Categories Prostate Cancer

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

It is important for a man’s overall health to get regular prostate exams. Prostate cancer usually does not reveal itself through health symptoms right away and is usually detected early on only through prostate exams such as a digital rectal exam, or a prostate-specific antigen. This is why it is important not to miss your prostate exams and checkups. If you have prostate cancer and are not going to prostate exams regularly, you will not immediately know that you have this condition because the symptoms stay hidden at first. In all types of cancer, early detection can be the most important factor, because it is easier to treat in earlier stages before it has spread.

If you do not get regular prostate exams and prostate cancer has advanced in the body, some symptoms you may experience will be noticeable during urination. If you have trouble urinating including the starting and stopping of the urination stream, a decreased force of the urine flow, or blood in your urine, these could be signs of prostate cancer. If you feel the need to urinate frequently, and it seems like you need to urinate more than usual, see a doctor immediately. If your frequent need to urinate is happening at night, it is even the more reason to suspect prostate cancer. Painful and burning urination would also be a reason to contact a medical professional. Though these symptoms could be related to other problems as well, they are also attributed to prostate cancer. Another symptom that may occur is blood in the semen, painful ejaculation, and difficulty having an erection. In every case, do not wait, but contact your doctor as soon as possible.

If prostate cancer has been undetected by you or your doctor through the early stages of cancer into the advanced stage, you may experience overall discomfort in the pelvic region and/or swelling in the legs. These symptoms mean that the cancer has spread. Do not ignore pain or feeling stiffness in the lower back or hips and upper thighs either. At this point the prostate cancer could be getting serious. Again, it is imperative that men are getting prostate screenings on the regular so cancer does not have the opportunity to spread and become very dangerous. At the early stages of prostate cancer, it is easier to treat and beat it, and getting tested for this is the most effective way to prevent this common health issue.

Categories Prostate Cancer

Emerging Treatments for Prostate Cancer

With cancer being such a big problem these days, it is no wonder that many researchers are submerged in their efforts to find a cure. Although many different types of cancers affect men and women, blacks and whites, children and elderly, one type is certain to affect only males: prostate cancer. In labs all over the world, scientists are developing news strategies for fighting prostate cancer. The test subjects of these experimental drugs and regimens are men with advanced stage prostate cancer. The reason for this is because that no other types of treatment have yet worked, thus giving great promise to the experimental treatments. Plus, because the cancer is so advanced, any change due to the new treatment will be more noticeable, giving researchers “the upper hand.”

Most of these new medications and treatment methods for prostate cancer are known as Targeted Therapies. Basically, these attack the individual cancer cells themselves, unlike chemotherapy and radiation, which can’t differentiate between cancer cells and healthy cells, thus leading to adverse side effects. Some of these new treatments can actually inhibit the cancer cells communication, preventing them from further growth and spreading. Although these types of treatments are in the early stages (the FDA has not approved them yet), they show great promise in controlling and possibly eradicating prostate cancer altogether.

Several different types of Targeted Therapies are in the process of being developed. One method involves altering the growth of cancer through its complex communications network by changing the fats and proteins that are used in this communication system. Although this method has proven mostly unsuccessful, the research involved has helped scientists understand Targeted Therapy more, giving them more knowledge when dealing with other drugs, especially the synergy of two drugs (the ways that drugs might interact to fight disease).

Another method of Targeted Therapy involves the interference of the spread of prostate cancer. When cancer cells divide and spread, new blood vessels must sprout from the old ones in order to keep the cancer cells healthy and growing. This process is called angiogenesis. If angiogenesis could be inhibited in some way, the new cancer cells would die, thus preventing the cancer from ever growing to a larger state. One drug has specifically come out for this purpose (Avastin), but the FDA approved it for colorectal cancer only. However, it is now being tested in patients with breast cancer, and even prostate cancer. Although this treatment doesn’t rid the patient of the cancer, it does add promise to being able to live with the cancer until a definitive cure comes out.

A final type of Targeted Therapy being worked on stems from the notion of harnessing one’s own immune system to fight off the disease. Most vaccine are called preventive vaccines, which introduce small amounts of a virus into the body so that later, if the body ever comes into contact with it, the body will be able to recognize it and fight it off. The problem with cancer is that it never was a foreign virus: it used to be healthy human tissue. Thus, scientists are now working on what are called therapeutic vaccines, which enable the immune system to recognize certain proteins that are specific to cancer cells, giving the body the opportunity to fight off the cancer.

Categories Blog

Silent Reflux Causes Esophageal Cancer

Do you have gastroesophageal reflux? Perhaps you feel a burning in your throat or a need to clear your throat. There are people who actually throw up because the contents that shoot from the stomach into your esophagus has a strong taste and it burns. Silent reflux causes esophageal cancer and there is no way for you to know if you have it or not without testing.

Acid reflux is an uncomfortable feeling and occurs when eating certain foods such as spaghetti sauce or spicey foods such as Mexican. Count yourself fortune if this description fits you because you will not have to worry about the deadly form of silent reflux.

For patients over 50, a routine test is ordered called a colonoscopy. However if you are under 50 it only means no routine testing will be ordered. It does not mean you are not at risk for developing silent reflux. Children are not immune from this diagnosis although it is rare in their age group.

Once routine testing shows esophageal cancer the treatment is palliative. Palliative treatment means buying the patient time to remain on this earth. There is no cure which makes this more devastating.

Surgery is the first procedure offered. Part of the stomach is fashioned to create a new esophagus. The remainder of the stomach remains high in the chest cavity. Nourishment is feeding through a tube until you are able to swallow. Meals are measured in teaspoons a few times a day. This is the same for a gastric bypass which in essence you have had. Ironically you are dying of silent reflux yet now you can feel the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Chemotherapy is the next form of treatment but not to cure, only to keep the disease from a fast progression. Chemotherapy takes a toll on the patient. For some it is hair loss, for others nausea and vomiting lasting for hours. Eventually it wears a person down with loss of weight and loss of energy. At some point a decision is made by the patient, to continue or to stop which is not an easy decision.

Silent reflux causes esophageal cancer that is deadly with no cure. By the time you are diagnosed there is no treatment to cure you. Routine tests are used to search for this condition but they are offered only when you are over the age group of 50. Perhaps this will change as the public becomes informed of this danger. Colonoscopy is the test that diagnoses this condition and needs to become a routine test to save lives of people who do not have to die.

Sources

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/esophageal
http://www.cancer.org/docroot/cri/content/cri_2_4_1x_what_is_esophagus_cancer_12.asp

Categories Prostate Cancer

Abarelix: Treatment for Prostate Cancer

Each year, millions of men suffer from symptoms of prostate enlargement. Of these, many men will seek out medical treatment and, unfortunately, be diagnosed with prostate cancer. In an effort to provide aggressive prostate cancer treatment, healthcare professionals, usually an oncologist, will develop specific treatment plans for men suffering from symptomatic, aggressive prostate cancer. As part of this aggressive treatment program, the use of an injection known as Abarelix, may be indicated. Understanding the use, dosing and side effects will equip men with a better understanding of the personal prostate treatment plan program.

Abarelix, manufactured by Praecis Pharmaceuticals, is used in the treatment of prostate cancer with success in slowing the progression of prostate cancer by reducing the level of testosterone. Dosing of Abarelix will depend on the stage in which the prostate cancer has progressed and the level of prostate cancer symptoms. As an injection, Abarelix is a convenient approach to fighting aggressive prostate cancer when given in 100 milligram doses once every two weeks over the first month and then monthly thereafter. Because severe side effects, attributed to an allergic reaction, are generally seen within the first few hours of administration of the first dose, prostate cancer patients, using Abarelix in treatment, should remain in the physician’s office for up to one hour following the first injection to monitor for potential complications.

As with any FDA approved medication, Abarelix, in the treatment of prostate cancer, does not come without side effects. Side effects most common in the use of Abarelix may include back pain, edema including swelling around the face, arms, legs and chest. In addition, some patients, treating for prostate cancer, will suffer from flu type symptoms including runny nose, fever, sweating and diarrhea associated with Abarelix. In rare cases, syncope, skin rash with itching, tightness of chest with abnormal breathing may ensue and should be brought to the attention of the healthcare professional.

For individuals suffering from co-morbid health conditions, Abarelix is not indicated in the treatment of prostate cancer. Such conditions include cardiovascular complications, obesity and osteoporosis for which Abarelix may further complicate the co-morbid condition. In addition, as women do not possess a prostate, Abarelix should not be administered in females for any reason, even in those seeking to reduce levels of natural testosterone.

As with any form of cancer treatment, discussing options and side effects with the oncologist is crucial to obtaining optimal treatment outcomes. In men, when suffering from prostate cancer, discuss the use of Abarelix with the oncologist.

Categories Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer & the Impotence Connection

For men suffering from prostate cancer, there are many other co-morbid health complications which lead to an overwhelming sense of confusion and can create emotional complications in the prostate cancer patient. Such co-morbid complications often involve issues associated with urinary and sexual health but men, as a whole, can be overcome by a combination of these complications.

One such complication, impotency, can lead to emotional and psychological deterioration when left untreated following prostate cancer treatment. For many men, some level of temporary impotency may be associated with an enlarged prostate or treatments of prostate cancer but, for others, the impotency is much more significant, resulting in the inability to sustain or even achieve an erection.

What is important to understand is that impotency, following prostate surgery, including orchiectomy and prostatectomy, and following radiation or chemotherapy, is quite common. In many cases, temporary impotence can last as long as 12 months. For this reason, taking radical steps to resolve impotence, immediately following one of these treatment options for prostate cancer, should be avoided as the impotency may resolve on its own after a few months of recovery.

When impotence fails to improve after 12 months post treatment of prostate cancer, the option to pursue more radical forms of impotency treatment may be considered. If confirmed as an impotency directly related to nerve damage, associated with the treatment of prostate cancer, the physician may consider the use of a combination of treatments including penile injections, the use of performance enhancing drugs such as Viagra and even opt to move into more radical treatments including penile implants, vacuum devices and radical surgery to re-route the major artery from the stomach to supply the necessary blood flow to the penis.

While all of these treatments of impotency are successful in their own right, most men will opt to pursue restoration of their sexual health, following prostate surgery and prostate cancer treatment, using only Viagra. In fact, the use of Viagra, coupled with meditation and relaxation techniques, has shown to provide some success in restoring some degree of erection in male patients with a history of prostate cancer. They key to health restoration, therefore, may lie in the patient’s willingness to overcome the complication from a more holistic approach.

In recent surgical advances, the surgery to remove the prostate, and to remove associated cancer cells, has become more specialized, offering the male patient with a better surgical outcome in the treatment of prostate cancer. While surgery, in most cases, can not be avoided, there are techniques the surgeon can use to avoid affecting, permanently, the nerves which control the ability of the man to obtain and achieve erection. Be certain, before selecting a surgeon, that issues such as erection are clearly addressed so as to resolve any issues or complications associated with the prostate surgery and associated prostate cancer treatment.

Categories Prostate Cancer

Diagnosing Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world. Everyone, therefore, should be informed about it. The following steps will guide you in diagnosing this disease.

Step 1

Know the risk factors for prostate cancer. These include family history of prostate cancer in a first degree relative, older age, African American race and a diet rich in animal fat.

Step 2

Perform the following prostate cancer screening in all men:

A rectal exam performed by a health care provider to feel for any lumps or irregularities in the prostate gland.

A blood test that measures prostate specific antigen (PSA). PSA is a protein produced by the prostate. Although many men with prostate cancer have an elevated PSA concentration (above 4.0 ng/mL), an elevated level does not always mean a cancer is present.

Step 3

Perform a trans rectal ultrasound if above tests are positive. It can be done in an office.

Step 4

If all of the above tests are positive, do a prostate biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Tips and facts:

It is important to distinguish Prostate cancer from Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) which is a non-malignent or benigh condition that occurs when the prostate enlarges, slowing or blocking the urine outflow. Treatment of BPH is aimed at reducing the urinary symptoms and improving urine flow. This may also include the surgical or endoscopic removal of the hypertrophied gland. For more information on Benigh Prostate Hypertrophy please read my article titled, ‘Treatment of Benigh Prostate Hypertrophy’

Categories Other Cancers

Canine Lung Cancer

Having pets has proven to help us reduce stress in our lives and help us live longer. They have become parts of our family, developing personalities of their own. So when our beloved dog is diagnosed with lung cancer, what can we do to make sure our pet has the best care? These guidelines can help with the prevention, symptoms, and treatments for canine lung cancer.

Causes and Risk Factors

Canine lung cancer can affect any type of dog. It is more common among the medium and larger dogs, more so the older ones. There has been studies showing second-hand smoke could cause canine lung cancer. Make sure your dog has regular check-ups and at the first sign of something wrong take him to the vet. This can help prolong your dog’s life. Information used in this article can be online and does not serve as an alternative to veterinarian advice. Please consult with you pet’s vet for more information.

Symptoms

Diagnosis and treatment

Canine lung cancer can be detected through x-rays. The x-ray can show the enlarged lymph nodes, and a biopsy can be done to test for lung cancer. If the cancer remains in one area, surgery is recommended. Other areas can be treated with chemotherapy and radiation to help prevent the spread of the cancer. Pain relief medications are used to help make the dog more comfortable and help with any pain they may be experiencing. In addition, there are many natural remedies that can aid in the treatment of cancer by strengthening the immune system. Dietary supplements and different herbal formulas include Red Clovers and Alfalfa. Other remedies and information can be found at www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com .The prognosis of canine lung cancer can be anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years.

Finding out your dog has lung cancer can be devastating. The most important thing for you to do at this point in your dog’s life is to make him comfortable and happy. Give him lots of love and attention. Be sure to educate you and your family on the disease and other ways to help your dog cope with this illness.

www.dog-health-guide.org

www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com

Categories Prostate Cancer

Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer

The prostate is a gland located between a man’s bladder and penis, just in front of the rectum. Its function is to secrete fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. Unfortunately, this gland can become cancerous. All men ages 50 and up should undergo annual prostate cancer screenings from a physician. Men of African American descent should begin regular, annual screenings as early as age 40. Screenings are particularly important for those men who have a family history of prostate cancer.

One in thirty five men will die from prostate cancer. Therefore, it is important to know the warning signs. Some possible indicators of prostate cancer are difficulty initiating and/or stopping urination; frequent or painful urination; or pain on ejaculation. Blood may be present in urine or semen.

More serious possible indicators of prostate cancer include a urinary tract infection where a fever is present along with burning pain upon urination; bladder obstruction-despite drinking enough fluid, little to no urination is occurring; acute kidney failure, where there is no urination with little or no pain despite drinking enough fluid; or, deep bone pain in the back, hips and thighs. When bone pain is present, it is a possible sign that the prostate cancer has spread to the bones.

The first sign of cancer may be spine compression. This is where the cancer has spread to the tailbone and vertebrae region of the spine. The vertebrae become weakened, causing it to collapse on the spinal cord, which in turn causes problems with function. Should this occur, it can cause difficulty in walking, weakness in the legs, difficulty urinating or defecating, as well as numbness or a tingling sensation in the groin area. If any of these symptoms occur, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.

While there are several tests to diagnose cancer, the early screening test is known as the Digital Rectal Examination (DRE), which helps detect the cancer in its early stages. Because the prostate is internal and therefore cannot be seen externally on a man’s body, the test is performed by a physician by inserting a gloved finger into the rectum. The physician will feel for any hard, lumpy or abnormal areas. If cancer is suspected, the physician may then order an ultrasound guided biopsy. Other tests used by physicians to diagnose prostate cancer include a PSA blood test, cystoscopy or bladder scope test, as well as MRIs or CAT scans.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/guide/prostate-cancer-overview-facts

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/lrn/lrn_0.asp

http://www.prostatecancerfoundation.org/site/c.itIWK2OSG/b.4983495/k.5C76/About_Prostate_Cancer.htm

Categories Other Cancers

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms by Stage

It is estimated that over 21,000 cases of ovarian cancer will have been diagnosed in 2018, making up 3 percent of all cancer cases for women. Although the five-year survival rate is over 50 percent, 15,000 people in 2018 died from ovarian cancer. These statistics should emphasize that, despite progress in combating the disease, women should be aware of the signs and symptoms related to ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer growths originate from the ovaries, the female reproductive organs responsible for creating eggs. It typically develops in the ovary linings. There are no known direct causes attributed to ovarian cancer, but there are hereditary factors that can contribute to being diagnosed with it. Statistics suggest that white women 50 years or older are more likely to get ovarian cancer than other population groups.

Early Stage and Symptoms. In the zero or first stage, ovarian cancer cells are present inside one or both ovaries but no cells are present outside of them. There are no visible symptoms for stage 1 ovarian cancer. These symptoms usually show up when the tumor has grown large enough to pressure other organs. If ovarian cancer is discovered at this point, it is usually through a routine pelvic exam.

Stage 2 Symptoms. At stage 2, the ovarian cancer has spread from the ovaries and possibly into the fallopian tubes or other pelvic organs. Pelvic pain, abdominal swelling and frequent urination could indicate the existence of ovarian cancer tumors. Signs and symptoms of stage 2 ovarian cancer they are hard to distinguish among other possible diseases. This makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose ovarian cancer at early stages.

Stage 3 Symptoms. At stage 3, the ovarian cancer has spread beyond the reproductive organs and into the abdomen or surrounding lymph nodes. They could also spread to the rectum. Gas, constipation and diarrhea could also be signs, as well as abnormal menstruation and pain during intercourse.

Stage 4 Symptoms. When ovarian cancer reaches stage 4, it means that the cancer cells have spread into other organs such as the liver, lung or intestines and possibly other lymph nodes. Doctors sometimes find cancer cells in the lung fluid, indicating how far it has spread. Associated symptoms would be a collection of fluids around the abdomen which arises from liver failure, labored breathing from infected lungs, or the inability to properly digest food due to cancer-laden intestines. The 5-year survival rate at stage 4, according to cancer.org, is 17 percent.

Categories Blog

Vegetables that Prevent and Fight Cancer

Recent studies have shown that there are many vegetables that are effective in fighting and preventing many different types of cancer. They should not be used in place of traditional treatment for those who have been diagnosed with cancer, but can be used as part of a cancer-fighting regimen. The benefit of fighting cancer with vegetables is that they are far less likely than traditional treatments such as chemotherapy to cause sickness and harm to other parts of the body.

Cauliflower, Broccoli, and Cabbage

This family of cruciferous vegetables, including but not limited to cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, releases a chemical called Phenethyl-isothiocyanate when they are chewed. This chemical induces cancerous cells to turn against themselves, which can greatly reduce the size of cancerous tumors.

Hot Peppers

Although it can sometimes be difficult to stomach spicy foods when you are feeling sick, hot peppers have been shown to reduce the size of tumors in pancreatic cancer, a very aggressive and usually fatal form of cancer. The chemical in peppers that makes them spicy, capsaicin, is the element that caused cancer cells to kill themselves, leading to the conclusion that the spicier the pepper, the more effective it is. Maybe the cancer just can’t take the heat!

Ginger

One study found that simple powdered ginger was highly effective in killing cancer cells, not only through the typical method of cancer cells killing themselves, but also through a more unusual form of cancer cell self-cannibalization. This is especially good because cancers that are resistant to chemotherapy can be targeted through ginger.

Carrots

Carrots are one of the earlier vegetables to have been found to fight cancer. Studies have been a bit inconclusive on what exactly in them is effective, but they suggest that carotene (the element that makes them orange) has an effect, as does falcarinol, a natural pesticide found in carrots.

All Other Vegetables

As a cancer prevention tactic, eating a variety of vegetables is sure to increase the healthy functioning of your body by making sure it has all the vitamins and minerals it needs to fight off cancer and any other disease or illness! Generally, raw vegetables (in their crunchy form, or juiced from that crunchy form) are most effective, but if you can’t stand it raw, go ahead and cook them to get at least some benefit!

Sources
Vegetable Compounds Combat Cancer: Scientific American
Eat Carrots to Fight Cancer: News-Medical