Alternative Treatments for Prostate Cancer
Alternative treatments for prostate cancer are sometimes used in conjunction with conventional therapies. A wide variety of alternative and complementary treatment options are available. Some alternative treatments for prostate cancer are supported by little scientific evidence and thus are still considered unproven treatments. If any of these are of interest to you, it is highly recommended that you do as much investigation as possible. Remember: If you have or suspect you have prostate cancer, you should always see a qualified medical practitioner first.
When to Use Alternative Treatments for Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is a serious disease and caution should be used when considering alternative treatments beyond the traditional treatments like prostate surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, cryotherapy, HIFU and other traditional treatments.
Generally, complementary or alternative medicine may be considered in the following circumstances:
- Your prostate cancer is low grade (Gleason 6 or below) and not aggressive (measured by PSA, ultrasound and other diagnostic procedures); or
- Your age makes it generally unlikely that you will die of the disease and the traditional treatment side effects like incontinence and erectile dysfunction will have a significant lifestyle impact; or
- Your Urologist considers you a candidate for “Active Surveillance“; or
- You have had focal (targeted) therapy for a low grade prostate cancer and you want to maintain and strengthen your immunity as much as possible to prevent a reoccurrence.
Although there are a number of alternative procedures marketed towards “treatment” of prostate cancer, most are misleading. Eradicating prostate cancer with complementary and alternative treatments for prostate cancer is generally unproven. The use of diet, lifestyle changes, exercise, supplements and other alternative therapies should be seen more as part of an overall prostate health program aimed at maintaining maximum immunity rather than a treatment in itself.
Overall, the aim of complementary and alternative therapies is to prevent the cancer from spreading by boosting the body’s own defense and immunity; placing you in the best possible position of health.
Why Use Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for Prostate Cancer?
One of the least understood facts about alternative treatments for prostate cancer is that it is not a permanent cure for every patient. In fact, no matter what the treatment (surgery, radiation etc), up to 30% of prostate cancers return after the initial treatment. Some prostate cancer cells may have escaped from the prostate gland before or during the treatment and spread to other parts of the body. Often this may result in secondary treatment like hormone therapy or the use of some of the new vaccines like Provenge.
Complementary and alternative treatments for prostate cancer may be used after traditional treatments for prostate cancer so as to maintain maximum immunity and to reduce the risk of the cancer returning. In some cases, alternative treatments for prostate cancer may be used to fight the cancer itself by boosting the body’s own defenses. The healthier you are the better chance you will have of long term survival and maintaining a healthy lifestyle after prostate cancer treatment. CAM and other natural therapies can help significantly in this regard.
Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Prostate Cancer
If you are a prostate cancer patient or are concerned about prostate cancer, the most important factor to consider is your lifestyle and other changes that can keep you as healthy as possible. Many studies have been undertaken on diet, nutrition, lifestyle and other complementary therapies and their effect on prostate cancer risk. It is also important to look at:
- Reducing or eliminating those factors that may have increased your risk of prostate cancer that you can control;
- Maximizing those factors that can boost your immune system in order to decrease your risk of prostate cancer forming or returning;
- Taking supplements that have clinical support; and
- Potentially supplementing your traditional treatments with alternative therapies that can possibly assist in boosting your immunity and reducing your risk of reoccurrence.
Read more about
Complementary and Alternative Treatments with Some Evidence to Support Cancer Treatment
Complementary and Alternative Treatments with Limited Evidence to Support Cancer Treatment
Complementary and Alternative Treatments with Poor Evidence to Support Cancer Treatment
Alternative treatments for prostate cancer