Let’s take a look at some of the ways that are believed to help reduce your risk of developing it from the get go.
Studies have suggested that certain compounds found in foods, such as lycopene in tomatoes and isoflavones in soybeans, have the potential to reduce your risk and might even help prevent some prostate cancers. Scientists are also trying to develop related compounds that are even more potent and might be used as dietary supplements. But so far, most research suggests that a balanced diet including these foods, as well as other fruits and vegetables, is probably of greater benefit.
One vitamin that may be vitally important in reducing your risk of prostate cancer is vitamin D. Some studies have found that men with high levels of vitamin D seem to have a lower risk of developing the more lethal forms of prostate cancer.
Some research has also found that men who regularly take certain medicines for an extended length of time, such as aspirin or cholesterol-lowering statins, might have a lower risk of getting or dying from prostate cancer.
Listed below are some of the various prostate cancer treatments available.
Advances in technology are making it possible to aim radiation more precisely than in the past. Current methods such as conformal radiation therapy (CRT), intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), and proton beam radiation are helping doctors avoid giving radiation to normal tissues as much as possible. These methods are expected to increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy while reducing the side effects.
Technology is making other forms of radiation therapy more effective as well. New computer programs allow doctors to better plan the radiation doses and approaches for both external radiation therapy and brachytherapy. Planning for brachytherapy can now even be done during the procedure (intraoperatively).
Researchers are looking at newer forms of treatment for early-stage prostate cancer that could be used either as the first line of treatment or after unsuccessful radiation therapy. One treatment, known as high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), destroys cancer cells by heating them with highly focused ultrasonic beams. This treatment has been used in some countries for a while, and is now available in the United States. Its overall safety and effectiveness are now being studied, although most doctors in the US don’t consider it to be a proven first-line treatment for prostate cancer as of yet.
Many studies have looked at the possible benefits of specific nutrients, often as supplements, in helping to treat prostate cancer. Some compounds being studied include extracts from pomegranate, green tea, broccoli, turmeric, flaxseed, and soy.
One study has found that men who choose not to have treatment for their localized prostate cancer may be able to slow its growth with intensive lifestyle changes. The men in the study ate a strictly vegan diet and exercised frequently. They also took part in support groups and yoga. After one year the men saw, on average, a slight drop in their PSA level. However, it isn’t concrete if this effect will last long term, since the report only followed the men for 1 year. The regimen may also be too hard and demanding for some men to follow.
Several newer forms of hormone therapy have been developed in recent years. Some of these may be helpful when standard forms of hormone therapy are no longer working. Some examples include abiraterone (Zytiga), enzalutamide (Xtandi), and apalutamide (Erleada). Others are now being studied as well.
5-alpha reductase inhibitors, such as finasteride (Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart), are drugs that block the conversion of testosterone to the more active dihydrotestosterone (DHT). These drugs are being studied to treat prostate cancer, either to help with active surveillance, or if the PSA level rises after prostatectomy.
Doctors are constantly improving the surgical techniques used to treat prostate cancer. The goal is to remove all of the cancer while lowering the risk of complications and side effects from the surgery. Although this may be an invasive treatment method, it can be a lifesaver if all other treatment methods fail.
Like all cancers, prostate cancer can be lethal if left untreated too long. It may not make itself apparent for some time, so you may not even know you have it until the various symptoms appear, such as erectile dysfunction or blood in the urine. By then, the stage of cancer may have progressed. That’s why it’s crucial to get tested periodically for prostate cancer.
Additionally, when it comes to mixing treatment methods, It’s important for men to first talk to their health care team. They can help you decide which ones you can use safely with the treatment prescribed to you.