In 1999, there were approximately 334,888 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States of America leading to 41,000 deaths. This disease occurs most frequently in elderly men 72 years and above. Even though we are not keeping statistics for the number of new cases and deaths in Nigeria for this preventable disease, the American example is relevant for us here because there are significant racial differences that are negative for the African male. For example, for the African American male of age 50-54, the incidence of prostate cancer is twice as high as the Caucasian American, and it is one third higher for the African American of all ages. For all Asian men, the incidence of this cancer is relatively low. It is not known what causes this racial difference, but genetics must surely play a part. Diet is another factor that cannot be ruled out as African American soul food closely mimics many Nigerian diets of pork, beans and greens cooked with plenty of oil and fat. This is therefore a Black Man’s disease that Nigerian men should be concerned about.
The prostate gland is a walnut sized organ located under the bladder, surrounding the urinary tract of men. It secretes a fluid that forms part of the seminal fluid, which is part of the semen produced at ejaculation after intercourse.
At the beginning of a cancerous growth, the prostrate grows outwardly and internally and becomes enlarged. The organ is no longer tender and it obstructs the urethra where the urine passes, and eventually obstructs the bladder. This enlargement may eventually become a tumor cell, which can spread to other organs, finally leading to death. Prostate cancer is primarily a disease of the aged. So as men age they should take note of the following symptoms and if they have them, they should definitely pay a visit to a doctor.
A slow urination especially when the last few drops do not expel easily you should raise an alarm, and you should also let the doctor check you out if you notice any change in urination as described below:
- Frequently going to urinate. This is termed Progressive Urinary Frequency.
- The constant urge to urinate and empty bladder, called Urgency.
- Nocturia, which is passing urine in the night.
- Difficulty in passing urine, termed Hesitancy.
- Reduced force of urination.
- Reduced projectile pressure of urine (ejaculatory pressure).
- Blood in the urine.
WHAT CAUSES THE PROSTRATE TO ENLARGE AND BECOME CANCEROUS?
Aging, stress, chemical toxicity, genetics and infection have been identified as some of the factors that can lead to the enlargement of the prostate gland. With aging, there are hormonal changes associated with getting older, such as decreased production of the male testosterone, prolactin ad stress related hormone will increase with age. High prolactin level in the blood will lead to an increase in the uptake of testosterone in the prostate gland , which will result in the production of another male hormone called DiHydro-testoterone(DHT). High levels of DHT in the prostate gland will enlarge the prostrate. A stressful lifestyle also does not help the prostrate. This will usually cause an increase in the level of circulating prolactin hormone. The net result is elevated DHT and subsequent prostate enlargement. Prostate cancer is highly related to genetic factors, if one of the family has prostate cancer it is highly likely that other male members of the family will get it also.
With our highly chemicalized society, we spray pesticides to kill all sorts of insects in our homes to protect us from diseases, and on our farmland to protect the crops from plant-destroying diseases and insects. We eat crops which contain pesticide that contain the chemical polychlorinated hydrocarbon, which accumulate in organs like the adrenals, the liver and the prostrate, which then become diseased.
Infections, especially sexually transmitted diseases affecting the prostate gland are another major factor that can lead to prostate cancer. Therefore repeated infections from sexually transmitted diseases, apart from narrowing the urethral passage and reducing sperm count may lead to prostate enlargement. Eating a diet full of saturated fats and red meat is said to be bad for the prostrate as is smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Tobacco contains cadmium which is a heavy metal that increases the activities of 5-alpha reductase enzyme. The enzyme converts testosterone to the active form called DHT, which is responsible for the abnormal enlargement of the prostate gland. Alcohol increases the level of the prolactin hormone. This will increase the level of testosterone intake by the prostate gland, which eventually leads to its enlargement.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO PREVENT THIS PROBLEM OF PROSTRATE ENLARGEMENT?
Early diagnosis by rectal examination at the doctor’s clinic can be very helpful in detecting prostate enlargement. More recently, a very sensitive test has been put in place for early detection of prostate enlargement by checking the level of a substance called Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) which can give an indication of an overactive prostrate. High PSA levels might give a clue to likely prostrate problems. It is recommended that one should have a medical examination annually to rule out prostate enlargement.
Men are advised to take multivitamins that contain extra zinc along with Vitamins C, D and E, which are rich in antioxidants. Zinc is good for the prostrate because it is required in the normal functioning of the gland. Prostrate secretion contains a high quantity of zinc. Zinc removes the toxin cadmium and also inhibits the secretion of 5-alpha reductase which is a toxin. A clinical trial dose of 150mg of zinc daily for 2 months and subsequent 50-150mg per day has recorded a 74% success in treating abnormal enlargement of the prostrate.
Prostate cancer patients have low levels of Lycopene. Lycopene is one of the major carotenoids which are present in light yellow or deep red fruits and aid in how we absorb Vitamin A which is a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene is found in fresh tomatoes, tomato sauces and pastes as well as in watermelon. There is a growing amount of data supporting the claim that a diet rich in lycopene may help prevent various chronic diseases including cancers of the lungs and prostrate. Other non-prescription alternatives for benign prostrate enlargements are the mineral Saw Palmetto, a handful of handful of pumpkin seeds chewed once a week, drinking plenty of water and eating a diet high in fibre. As men grow older, they can actively take care of their health and safeguard against prostate cancer by eating a diet high in fibre. Fibre binds to testosterone and eliminates it from the system.
They can also reduce the cholesterol in their diets by reducing saturated fatty acid found in palm oil and groundnut. Instead, men should increase their consumption of Omega 3 essential fatty acids from such sources as cod liver oil, geisha, mackerel and when available, salmon. Garlic, onions and cabbage have also been known to be beneficial. Elderly people should also go to bed early the same time each night as irregular sleep disturbs the melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain, which controls our sleeping hours or circadian rhythm and this affects the androgen receptors of the prostate gland.
If the prostate is enlarged, doctors can prescribe drugs like Finasteride (Proscar), which is a 5-alpha reductase blocker. Other drugs that can be prescribed are those that will lower the levels of testoreone and DHT. They are referred to as Anti-androgens. Such anti-androgens like Flutamide, nilutamide and bicalumide have also been prescribed to reduce the circulating level of testosterone. The most recent addition is the use of hormone therapy called LHRH analogue like Lupron depot to reduce the size of the enlargement and treat some advance cases of prostate cancer.
Mart-Life Detox clinic has recorded many success stories which include a story of a 70 year old man who was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He presented at the clinic with symptoms of chronic weight loss, passage of blood in urine, difficulty passing urine and low back pain. An Asyra test was carried out and he was placed on a 10 day detox program inclusive of Mart-Life supplements. His weight at presentation was 57.5kg and his vital signs were stable. On the third day from commencing treatment blood in urine had cleared and he felt much better. Final consultation on the 10th day revealed that he added 2kg while on the detox program and symptoms were no longer there. He was so excited with the treatment but most importantly the healthy lifestyle he was taught. He is currently taking the monthly injection Lupron depot and the PSA is coming.