Common Pain Killers Can Mask Signs of Prostate Cancer
Common painkillers taken on a regular basis, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, appear to lower a man’s PSA level, the blood biomarker used by doctors to help gauge whether a man is at a risk of getting prostate cancer.
The authors of this new study, however, caution that men should not take the painkillers in an effort to prevent prostate cancer. An author on this study Eric A Singer M.D., M.A., a urology resident at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said, “We showed that men who regularly took certain medications like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, had a lower serum PSA level…. But there’s not enough data to say that men who took the medications were less likely to get prostate cancer. This was a limited study, and we do not know how many of those men actually got prostate cancer.”
Symptoms of an enlarged prostate – known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – can range from a weak, slow urinary stream, to hesitancy and straining to urinate, to an inability to empty the bladder completely, to more serious complications including recurrent urinary tract infections and kidney damage.
If a man lives long enough, he will almost certainly experience some degree of BPH. Although 50%-60% of men with this condition may never develop any symptoms, BPH can make life miserable. The November issue of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch examines the safety and effectiveness of several herbs commonly used to reduce BPH symptoms and offers practical lifestyle tips that can ease living with this prostate problem.
Among herbal remedies, saw palmetto seems to be the most promising. One large analysis of studies done on this herb found that saw palmetto reduced nighttime urination by 25% and other bothersome complaints by 28% when compared to a placebo. Side effects reported were mild and did not differ significantly from problems that the men attributed to the placebos.
The November issue also offers a few simple adjustments that can reduce the bother of BPH:
– Reduce your consumption of fluids, particularly after dinner.
– Limit your use of alcohol and caffeine, and avoid them after about 3 p.m.; both increase urine flow.
– Avoid medications that stimulate muscles in the bladder neck and prostate, as well as medications that weaken bladder contractions.
– Never pass up a chance to use the bathroom, even if your bladder does not feel full.
Prostate cancer is one of the three very common prostate diseases. Many experts estimate that every man will eventually develop cancer of prostate if he lives long enough.
Natural prevention of prostate cancers begins with the habit of maintaining urinary tract as clean as is possible. A daily fluid intake to as much as 8 to 12 glasses will increase the urine amount. When you are drinking enough, you are urinating more often than usual. Eliminated extra fluids help maintaining the urinary tract clean. Since the prostate is involved seminal fluid producing, there is a strong belief that regular ejaculations – two or three times weekly – will also help. There is no much scientific proof of this, but it is risk-free.
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Erectile Dysfunction And The Prostate: What Are The Connections?
UroToday.com – Prostate cancer is the leading malignancy in American men and causes more than 60,000 deaths annually. Treatment of prostate cancer with either surgery, radiation therapy, cryotherapy or medical treatment is associated with significant life altering morbidity. Both incontinence and erectile dysfunction (ED) are too often sequelae of these treatment alternatives. ED can be a significant complication and can alter the life of both the prostate cancer patient and his partner. Newer modifications of the radical prostatectomy with nerve sparing techniques are the cornerstone of erection preservation.
Time following radical prostatectomy has been shown to increase erectile function such that more patients have functional erections at 3 years than 1 year after surgery. With the advent of PDE 5 inhibitors, many men can have improved functional erections and return to active coitus. Prevention of ED is also an important management technique. Evidence is gathering that prophylaxis with regular vasoactive injection or daily PDE 5 agents may be an integral part of preservation of corpus cavernosum smooth muscle function. Combination medical therapy and surgical penile prosthesis implantation are also options for patients failing oral PDE 5 inhibitors.
Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are an age independent risk factor for ED as demonstrated by large epidemiologic studies such as the MSAM-7 study. Etiology may be mediated via alpha adrenergic over activity. The large concentrations of PDE5 receptors in prostate, bladder and urethra suggest that PDE5 inhibitors may be a treatment alternative for the ED LUTS combination.