6 Many Human And Animal Genetic Disorders Share Similar Characteristics Prostate Cancer: Alternatives For Prevention And Treatment

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Prostate Cancer: Alternatives For Prevention And Treatment

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and more specifically, it is the second deadliest cancer in American men. Sadly, apart from the lack of a cure, there is no surefire guide to follow to prevent it beyond any doubt, but there are some actions that can be incorporated into everyday life that can help in this prevention. In general, the best initial approach is for men to learn about their risk factors; Men who find themselves at near-average risk of developing prostate cancer—whether due to advanced age, race, diet, and/or family history—should consider making choices in everyday life, ie. , exercise, eat healthier meals, among many other life-changing choices.

Although there isn’t much substantial evidence to back them up, some studies have pointed out that choosing a diet that’s low in saturated fat and high in fruits and vegetables is ideal for maintaining a healthy prostate. Nutritionally, this is no surprise, as this type of diet is healthy for the human body in general, and has been repeatedly proven to help men control their weight, and thus their heart and cardiovascular system. In studies that looked at the relationship between fat and prostate cancer risk, it was found that animal fats were more associated with prostate cancer cases than plant-based fats. Additionally, some fish are also associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, specifically those that have fatty acids (such as omega-3) that healthily replace saturated fat in any diet. Other studies have shown that diets containing olive oil, green tea and lots of vegetables, such as tomatoes (cooked), soybeans and other legumes, may be associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer, especially in advanced cases.

Additionally, a physician should always accompany any dietary supplement; for example, excess calcium has been linked to a higher risk of prostate cancer. Men in general should be careful not to overdo their calcium intake; either in daily meals or in the vitamin supplements themselves, the daily intake should not exceed 1500 mg. Also, the consumption of any multivitamins is not recommended, as a man on a diet full of vegetables and fruits will most likely never need vitamin supplements. Tomatoes have also been studied as they are known to contain lycopene, which are powerful antioxidants that can help reduce or reverse cell damage, and such studies have shown a reduction in prostate cancer. Other antioxidant vitamins, such as selenium and vitamin E, have also been the target of many studies, but without real success or closure. However, eating all the vegetables and fruits in the world will not even come close to completely eliminating a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. Therefore, men who are currently in one of the risk groups should take into account not only these improvements in daily life, but also – and most importantly – should consult a specialist doctor to discuss whether they have annual digital rectal examinations , prostate biopsy, ultrasound and/or prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood tests are the recommended choices for each individual case. Additionally, a doctor should also be consulted in cases of stress, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and depression, as treating these conditions is of great importance in improving the survival rate of prostate cancer patients.

For those cases in which risk reduction is needed, the doctor can also prescribe medications, depending on the case. The two drugs currently being studied are hormonal drugs called Finasteride and Dutasteride, due to their use in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is not a cancerous condition but also causes the prostate to enlarge. They are both 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. 5-alpha reductase is the enzyme in the human body that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is the main hormone that causes the prostate to grow. These inhibitors block the enzyme and prevent the formation of DHT, thereby preventing prostate growth. Several studies of both of these drugs have been conducted to evaluate whether or not they may be helpful in reducing the risk of prostate cancer. In those studies, it was found that a group of men taking these drugs were less susceptible to developing prostate cancer after several years, compared to a control group consuming a placebo; on the other hand, this did not interfere with the death rate, as both groups had similar survival rates. Other medications are being tested for their properties to reduce the risk of developing the condition, but none have yet proven to be beneficial enough to allow doctors to recommend them to men in need.

Researchers around the world are searching for genes that may be linked in any way to prostate cancer. Some of these genes have been identified and appear to increase a carrier’s risk of cancer. British scientists discovered the PTEN gene, which is involved in prostate cancer and is currently being studied to find out how it works and affects cancer. Other scientists from the UK unmasked another gene, called E2F3, which appears to be overactive in advanced cases of prostate cancer. This can help doctors determine which men really need treatment, while others may only need active screening. Another gene, MSR1, was discovered in the US and is found in some families who have an ongoing history of prostate cancer and may be important in increasing the risk that carriers will develop the same condition. We hope that in the future these studies will make it possible for doctors to carry out genetic tests for the risk of prostate cancer as is being done today with breast cancer.

While prevention and diagnosis are the first steps to treating prostate cancer, once found and confirmed, treatment is the only option. Each individual case will require different treatment measures, depending on the age and the degree to which the cancer has spread or not. Some men have tumors that grow very slowly and may not even need treatment; in such cases, the tumor grows extremely slowly and because of this there are few or no symptoms, so it is better to wait and monitor the patient than to give him drugs that can cause unwanted side effects. However, when the cancer is found to be aggressive, it will probably spread and, before that happens, surgery is the best option. A surgical procedure to remove the entire prostate is called a radical prostatectomy and can be done either by cutting into the patient’s abdomen and removing the prostate, or by making small incisions and using special equipment, sometimes a robot, to remove the gland. Additionally, if the cancer is causing discomfort by pressing on the urethra, a transurethral resection of the prostate may also be performed to relieve symptoms. In the past, some men even went the distance of removing their testicles in order to stop the production of testosterone, aiming to control and even reduce the tumor. Nowadays, this treatment is not recommended in most cases, as hormonal therapy can have the same effect without the need for surgical intervention, by stopping the action of the male hormone. This hormone treatment is generally used to reduce the chances of prostate cancer coming back after other treatments have been done.

Radiotherapy can be used to treat prostate cancer that has not spread outside the gland, but it is also effective in treating cancer that has spread and controlling pain. In this type of treatment, a controlled beam of radiation is used to kill cancer cells, which in turn shrinks the tumor. Radiation can also be delivered directly to the gland by placing radioactive wires in the prostate. Some doctors use chemotherapy as well, using drugs to destroy cancer cells, usually as a last resort if hormone therapy is not successful. In general, a combination of these treatments is not recommended, because each type of individual treatment has its own side effects and all have a major downside for those who undergo them. The best thing to do is to try to prevent and know the risk factors by heart, so that one is not forced to undergo these treatments, which are unpleasant and, in most of them, disturb the functioning of the properly of the human body.

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