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Naturopathic Medicine Blog

Prostatic hypertrophy and cancer

Posted Jul 2nd, 2018 in Naturopathic Medicine, News, Tips

Prostatic hypertrophy and cancer

what is the difference between prostatic hypertrophy and prostate cancer?

Many people nowadays don’t know the true difference between prostatic hypertrophy and cancer of the prostate. First of all, prostate hypertrophy or benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH) is a non-cancerous process that happens to almost 90% of men aged more than 80 years according to this scientific reference: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1046/j.1464-410X.1998.0820s1034.x  

On the other hand, prostate cancer  is a malignant process that is less common than BPH (or prostatic hypertrophy), and is considered a more serious illness than BPH and needs a different treatment strategies

How can we treat Prostatic Hypertrophy?

The treatment of these two conditions is different, so prostatic hypertrophy needs some medications to reduce the prostate size such as Finasteride (Proscar), or Dutasteride(Avodart) they act by inhibiting an enzyme: Alpha-reductase, however, they have many side effects such as erectile dysfunction and low libido. Other medications act as alpha receptor blockers such as Alfuzosin and prazosin,  however, they cause dizziness, headache, low blood pressure, and fainting.

Are there natural alternatives?

Many natural health products exhibit activity against prostatic hypertrophy such as Saw Palmetto or Serenoa Repens or Soy isoflavones. They work by inhibiting the 5 alpha-reductase enzymes that stimulate prostate growth ( as in Saw palmetto),  or as a hormonal buffer as in Soy isoflavones. Generally speaking, there are no noticeable side effects/toxicities from using natural health products in treating benign prostate hypertrophy. Treatment is usually a long-standing course of the natural health products with frequent evaluation of response using clinical parameters such as the well-known International Prostate Symptom Score (I-PSS)

What about prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer as being said is a more serious disease that needs radical treatment approaches such as surgery(prostatectomy), radiation therapy, hormonal treatment, and sometimes chemotherapy. Natural health products have an empirical role in the care and support of prostate cancer that can enhance the other treatment modalities for prostate cancer and most of the time reduce its toxicities.

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