Online Health Articles

Prostate Cancer: The Best Treatment may be no treatment at all


Prostate Cancer: The Best Treatment may be no treatment at all!

You have undergone a number of PSA (prostate specific antigen) tests and your PSA keeps going up. Your physician tells you that they must take a biopsy and you agree. The results come back and you are told that you have cancer of the prostate gland and your physician discusses some very radical forms of treatment. You are very confused because you do not have any symptoms. Your physician pressures you into treatment which he says guarantee an almost 98 percent survival rate. What do you do?

This year, approximately 22,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and will be facing that dilemma. For health-conscious men, PSA tests are what mammograms are to women – an essential piece of preventative medicine. Recent studies have shown that many mammograms are unnecessary and may produce false positives. Men experience the same problem except for the fact that they have to pay for their PSA test as it is not covered by the Ontario Government Health plan. Study after study has shown that the PSA test is a very crude instrument, resulting in a huge number of unnecessary surgeries

The problem with the PSA test is that it is simply a measure of the size of the prostate gland. As men age this gland enlarges and this in turn causes an increase in your PSA number. The fact is, this number has almost nothing to do with cancer of the prostate. If the prostate gland is enlarging because of an indolent (slow growing harmless) cancer then there is absolutely no threat to the patient because the cancerous growth is completely contained inside the walnut shaped prostate gland. Depending on which study you accept, the indolent cancers account for between 97 and 98 percent of all prostate cancers. The 2 or 3 percent virulent cancers that can be lethal are predominantly found in black males from the African or Caribbean populations.

The treatment for prostate cancer can be very severe ranging from complete removal of the prostate gland which may result in permanent sexual impotence, to physical or drug induced castration. The results are very successful if you look at the statistics but what the physicians fail to tell their patients is that whether they receive treatment or not, their life expectancy is exactly the same. In other words, you can live a long life with cancer of the prostate that was never treated.

One of the leading urologists in Canada, Dr.Lawrence Kotz, chief of urology at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in Toronto has stated publicly that although screening is necessary, prostate cancer is vastly over-diagnosed and over-treated. In a recent study on more than 250,000 men it was confirmed that PSA tests save few lives at an enormous cost. It concluded that for every death that was saved by a PSA test, 48 men received needless treatment.

Even if you were one of the males that received needless treatment you cannot just shrug it off because that treatment that you received may cause impotence, incontinence and other miseries, both mental and physical. For them the treatment was a lot worse than the disease. If you knew that the chances of not needing the surgery were 98 percent would you have agreed to this procedure?

The primary function of the prostate gland is to produce the white seminal fluid that carries the male’s protozoa. The process is fueled by testosterone produced primarily in the testicles which is converted to dihydrotestosterone in the prostate gland. Every time the seminal cells are used, the body must produce new copies. The more times our bodies reproduce cells, the more likely we are to reach a stage in which a bad copy is produced and then reproduced from then on. Those bad copies are called cancer cells. That is why nearly all men by the time they reach 70 years of age have cancerous cells in their prostate.

In nearly all cases these cells have no place to go because the prostate is a small encapsulated organ about the same size as a walnut. The cancerous cells are completely contained inside and relatively harmless to the rest of the body.

If your PSA numbers keep going up ask your urologist to schedule a test at Hamilton’s Henderson Hospital called the Human Kallikrein 2 (hk2) enzyme test which specifically detects cancerous cells in the prostate gland. A negative test here means you do NOT have any cancerous cells in the prostate and you do not have to pay for this test.

I know that it is very difficult to stand idly by when you have been given a cancer diagnosis. You feel that you must be proactive, not just for your sake but for your family’s sake as well. However, before you submit to the knife, radiation or chemotherapy make sure you need the treatment in the first place. Do you actually have any symptoms? Frequent urination during the night is simply normal as your prostate gland enlarges and can be easily treated with the herb saw palmetto. Remember, the odds are 98% that you will live a long and full life whether you treat your prostate cancer or whether you just leave it alone and live with it.