Original April 2012
The most common cancer in men in New Zealand is prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is more likely to occur the older you get. Symptoms having to urinate very frequently, say more than 3 times a night. Other symptoms are pain or bleeding on passing urine. These symptoms could have other causes, it is important to get further tests to find out more.
But there may be no symptoms that you have prostate cancer. One test doctors have used for years is now available as a test kit you can use at home. This finger prick test measures the levels of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). It is very easy to do by yourself, although having someone to help makes it easier and results appear in just 10 minutes. If you find you have high PSA levels you will need further tests as high PSA can indicate there are other prostate problems not just cancer. Prostate cancer can be a life threatening condition so it is important to seek professional advice.
Natural interventions are used by naturopaths to support your body and decrease the risk of the progression of cancer and the symptoms. Many herbs have been used traditionally for centuries to help prostate problems; scientific studies are now exploring how these may help. Saw palmetto has been used traditionally now research indicates it may inhibit the development of prostate cancer call. Curcumin is a component of another herb Turmeric , which can help kill cancer cells and help prevent cancer cells from growing.
Nutrition and diet are important to help decrease the risk of prostate cancer occurring or increasing. Zinc has been show to help protect the prostate cells and decrease the spread of prostate cancer cells. Zinc tends to be low in NZ soils which could pose a problem in getting adequate zinc from food. However zinc is high is seafood. You will also find it in seeds, especially pumpkin seeds. Avoid alcohol to conserve your body’s zinc supplies as the enzymes that breaks down alcohol uses zinc. In addition there is some evidence that prostate cancer occurs more with heavier alcohol use. Take care not to have too much zinc if you are using supplements as this can be detrimental to your health. I recommend using the Food State supplements where the high bioavailability means only low doses are needed.
Selenium is another mineral that is low in many soils in New Zealand, it has also been found to help protect against cancer. And a large study last year was one of the first to show that Co enzyme Q10 may be important to lower prostate cancer risk[.
Naturopaths frequently recommend increasing in fish in your diet. The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oils and as supplement appear to be especially helpful to slow or prevent reoccurrence of prostate cancer.
During a naturopathic consultation advice is given on diet, lifestyle, and relaxation techniques.
Contact us to book your consultation call 07 571 3226.
Original Article April 2012
Copyright Jaine Kirtley