, the reason to have a second opinion. If prostate cancer is confirmed, usually by a biopsy and an MRI scan, a measurement called the Gleeson score is brought into play. The two most prolific types of cancer cells are assessed and given a grade of between one and five each. These two grades are then added together and a score is arrived at, normally between 0 and 10. The lower the score the less aggressive the cancer is and the higher the score, the more aggressive the cancer is. This then determines the type and level of treatment recommended.

Gleeson Score

2 to 4 —– Very low Aggression

5 to 6 —– Mildly Aggressive

7 —– Moderately Aggressive

8 to 10 —- Highly Aggressive

Options

Watchful Waiting: Normally recommended with low grade prostate cancer which has not spread from the prostate to other parts of the body e.g. hips, pelvis and lower back. This is really regular monitoring by was of PSA blood tests.

Hormone Treatment

This will not cure prostate cancer on its own and comes in three forms, namely, injections to reduce testosterone levels, tablets to stop testosterone from reaching the cancerous cells or from even being produced, orchidectomy which is the removal of the testicles.

Radiotherapy

Used in conjunction with hormone treatment, this involves the use of an external beam of radio waves directed at the cancerous ares of the prostate. An advantage here is that since it is a targeted approach very few normal cells are destroyed in the process.

Brachytherapy

Similar to radiotherapy except that radioactive pellets are implanted near the cancerous cells. This is done by making about five small incisions in the scrotum, between the testicles and the anus and then implanting the pellets, which incidentally, have no effect on others since the radiation is low.

Chemotherapy

Often used with other treatments but kills good cells as well as cancerous ones. Will not cure prostate cancer but slows down its growth and has many adverse side effects

Radical Prostatectomy

Surgical removal of the prostate either by keyhole surgery or open surgery.

Recent Reports

“African/ African Caribbean and African American men who would have qualified for “watchful waiting” were significantly more likely than whites to have higher grade cancer that was not detected by standard tests and biopsies”.

Johns Hopkins Hospital—Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology- 2013

African American men who suffered from aggressive prostate cancer were low in vitamin D

Clinic for Cancer Research

Pimento (Jamaican Allspice) caused a 55% reduction in prostate tumour growth and also caused prostate cancer cells to self-destruct.

University of Miami Researchers – 13.05.2014

Summary

Have an MOT every year

Reduce Your Consumption of Dairy Products

Take a Vitamin D3 and zinc Supplement

Do not Ignore Symptoms

Eat more Green Vegetables

Talk to Your Wife or Partner

 We have sourced a prostate formula which we believe can reduce the incidence and symptoms of BPH when used in conjunction with a healthy diet. Click here and select “Prostease” and start to put your prostate health in the black.

6 Responses to Prostate

  1. Testofen says:

    Good post. I will be going through some of these issues as well..

  2. Germundson says:

    Nice read. Liked and shared

  3. EugeneQKaner says:

    I could not resist commenting. Perfectly written!

  4. Myron says:

    I could not resist commenting. Well written!

  5. tamela says:

    Excellent post! Keeр up the great writing.

  6. Geniesse says:

    Great article thank you for sharing.

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