Possible Cancer Protection From Prostate Drugs
Early research suggested that 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors , a class of drugs used to treat prostate enlargement, might increase the risk of developing more aggressive prostate cancer. However, newer studies have found that not only do the drugs appear to pose no extra risk, they may even protect against prostate cancer.
For instance, research from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial study in 2013 showed that taking the 5-ARI finasteride for seven years could lower the chance of getting low-grade prostate cancer by 25% among men ages 55 and older. A follow-up study of almost 9,500 men, published in the Nov. 1, 2018, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, also showed that finasteride lowered the risk by a similar amount , and found the protective effect lasted for at least 16 years.
Traditional Treatments For Bph
Until recently, treatments for BPH were limited to medications such as alpha blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors or surgical procedures such as transurethral resection of the prostate . In TURP, a surgical instrument is inserted into the tip of the penis and then used to trim and remove excess prostate tissue.
There are pros and cons to both treatment approaches.
Medications can help relieve symptoms and reduce the size of the prostate. However, the medications can have unpleasant side effects, including chronic stuffy nose, lightheadedness and loss of libido.
In comparison, TURP surgery is better at improving symptoms more quickly. But in some cases, a prostate is too large to be removed through a TURP procedure. TURP also carries a risk of causing new problems such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction or retrograde ejaculation .
What Matters Most To You
Your personal feelings are just as important as the medical facts. Think about what matters most to you in this decision, and show how you feel about the following statements.
Reasons to have surgery for an enlarged prostate
Reasons not to have surgery
I don’t want to keep taking medicine every day for my symptoms.
I don’t mind taking daily medicine.
I’m willing to try surgery because my symptoms bother me so much.
I don’t like the idea of having surgery.
I don’t think medicines are helping my symptoms.
Medicines are helping my symptoms.
I don’t think the side effects of surgery will be as bad as my symptoms.
I think the side effects of surgery would bother me more than my symptoms do.
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What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasiaalso called BPHis a condition in men in which the prostate gland is enlarged and not cancerous. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is also called benign prostatic hypertrophy or benign prostatic obstruction.
The prostate goes through two main growth periods as a man ages. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. The second phase of growth begins around age 25 and continues during most of a mans life. Benign prostatic hyperplasia often occurs with the second growth phase.
As the prostate enlarges, the gland presses against and pinches the urethra. The bladder wall becomes thicker. Eventually, the bladder may weaken and lose the ability to empty completely, leaving some urine in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and urinary retentionthe inability to empty the bladder completelycause many of the problems associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
What About Ayurvedic Medicine
Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient Indian regimen that seeks to optimize health with diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. Although the internet is peppered with accounts of Ayurvedic medicine shrinking an enlarged prostate, the actual evidence is slim to none.
With that said, lifestyle changes can make a difference for people with BPH, Dr. Swenor says. But your best bet is to follow the tips above by adopting a plant-based diet, getting enough exercise and practicing relaxation techniques like meditation.
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Natural Remedies For Enlarged Prostate
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The prostate grows
The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland that wraps around the urethra, the tube that urine flows out of. The prostate is part of the male reproductive system. One of its main jobs, along with other organs, is to add fluid to semen. This is the fluid that carries sperm.
The prostate gland starts out small and has two main phases of growth. It doubles in size during the teenage years, then continues to grow again after age 25 throughout the rest of a mans life.
An excessively enlarged prostate results in a disease known as benign prostatic hyperplasia . Eventually, an enlarged prostate can clamp down on the urethra and restrict the flow of urine from the bladder. This leads to problems such as:
What Are The Risk Factors For Enlarged Prostate
Researchers are still largely unclear on what causes the prostate to become enlarged but risk factors include:
- Age: As many as 90 percent of men over the age of 80 have an enlarged prostate.
- Family history: Men who have a family history of the condition are more likely to suffer from it.
- Other health issues: Men who suffer from obesity, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes have higher rates of an enlarged prostate diagnoses.
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Exercise And Lose Weight
Exercising and losing weight are some of the best things you can do to promote prostate health. Many studies show that moderate or vigorous exercise reduces risk of BPH and urinary tract symptoms and helps with prostatitis as well. Exercise also benefits your cardiovascular health and can help prevent other health and sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction.
If you are overweight, losing weight is one of the most important natural changes you can make in improving your prostate health, whether your concerns are cancer, BPH or prostatitis. A study published in the Journal of Urology found that overweight men, especially men with a high amount of abdominal fat, have an increased risk of BPH. If you are looking to shrink the prostate, losing weight can help you reduce your prostate size and help relieve annoying and frustrating urinary symptoms. On top of that, weight loss can reduce your risk for prostate cancer and help relieve prostatitis, too.
What Is The Best Treatment For Enlarged Prostate
The best treatment is the one that works for you, and that will depend on the nature of your BPH and your current health status, as well as other factors, like your access to insurance and your household health budget.
Dr. John F. Fellerâ½Â¹â°â¾ is Chief Medical Officer at HALO Dxâ½Â¹Â¹â¾, and Assistant Clinical Professor of Radiology at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California. Dr. Feller is also one of the inventors of a patent-pending surgical procedure to treat prostate cancer in outpatient settings using MRI-guided laser focal therapy.
Dr.Feller stresses the importance of seeking medical care, particularly if youâre experiencing pain or discomfort. â
âSee your doctor rather than suffering the symptoms of this, because between medication, surgery, and emerging focal therapiesâ½Â¹Â²â¾, there are many good options to improve quality of life,âhe says.
âIn addition to pharmaceutical and surgical treatments, there are many natural remedies believed to benefit prostate patients. Although these therapies are generally safe, and have quite a bit of historical and anecdotal support, there is limited clinical evidence to suggest they work.
âThat’s why randomized controlled trials or double blinded studies are so important,”â½Â¹Â²â¾notes Dr. Feller, emphasizing that the best studies test natural supplements against placebos.
With that in mind, here are the most popular natural remedies for an enlarged prostate, or BPH.
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Treatment Options For Enlarged Prostate
For men over 50, prostate problems are common. The prostate gland is located just below the bladder and surrounds the top portion of the urethra, which is the tube that drains urine from the bladder. The prostate’s primary function is to produce the fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.
As men age, the prostate gland tends to grow larger. Benign prostatic hyperplasia, also called prostate gland enlargement, can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms, such as blocking the flow of urine out of the bladder, or bladder, urinary tract or kidney problems. Fortunately, a wide variety of treatments are available for enlarged prostate, including medication, minimally invasive therapies and surgery.
On the next Mayo Clinic Radio program, Dr. Mitchell Humphreys, a Mayo Clinic urologist, will highlight prostate health and treatment options for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Also on the program, Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, will discuss sex after a heart attack. And Dr. Bruce Levy, a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon, will share how his patients’ experiences with lack of privacy during surgery led him and his wife to found a new company, COVR Medical.
To hear the program, find an affiliate in your area.
Use the hashtag #MayoClinicRadio, and tweet your questions.
Mayo Clinic Radio is on iHeartRadio.
Access archived shows or to the podcast.
Mayo Clinic Radio produces a weekly one-hour radio program highlighting health and medical information from Mayo Clinic.
What Causes Prostate Enlargement
The prostate gland or prostate is an important part of the male reproductive system. It produces fluid that carries sperm during ejaculation. The prostate gland is situated just below the bladder and in front of the rectum . It surrounds the urethra . It is roughly the size of a walnut.
The causes of prostate enlargement are not well understood. Research suggests that aging and changes in the cells of the testicles may play some role in the enlargement of the prostate. This is supported by the fact that males, who got their testicles removed at a young age because of reasons like testicular cancer, do not get BPH). Furthermore, in males with BPH, removal of the testicles causes the prostate to shrink in size. Removal of testicles, however, is not done to treat BPH since there are several other safe and effective treatment options. The chances of having an enlarged prostate increase with age. In several men over 40 years of age, a small amount of prostate enlargement is present. The condition, however, affects over 90% of the men over 80 years of age.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia may include
- urinary frequencyurination eight or more times a day
- urinary urgencythe inability to delay urination
- trouble starting a urine stream
- a weak or an interrupted urine stream
- dribbling at the end of urination
- nocturiafrequent urination during periods of sleep
- urinary incontinencethe accidental loss of urine
- pain after ejaculation or during urination
- urine that has an unusual color or smell
Symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia most often come from
- a blocked urethra
- a bladder that is overworked from trying to pass urine through the blockage
The size of the prostate does not always determine the severity of the blockage or symptoms. Some men with greatly enlarged prostates have little blockage and few symptoms, while other men who have minimally enlarged prostates have greater blockage and more symptoms. Less than half of all men with benign prostatic hyperplasia have lower urinary tract symptoms.3
Lifestyle Tips For Managing Bph
Lifestyle tips that may help someone manage the symptoms of an enlarged prostate include the following:
- Attempt to urinate at least once before leaving home to avoid urinary leakage or other incidents in public that can be very stressful and embarrassing.
- Double void by trying to urinate again a few minutes after urinating the first time, to drain the bladder as much as possible during bathroom visits.
- Try not to drink fluids in the 2 hours before bedtime to avoid going to sleep with a full bladder.
- Try to stay hydrated by drinking at least 2 liters of water daily.
- Try maintaining a healthy body weight as much as possible.
- Exercise regularly and as often as possible.
- Try not to drink too much at one time.
- Try to reduce or avoid stress to reduce the urge for urination.
- Avoid or limit products that cause dehydration, such as cold medications and decongestants
- Use absorbent urinary pads or pants to absorb urine leaks and decrease wetness and discomfort.
- Use urinary sheaths, which are condom-shaped and fit over the penis to drain urine into a small bag strapped to the leg.
- Use urethral massage, after urinating, by gently pressing the fingers upwards from the base of the scrotum to try to squeeze out any urine left in the urethra and prevent any leakage later.
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Natural Ways To Shrink The Prostate
If you are one of the 14 million men who suffer from an enlarged prostate due to benign prostatic hyperplasia , it is understandable that you would like to find a way to shrink your prostate or at least reduce its symptoms. You may wonder how to take the prostate back to a younger, more normal size that doesnt keep you running to the bathroom all night long.
When enlarged, the prostate gland can put pressure on the urethra and cause symptoms such as frequent urination and nighttime urination. The growing prostate can also keep the bladder from completely emptying and can affect the flow of urine, making for a weaker flow, starting and stopping of the flow, and urinary tract infections. More severe cases of BPH can make it difficult to urinate.
Even though BPH is not cancerous, it does affect a man and his familys quality of life. If you are waking up several times a night to urinate, chances are you are waking up your family members at least some of the time. Having to stop activities due to urinary urgency can have an effect and cause stress and annoyance for everyone involved.
Growth of the prostate with age is normal. One-third of men experience symptoms of an enlarged prostate by age 50. By age 70, 70 percent of men are affected, according to Johns Hopkins. So what can you do about it? Actually, there is a lot you can do.
Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
- Frequent urge to pass urine, especially at night
- Weak or interrupted urine stream
- Pain or burning when passing urine
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation
- Nagging pain in the back, hips, or pelvis
Prostate cancer can spread to the lymph nodes of the pelvis. Or it may spread throughout the body. It tends to spread to the bones. So bone pain, especially in the back, can be a symptom of advanced prostate cancer.
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How Is Yale Medicines Approach To Treating Enlarged Prostate Unique
“Urologists at Yale Medicine can give you a personalized approach to prostate care for both benign and malignant conditions,” says Dr. Honig.
Doctors at Yale Medicine work closely with specialists across all disciplines at Yale New Haven Hospital. Our doctors are dedicated to providing the latest treatmentsall personalized to meet the needs of each patient. This collaboration between different departments and teams sets Yale Medicine apart in its standard of care.
Key Points To Remember
- Surgery can help if your enlarged prostate is causing serious problemssuch as kidney problems or repeated urinary tract infectionsor if medicines haven’t helped.
- The most important thing in deciding whether to have surgery is how much the symptoms bother you.
- Surgery works well for most men. But it can cause side effects, including ejaculation problems and erection problems.
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How Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Treated
Treatment options for benign prostatic hyperplasia may include
- lifestyle changes
- minimally invasive procedures
A health care provider treats benign prostatic hyperplasia based on the severity of symptoms, how much the symptoms affect a mans daily life, and a mans preferences.
Men may not need treatment for a mildly enlarged prostate unless their symptoms are bothersome and affecting their quality of life. In these cases, instead of treatment, a urologist may recommend regular checkups. If benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms become bothersome or present a health risk, a urologist most often recommends treatment.
Treatments Options For High
The prostate is a walnut-sized organ that is part of the male reproductive system. It sits in front the bladder and above the rectum. The prostate is responsible for the production and supply of fluid that helps nourish sperm in the ejaculate. The urethra, where urine travels from the bladder to the penis, runs through the prostate.
As a result of family history, lifestyle, diet, and natural hormonal changes, the prostate begins to grow in size as men age, starting in their mid-30s. When the prostate becomes more enlarged over time, it might press against the urethra and block urine flow . This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.
Enlarged prostates differ in size. The size can be estimated on digital rectal exam or prostate imaging like an ultrasound. People with very enlarged prostates have several treatment options. However, size is not the only factor used to choose a treatment.
When doctors evaluate the prostate, symptoms are just as important as size. In addition, size and symptoms don’t always correspond. For example, one person might have a mildly enlarged prostate with noticeable symptoms, while another person could have a very large prostate with no symptoms.
All of this information is the basis of a personalized treatment plan. Here are the options for patients with very enlarged prostates, with or without symptoms.
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Symptoms Of An Enlarged Prostate
When tissues in the prostate enlarge, they may apply pressure to the urethra and partially block urine flow. This may trigger the following symptoms:
- Difficulty starting urination
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder
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