Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
Health Centers
Key Services
Which of the following in NOT a direct benefit of a regular walking regimen?
Reduce Stress
Improved immune function
Achieving ideal weight.
Improved sugar metabolism

 Integrative Medicine: Alternative Approaches to Prostate Cancer 

Conventional Treatment of Prostate Cancer
As I implied last time, for stages A and B of prostate cancer, when the cancer is confined to the prostate gland, a radical prostatectomy is most often recommended by urologists. This surgery involves the removal of the entire prostate gland and capsule and surrounding structures, such as the seminal vesicles. The surgery results in considerable pain post-operatively, as well as many complications. Most patients will be permanently sexually impotent following the surgery and 5 to 30% will suffer from some degree of urinary incontinence. Recovery time, which is rarely complete, takes at least 6 months.

Although a high cure rate is claimed by the urologists, especially for stage A, the question becomes what would be the survival rate of these patients if they had no procedure whatsoever? The answer is not clear. It is difficult to evaluate the effects of conventional treatment for prostate cancer for the following reasons. 1) It is usually a slow growing disease and therefore it takes many years to evaluate treatment results. 2) The disease is often dormant for years and may never manifest itself during the life of the patient, who may die from an entirely unrelated cause. 3) Today the diagnosis is made more often and earlier because of the PSA test, which was introduced only a few years ago, prostate ultrasound procedures and multiple biopsies. 4) Both radical prostatectomy and external beam radiation, the two most recommended procedures have many side effects and result frequently in a poor quality of life after the procedures. And 5) 25 to 50% of clinically diagnosed stages A, B and C actually turn out to be stage D after the procedure is done. Surgery or radiation are useless for stage D. All of this has led the well known urologist from Sloan-Kettering, Dr. Willet F. Whitmore to ask the question: " Is cure possible in those for whom it is necessary and is cure necessary in those for whom it is possible?"

External beam radiation is usually recommended for stage A and B when the patient is elderly or frail or would be a poor surgical risk. During and following this treatment at least 30 to 50% of patients experience inflammation of the bladder or rectum with diarrhea and other bowel symptoms, urinary retention and swelling of the penis and scrotum. Long term effects include sexual impotence in 40 to 75 per cent and a continuation of the acute side effects in less than 10 per cent of the patients. The problems with surgery and radiation have led to alternative conventional approaches.

The conventional treatment usually recommended for stage A or B prostate cancer is usually either a radical prostatectomy or external beam radiation. The appropriate conventional treatment for stage C or D is usually an anti-hormonal treatment. As early as 1941, Dr. Huggins found that when the supply of the male hormone testosterone available to the prostate is reduced or eliminated, prostate cancer would regress, often dramatically. This was done either by surgically removing the testes of the patient, which greatly reduced available testosterone, or by giving synthetic estrogen drugs, such as DES. This latter treatment would inhibit the pituitary from secreting hormones necessary for production of testosterone from the testes. Because of the significant cardiovascular side effects associated with synthetic estrogen drugs, new drugs have been developed to accomplish the same thing. The most commonly used in the United States is Lupron or Leuprolide, which is given as a long acting injection once a month.

CONTINUED      Previous   1  2  3  4  5  6  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Michael Schachter MD, FACAM Director of the Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine, Michael B. Schachter, M.D., is a 1965 graduate of Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons. He is board certified in Psychiatry, a Certified Nutrition......more
 From Our Friends
Popular & Related Products
Popular & Featured Events
Error Reading Event Calendar
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Communicating, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Wellness Inventory       Wellness Center
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar