Prostate Problems

Prostate problems are very common in men in the U.S. and generally present
in one of three forms. These are separate conditions called “Benign
Prostatic Hypertrophy,” “Prostatitis,” and “Prostate
Cancer.” The conditions are listed here in order of increasing danger
to the patient. The first condition, abbreviated BPH, generally comes on
after about age 40, whereas prostate cancer is rare in younger men. However,
almost all men who live to a ripe old age will have some degree of prostate
cancer, detectable by autopsy. Men will quite often have no significant
symptoms from either of these conditions, but it is very important to rule
out cancer, which could spread to the bone and other vital organs. Prostatitis
is an inflammation of the prostate gland, usually due to an infection, and
should be treated so as to restore vitality to the sufferer. This brochure
will introduce you to a variety of alternative medical approaches to treating
these three problems. The types of treatment include physical medicine,
botanical medicine, nutritional suggestions, acupuncture, homeopathy, color
and gem therapy and psychospiritual methods. These suggestions are not
intended to replace a visit to your holistic MD, naturopathic physician,
acupuncturist, herbalist, or other licensed health care practitioner versed
in alternative modalities. This brochure is intended to provide you with
sound information in order to make an informed decision about how to treat
your body, mind and spirit to achieve optimal health.



First, Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, or BPH. This condition is defined
as a benign adenomatous hyperplasia of the paraurethral prostate gland typically
seen in aging men and often responsible for various degrees of urinary obstruction.
This means the condition is not malignant – it won’t invade other tissues
– but is becoming larger than normal. The prostate gland surrounds the
urethra, which descends from the bladder through the penis, and can block
the flow of urine when enlarged. Apparently, BPH is an almost universal
phenomenon in men as they age, beginning at around 45 years old and continuing
until, by age 70, 90% of men have an enlarged prostate. Due to this enlargement
BPH is the leading cause of urinary outflow obstruction in men. Some researchers
have suggested that BPH typically indicates low levels of male hormones.
The primary signs and symptoms are generally urinary obstruction, which
does not correlate well to amount of enlargement of the prostate.
With a gradual progresion, telltales signs usually include:


  • Urinary frequency.

  • Urinary urgency.

  • Nocturia (needing to get up at night to urinate).

  • Hesitancy with decreased force of stream.

  • Terminal dribbling (the final phase of urination as slow drips).

  • Sensation of incomplete emptying.

  • Overflow incontinence or total retention.

  • Burning on urination, chills and fever indicate infection has set in.

  • Possibly palpable distended bladder.

  • Enlarged, rubbery prostate on rectal exam often with loss of median
    sulcus. The median sulcus is a vertical groove in the heart-shaped gland
    which tells the examining doctor that the gland is NOT enlarged or swollen.

Conventional treatment includes surgical removal of all or part of the prostate.
Most patients improve significantly after treatment but may be rendered
impotent. Surgery is not to be taken lightly



Important questions to ask your doctor include the “rule-outs”
which means you want to be sure that the diagnosis is definite and correct.
Possible problems that could mimic BPH are:

  • Neurogenic bladder.

  • Acute prostatitis.

  • Chronic prostatitis.

  • Carcinoma.

  • Other obstructive pathology.

Now, onto the information about what you can do about this diagnosis. First,
remember, men do not die from this condition unless it co-exists with prostate
cancer. The first area of non-surgical, non-drug treatment suggestion is
“Physical Medicine” which means what you can do with exercise,
water, and manipulation such as massage. Any alternative practitioner worth
their salt will tell you that the first order of business is prevention.
But, since you already have the problem there are a few exercises that
can improve circulation to the general area as well as tone the bladder.
The first is a set of movements commonly called “Kegel” exercises
which involves pulling up rhythmically on the pelvic floor (all the muscles
around the scrotum and the anus) with the lower abdominal muscles as you
exhale, and keep pulling up on the squeeze until you need to take a breath.
Repeat 10 times, 5 or 6 times daily. This can be done very discretely
— nobody needs to know you’re doing this exercise. It’s perfect for commuting,
or while you’re sitting around waiting for someone or something, or in the
shower. The other set of exercises are too complex to explain here. They
involve an ancient Chinese energy moving technique called “Qi Gong,”
widely practised in China and around the world for all sorts of complaints,
as well as for prevention. So, back to prevention. Aerobic exercise, a
minimum of 3 times weekly for 20 minutes at your target heart rate, will
do wonders for not only the prostate gland, but for your heart, lungs, bones
and mental well-being.



Another aspect of physical medicine is the use of hot and/or cold water
to treat a complaint. Some hydrotherapy methods that have worked well for
BPH are hot foot baths, which can stimulate the returning circulation from
the legs as the blood comes back up to the heart, and alternating sitz baths.
This is a marvelous naturopathic technique for all sorts of pelvic complaints.
The idea is basically to sit in a warm tub for 3 minutes or so, then get
out and transfer your backside immediately to a basin (large enough to accomodate
said backside, up to the hips) filled with COLD water. No kidding; this
means chilled water with a tray of ice cubes dumped in. Stay in there about
1 minute, then back to the warm for 3 minutes, then back to the cold, and
so on back and forth at least 3 times. The warm water relaxes the blood
flow and the cold contracts it, thereby enhancing vigorous circulatory flow
to the pelvis. Envigorating and highly effective. Also, inexpensive and
you probably have all the tools you need at home right now. A big basin,
a bathtub, hot and cold running water and a freezer with ice cubes in it.
That’s it.



It may be useful to treat the spine at the levels where the nerves serving
the pelvic area emerge. This is called Spondylotherapy and might consist
of using percussion (gentle tapping) or a sine wave current over the spinal
levels T12 or L1, L2, L3. Scoliosis or other spinal misalignments can sometimes
exaggerate protate problems. Make sure your vertebrae are all lined up.




Some people have greatly benefitted from gentle prostatic massage weekly.
Some men are actually able to perform this themselves, but the less limber
may request the therapist to instruct your spouse in the technique. It
feels good!



If you know a doctor or licensed therapist with physical medicine equipment,
ultrasound over the perineum or diathermy over the lower abdomen may help.



A critical area of health care which is finally getting deserved recognition
is the whole field of nutrition. It’s true that you are, indeed, made out
of what you eat. Think about it. The following list of supplements are
provided because it may be difficult to get these nutrients through “regular”
eating:

  • Zinc 60 mg daily for one month, then the dose might be reduced. This is the MOST important nutrition to heal the prostate gland.

  • Copper

  • flax oil 2 Tbsp q.d.

  • glycine 200 mg q.d.

  • glutamic acid 200 mg q.d.

  • alanine 200 mg q.d. (Dumrau, 1962)

  • Selenium 100 mcg q.d. (Webber, 1985)

  • Vitamin E 800-1200 I.U. q.d.

  • prostate protomorphogens (glandular material from other mammals, usually cow or pig)

To begin you self-help program from “regular” food, the following
eating principles should be considered:


  • vegan diet

  • low sugar, low fat diet of unsaturated fats

  • calorie percentages: 70% complex carbohydrates, protein 12-15%, fat 15-18%

  • low cholesterol (another brochure is available on this topic)

  • low Sodium/Sodium-restricted diet

  • vegetarian cleansing diet or short fasts

Specific therapeutic foods to consider are:


  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids: vegetable, nut, seed oils, salmon,
    herring, mackerel, sardines, walnuts, flaxseed oil, evening primrose oil,
    black currant oil; at least 1 tablespoon (RAW, cold-pressed, not used to
    cook!) daily


  • estrogenic foods: animal products, apples, cherries, olives, plums,
    carrots, yams, nightshade family, peanuts, soy products, coconut, brown
    rice, barley, oats, wheat


  • foods rich in Zinc and Vitamin E: squash seeds, almonds, sesame seeds,
    tahini, kelp


  • raw pumpkin seeds: 25 seeds four times daily


  • anise, tangerine, cherries, figs, litchi, sunflower seeds, mangos,
    seaweeds


  • high fiber foods

For folks willing to make fresh juices:


  • carrot

  • carrot and spinach

  • carrot, beet, and cucumber

  • carrot, asparagus, and lettuce

  • lemon juice in warm water

Of course there’s the what you SHOULDN’T eat category…Please strongly consider avoiding:

  • coffee, alcohol, saturated fats, strong spices, spicy food, dairy
    products, fatty foods, fried foods, coffee, caffeine



And to finish the food section, it’s very important to avoid constipation
in prostate problems. Remember, the idea here is to keep things flowing
and moving.



Homeopathy is a 250-yr. old system of medicine which developed initially
in Europe in which tiny amounts of plant, mineral and animal substances
are given to “stimulate” the natural healing power within us all.
Substances that would, in very large doses, create the symptoms exhibited
by the patient, for example urinary retention, are considered as potential
“remedies” in the tiny dose. This is a guiding principle of
homeopathic medicine, and can be summarized “Like Cures Like.”
Make sure to consult with a board-certified (DHANP) homeopath. The following
remedies will certainly be among those considered. The remedy chosen for
you will ideally fit your entire symptom picture, including how you are
when totally healthy. Each medical problem in homeopathy is treated individually,
because what’s being cured is not the “problem,” but YOU. Here’s
a sample list:

  • Apis mellifica: prostatic inflammation; discharge of prostatic fluid;
    sexual desire increased or diminished; frequent and long-lasting erections


  • Argenticum metallicum: chronic enlargement in old men


  • Argenticum nitricum: chronic enlargement in old men; burning in spot
    in anterior of rectum


  • Baryta carbonicum: enlargement in old age


  • Cannabis indica: sensation in anal region as if sitting on a ball


  • Chimaphilia: tenesmus, frequent urination and general discomfort


  • Conium maculatum: chronic hypertrophy with difficulty in voiding
    urine, stops and starts; leading remedy


  • Ferrum picricum: one of the best remedies in the aged


  • Lycopodium: pressure in the perineum near the anus while urinating


  • Pulsatilla: inflammation; excessive increase of sexual passion, almost
    like priapism, with frequent and prolonged erections, ardent desire for
    coition


  • Sabal serrulata: chronic/acute enlargement with difficult urination
    or burning while urinating


  • Solidago: chronic enlargement; obstructed flow of urine


  • Staphisagria: frequent urging to urinate with scanty discharge in
    a thin stream or by drops; burning during and after urination with urging


  • Sulphur: escape of prostatic fluid, chiefly when urinating and while
    at stool


  • Thuja occidentalis: frequent pressing to urinate with small discharge,
    patient strains much; stitches from rectum into the bladder; discharge of
    prostatic fluid in am on waking

Another extensively researched area of healthcare which provides benefits
without drugs, radiation or surgery is the vast field of botanical medicine.
This ancient healing art most likely began by observing animals in the
wild treating themselves for wounds, bites, rancid food and the like. Botanical
medicine is the therapeutic use of medicinal plants in a variety of forms
(tea, decoction, tincture, poultice, cream, salve, ear drops, etc.) to restore
the body and mind to full health. The following list of medicinal plants
(sometimes called “herbs” — the word drug comes from an old Flemish
word, “droog,” which means dried plant) are useful for BPH. Please
don’t use them without consulting a well-educated herbalist or naturopathic
physician. It is extremely rare for even the most open-minded of medical
doctors to have adequate training to dispense medicinal herbs.


  • Agropyron repens (Triticum repens)


  • Chamaelirium luteum (Helonias): prostate aches as if sitting on a
    ball


  • Cucurbita pepo (squash and pumpkin): specially grown varieties; decongests
    prostate, tones bladder and sphincter


  • Delphinium staphysagria (toxic): to assist other indicated remedies



  • Echinacea purpurea


  • Equisetum arvense: specific for; combines well with Hydrangea arborescens



  • Galium aparine: prostatic irritation in aged


  • Serenoa serrulata: specific for throbbing, aching dull pain, discharge,
    irritation with dysuria and dribbling in aged; may combine well with Equisetum
    arvense and Hydrangea arborescens


  • Urtica dioica (leaf and root): activates metabolism

Chinese herbs are most often not only from plant species unknown in the
West, but used quite differently than Western herbs. For one thing, a Traditional
Chinese Medical (TCM) diagnosis describes the effect of the “problem”
on the patient, rather than describing the “problem” (such as
BPH) itself. A number of TCM diagnoses might be given for BPH, such as
Damp Heat in the Lower Burner. This concept will be briefly discussed below,
under the Acupoint section. It is impossible to give an intelligible treatise
on Traditional Chinese Medicine here. Please refer to the list of General
References to begin your studies of this vast and comprehensive topic.
However, in case you know a qualified Chinese herbalist, or Certified/Licensed
(through the NCCA) acupuncturist with a good grasp of herbs, the following
list may provide you with a guideline to discuss with the practitioner.


  • 15 g of Polygonum cuspidatum (hu zhang cao): Lower Warmer Damp-Heat


  • Prostate Gland Pills (patent): Xue (Blood) Stagnation with Lower
    Warmer Damp-Heat


  • Akebia 14 (patent): Lower Warmer Damp-Heat


  • Xiao Ji Yin Zi: Xue (Blood) Heat


  • Persica and Rhubarb C. (Tao He Cheng Qi Tang): Xue (Blood) Stagnation
    with Xue (Blood) Heat: pain on pressure on left lower quadrant, constipation,
    and urinary stoppage in strong constitution


  • Rhubarb and Moutan C. (Da Huang Mu Dan Pi Tang): Large Intestine
    Damp-Heat: Pain on palpation of right abdomen, constipation, urinary stoppage
    in strong constitution


  • Cinnamon and Hoelen F. (Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan): Xue (Blood) Stagnation



  • Kai Kit Pill (patent): Qi Xu (Deficiency) with Yin Xu (Deficiency)



  • Rehmannia Eight F. (Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan): Kidney Yin Xu (Deficiency)
    with Kidney Yang Xu (Deficiency)

Another aspect of TCM is the use of ultra-fine “needles” which
are inserted just below the skin to remove blockages in the “vital
force,” known as “Qi” (pronounced chee). Again, the following
treatment suggestions can ONLY be applied by a qualified acupuncturist.
After assessing the whole person and palpating, consider these patterns:


Kidney Xu (Deficiency); Liver Qi Stagnation; Damp-Heat; Shi (Excess) of
the Yang Qiao Mai (Yang Motility Vessel) and/or Xu (Deficiency) of the Yin
Qiao Mai (Yin Motility Vessel); Shi (Excess) of the Ren Mai (Conception
Vessel). Once the “pattern” of dysfunction is determined, the
following acupoints may be considered. Each of the more than 400 primary
acupoints is located on a very specific place on the body’s surface, along
one of the 12 major or 2 “extra” meridians, and relates not only
to the local area, but to an organ system, a sensory system, a color, a
mood and may also have other special applications.


  • Bladder 18

  • Bladder 19

  • Bladder 23

  • Bladder 47

  • Bladder 28

  • Conception Vessel 4

  • Conception Vessel 3

  • Spleen 9

  • Spleen 6

  • Kidney 7

So, you think all of this has been quite esoteric. Now for something even
“further out” from mainstream medicine, with growing numbers of
followers, which likely indicates there’s something to it.

Color therapy is used ost often with thin pieces of colored plastic (“gels”)
over home or office light sources, such as a lamp. The following colors
are listed for BPH:


  • lemon (helps to dissolve blood clots; acts as a chronic alterative)
    on front of body


  • orange (acts as a decongestant) and indigo (an astringent, antipyic, antiemetic, and hemostatic) between genital and anal areas


  • indigo and violet on prostate


  • alternate blue and yellow on kidneys for 10 minutes each


  • drink blue treated water


  • violet on chest

A growing number of progressive thinkers like to use semi-precious stones
for their healing. The stones may be held, or placed on the affected body
part, or placed into the bottom of your drinking water. Consult someone
who knows about “healing rocks” for more ideas. Here are a few
used in BPH:


  • Coral

  • Pearl

  • Diamond

  • Topaz

  • Topaz, Coral

  • Carnelian

  • Citrine

  • Ruby

  • Garnet

The mind is by far the most important aspect in your total well-being.
Psychospiritual approaches to healthcare are being used increasingly even
in the most conventional of settings. The following ideas about the origins
and treatment of BPH should provide some food for thought:


  • Sexual disturbances associated with chronic masturbation, prior STD’s,
    extramarital affairs with unexpressed guilt feelings and long standing unhappy
    relationships.

  • Unhappiness

  • Prostate represents masculine principle.

  • Mental fears weaken the masculinity. Giving up. Sexual pressure
    and guilt. Belief in aging.



Visualization:

  • discovering the walnut

  • sun’s entry



and Affirmation:

  • I accept and rejoice in my masculinity.

  • I love and approve of myself.

  • I accept my own power.

  • I am forever young in spirit.

  • It is safe to be a man.

Closing thoughts:


  • What is the symptom preventing me from doing? What is the symptom
    making me do?

Prostatitis

This condition is defined as an acute or chronic infection of the prostate
gland. It is generally caused by infection by chlamydia, gram-negative
enteric bacteria or neisseria gonorrhea. Signs and symptoms are different
for acut versus chronic presentations and may include, for acute bacterial
prostatitis (often seen in young males and those receiving catheterization):


  • High fever with chills.

  • UTI with frequency, urgency, dysuria or burning, nocturia.

  • Occasional hematuria.

  • Low back/testicular/perineal pain.

  • Obstructive symptoms when voiding may occur.

  • Boggy, markedly tender prostate.

Take note: Vigorous massage of the prostate with suspected infection is
contraindicated to avoid spreading the infection into the bloodstream.


Chronic bacterial prostatitis, the most common cause of recurrent bacteriuria
in males, may often be asymptomatic except when there are frequent UTI (urinary
tract infections). Other findings may be:


  • Bacteriuria (bacteria in the urine sample)

  • Bacteria found in prostate secretions.

  • Prostate may feel normal on palpation, but could also feel tender
    and boggy and produce significant secretions.

Acute nonbacterial prostatitis is typically seen in young, sexually active
men. The symptoms are the same as bacterial prostatitis but no bacteria
are present. Nonbacterial prostatitis treatment is harder for conventional
physicians to treat because drugs often do not help. Make sure your doctor
is sure your condition is neither BPH nor cancer.

Here are some treatment suggestions. With the physical medicine, the approach
is similar to treating BPH:


  • sitz bath: alternating (discussed under BPH)

  • short cold bath

  • hot foot bath: with cold compress to pelvic region

  • hot enema: up to 103 degrees F may be used three to four times a day
    (great for acute cases)

Eating principles include, for acute prostatitis:


  • increased fluids

  • short fruit or vegetable juice fast

  • vegetarian cleansing diet

And for chronic prostatitis:


  • hypoallergenic/rotation diet (this means figure out your allergic
    foods and avoid them, or use them sparingly).

Extra supplements to consider:


  • Zinc 50 mg daily

  • essential fatty acids, such as found in flax, olive and safflower oils

  • bee pollen 3 tabs daily

  • evening primrose oil

  • Magnesium 400 mg daily

  • Vitamin E 800 I.U. daily

  • Vitamin B-complex

  • Vitamin B6 50 mg daily

The Western botanical approach is much the same as for BPH, because the
gland is targeted for increased specific nutrients and for enhanced blood
flow. However, because of the differing approaches to diagnosis, the Traditional
Chinese Medicine herbal formulas are somewhat different than those given
for BPH:


  • Dianthus F. (Ba Zheng San): Bladder Damp-Heat: dark turbid scanty
    difficult painful urination, dry mouth, yellow greasy tongue coat; may be
    urinary retention and lower abdominal distention and pain


  • Gentiana C. (Long Dan Xie Gan Wan) (available as patent); Gentiana
    12 (patent): Liverand Gall Bladder Invaded by Damp-Heat: difficult and painful
    urination with a sesnation of heal in the urethra, red tongue with yellow
    coat, bitter taste in mouth, irritability


  • Lotus Seed C.: Kidney Yin Xu (Deficiency) with Empty Fire Blazing (Hsu, 1980, p. 164; Dharmananda, 1986, p. 306)


  • Tokora C. (Bei Xie Fen Qing Yin) (if chronic add ligustrum (nu zhen
    zi), lysimachia (jian qian cao), cuscuta (tu si zi) and plantago (che qian
    zi)); Kai Kit Pill (patent): Kidney Failing to Grasp the Qi, including chronic
    prostatitis ; frequent urination with cloudy, dense, milky or greasy urine


  • Hoelen and Polyporus F.: chronic prostatitis


  • Moutan and Persica C.; Prostate Gland Pills (patent): Xue (Blood)
    Stagnation: inflammation and pain in the lower abdomen


  • Blue Citrus (patent): Groin swellings


  • Akebia 14 (patent): Prostate inflammation

The differentiation of acute vs. chronic prostatitis is essential to proper
treatment and should be fairly obvious from the presentation. After assessing
the person and palpating, consider these patterns:

Kidney Xu (Deficiency); Kidney Yin Xu (Deficiency) with Empty Fire Blazing;
Kidney Failing to Grasp the Qi; Bladder Damp-Heat; Liver Qi Stagnation;
Xue (Blood) Stagnation; Liver and Gall Bladder Invaded by Damp-Heat; Spleen
Xu (Deficiency); Shi (Excess) of the Ren Mai (Conception Vessel); Shi (Excess)
of the Yang Qiao Mai (Yang Motility Vessel); Shi (Excess) of the Chong Mai
(Penetrating Vessel).



After a thorough physical exam, the doctor should consider acupoints from
the following selection (quite different from those for BPH):


  • Governing Vessel-4

  • Urinary Bladder18

  • Urinary Bladder-23

  • Urinary Bladder-47

  • Urinary Bladder-28

  • Urinary Bladder-57

  • Large Intestine-11

  • Large Intestine-4

  • Lung-7

  • Conception Vessel-4

  • Spleen-9

  • Kidney-7

  • Kidney-6

  • Liver-3

  • Liver-2

  • Gall Bladder-34

Typically each acupuntrue session involves placement of 4 to 20 “needles”
based on the diagnosis. These needles very rarey cause pain; the unusual
sensation is that of the Qi (vital force) “grabbing” the needle,
which often causes a dull ache or momentary twinge.



And now let us consider a very different modality, from a different culture,
but that, like acupuncture, works with your vital force. This is the science
of homeopathy. The most often chosen homeopathic remedies for prostatitis
are somewhat similar to those chosen for BPH, but with a stronger slant
towards healing inflammation due to infection, which is the key element
differentiating prostatitis from BPH.


  • Aconitum napellus: initial stage


  • Belladonna: throbbing


  • Chimaphilia: with hypertrophy of prostate, frequent urination and
    discomfort


  • Conium maculatum: with enlarged gland


  • Ferrum picricum: best remedy for prostatic enlargement and inflammation
    in the aged


  • Lycopodium: enlarged prostate and inflammation, when there is pressure
    in the perineum near the anus while urinating


  • Sabal serrulata: inflammation and enlargement when the gland is hot,
    swollen and painful; in senile cases


  • Spongia tosta: hypertrophy, spermatic cord and testicles are red
    and swollen


  • Thuja occidentalis: hypertrophy and inflammation, frequent pressing
    to urinate with small discharge, discharge of prostatic fluid in morning
    on waking

Flower essences most frequently chosen for prostatis are dill or garlic.



Healing colors are, for acute prostatitis, turquoise directed towards
the front of the body and blue, which promotes relaxation, lowers high temperatures
and reduces inflamed tissue when directed towards the gland as much as possible.
For chronic postatitis use lemon (helps to dissolve blood clots). With
enlargement of the gland (BPH), plus infection (prostatitis), orange acts
as a decongestant and indigo acts as an astringent (to tonify boggy tissues),
antipyic (reducing pus formation), and hemostatic (reducing bleeding and
inflammation.



Psychospiritual metaphors and correlations for inflammation to consider
revolve around the “inflammatory” feeling of fear, especially
as it expresses through anger. Examples of this kind of thinking are often
described in a telling manner: inflamed thinking; seeing red; seething with
anger and frustration about conditions in one’s life. Remember too that
the prostate represents masculine principle.



If you have an astrological bent you may want to look at what’s going on
with conjunctions with your birth chart indicators: Perhaps Mars, Pluto,
or a planet in Scorpio are afflicted.



And the all-important mental connection, true for almost all disease, includes
the power of the spoken word, spoken lovingly to yourself. Consider the
following affirmations:


  • (for inflammation) My thinking is peaceful, calm, and centered.
    I am willing to change all patterns of criticism. I love and approve of
    myself.


  • It is safe to be a man.

Those who are prone to inflammations are attempting to avoid conflicts.
Questions that arise may be useful to explore in a more conventional psychotherapeutic
context:


  • What conflict in my life am I failing to see? hear? feel?

  • What conflict am I dodging? What is my relationship to it?

  • What conflict am I failing to admit to?

Prostate Cancer

Finally, the most serious diagnosis for the prostate gland will be briefly
discussed. As a very general rule of thumb, carcinoma (cancer) is usually
best treated with a COMBINATION of conventional therapies (in fact one of
the most effective chemotherapy regimes is the one for prostate cancer,
in terms of relatively few side effects and a good cure rate, especially
with early detection) and supportive complementary treatments, which will
be discussed below.



Prostate cancer is very rarely seen in males under 50 years old, and is
rated third in cancer deaths in male patients over the age of 65 (behind
lung and colon). Most are adenocarcinomas. They are associated with benign
prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), but there is no specific causative link. Cancer
can be tricky. Signs and symptoms may not present at all. Or you might
experience urinary frequency, urgency or needing to pee during the night.
A physician will often find a firm, hard prostate on rectal digital exam.



The role of healthy eating can not be overemphasized in both prevention
and reversal of cancer. In general, the eating principles with prostate
cancer are based on alkalinizing the system. Alkaline fasts must be undertaken
under physician supervision — a physician well versed in therapeutic fasting,
and with a good grip on nutritional biochemistry.



Therapeutic foods to consider are:


  • pumpkin seeds (raw) dosage: 25 four times daily

  • anise, tangerine, cherries, figs, litchi, sunflower seeds, mangos, seaweeds

  • Zinc-rich foods, squash seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, tahini, Vitamin
    E rich foods, kelp

Additional supplements, geared towards resolving malignancy, as opposed
to specifically towards the prostate, are:


  • Vitamin A (high doses, under physician guidance)

  • Selenium

  • Zinc

The botanicals listed are, again, geared to halting the progression of cancerous
growth, and to ameliorating the side-effects of chemotherapy. They are listed
alphabetically, and with their particular restorative function. For doses
and duration please consult a qualified herbalist or naturopath.


  • Avena sativa: nervous debility of convalescence


  • Baptisia tinctoria: for tumorous or malignant conditions


  • Berberis aquifolium: dyscrasiae due to cancerous cachexia


  • Conium maculatum (toxic): pain of cancer


  • Echinacea spp.: increases interferon production, purifies blood


  • Gentiana lutea: bitter: promotes appetite, improves digestion in
    chronic debility


  • Phytolacca decandra (toxic): carcinoma, adenoma; hard, swollen lymph
    nodes, especially in the pelvic region


  • Rumex crispus: early stages of cancer; to prevent


  • Taraxacum officinale: loss of appetite, weak digestion


  • Trifolium pratense: alterative; purifies blood, cancerous diathesis;
    with daily use: patients are slower in developing carcinoma after excision


  • Viola odorata: malignant disease, neoplasm in alimentary canal; after
    tumor extirpation to protect from metastases. Combines well with Galium
    aparine


  • Viscum album (toxic): tumor-inhibiting effects reported, main use
    as follow-up therapy after surgery or radiation. Extracts available: Iscador
    (Weleda), Phenesol (Madaus), Helixior

The famous “Hoxsey” herbal formula for malignancy also deserves
mention here. It is comprised of:


Glycyrrhiza glabra, 12 g.

Trifolium pratense, 12 g.

Arctium lappa, 6 g.

Stillingia sylvatica (toxic), 6 g.

Berberis aquifolium, 6 g.

Phytolacca decandra (toxic), 6 g.

Rhamnus purshiana, 3 g.

Rhamnus frangula (toxic), 3 g.

Xanthoxylum americanum, 3 g.


To mix up the formula, combine the dry herbs, place in 3 cups of water and
simmer for 10-15 minutes. Cool, strain and store in a dark glass jar.
Dose: use 2-4 tbsp. tea in a third cup water adding 1-2 drops of saturated
potassium iodide and 5-11 drops strong iodine (Lugol’s) solution. Take
four times daily, with food, and again before bed.



Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies will not be discussed in great detail
here because it is critical to not hope that they would suffice, alone,
to treat cancer. However, the following guidelines towards understanding
a TCM diagnosis are offered:


  • Zeng Ye Tang plus chrysanthemum flower (ju hua), trichosanthes root
    (tian hua fen), glehnia (sha shen), dioscorea (shan yao) and moutan bark
    (mu dan pi): Large Intestine Dryness: oral side-effects of radiation therapy:
    dryness that is worse at night, irritability, dry tongue, rapid thin pulse


  • Dang Gui Ji Xue Teng Tang: Qi Xu (Deficiency) with Xue Xu (Blood
    Deficiency): leukopenia or thrombocytopenia during radiation therapy or
    chemotherapy


  • Hoelen Five Herbs F. (Wu Ling San): side-effects from radiation.



  • Ji Xue Teng Qin Gao Pian (patent): increases white blood count.



  • Ci Wu Jia Pian (patent): Qi Xu (Deficiency) with Kidney Jing Xu (Essence
    Deficiency): enhances immune system, helps protect body from radiation;
    inhibits metastasis.


  • He Che Da Zao Wan (patent): Kidney Yin Xu (Deficiency)


  • Ling Zhi Feng Wang Jiang (patent): Qi Xu (Deficiency) with Xue Xu
    (Blood Deficiency)


  • Chih-ko and Curcuma C. (patent): All tumors


  • Blue Citrus (patent): Groin swellings

Homeopathic remedies that might be chosen are:


  • Conium maculatum: stony, hard prostate, inability to have erections
    but high sex drive; intermittent urination in old people; urine flows and
    stops; weight like a stone in perineum


  • Crotalus horridus: cancer with hematuria


  • Iodatum: incontinence of urine; complete prostration of strength
    and general emaciation; worse from external warmth


  • Psorinum: discharge of prostatic fluid before urinating; several
    organs flabby, torpid; aversion to coitus


  • Selenium: lot of sexual activity that led to debility, masturbation;
    worse in hot weather, after sleep and anything that causes relaxation; involuntary
    dribbling


  • Sulphur: offensive sweat around genitals


  • Thuja occidentalis: pain, burning on urination or ejaculation; lot
    of sexual problems; frequent and urgent desire to urinate

Flower essences to consider:


  • aloe vera

  • dandelion

  • mallow

Colors to work with:


  • lemon (helps to dissolve blood clots; acts as a chronic alterative)


  • indigo (an astringent, antipyic, antiemetic, and hemostatic) on area

  • orange (acts as a decongestant) on area may further reduce mass.

Metaphors and correlations to ponder:


  • The prostate represents the masculine principle.


  • Loss of sexual function after surgery is more likely to be related
    to the patient feeling unattractive, to lack of information, or to lackof support in dealing with postoperative psychological reactions than to surgical loss of sexually-responsive tissue. Many sexual problems will
    be solved by just the chance to discuss them; patients need to hear that
    their sexual concerns are completely normal.


  • Comprehensive cancer management should include members of the medical
    discipline who provide holistic and humanistic treatment. One team member
    should be both a qualified sex therapist and psychotherapist. This individual
    should be introduced to patients at the onset of treatment, be involved
    in a preoperative assessment, during hospital stay, and during the post-operative
    period.

Visualizations and affirmations for approaching cancer must be individualized
so that they are deeply meaningful for you. It is quite likely that someone
in your community will be able to guide you in creating specific healing
metaphors and imagery to work with the issues that have produced prostate
cancer. Have faith in the healing power of your own mind and your own body.


Avatar Written by Emily Kane ND

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