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Alternative Medicines for Prostate Cancer

Some patients do not wish to undergo conventional medical treatments and instead seek alternative medicines to fight prostate cancer. Relying on the logic or accepted use in other countries, these medicines are mostly unproven and unconventional. Many alternative medicines have little objective data documented to prove their effectiveness. Others may be legitimately published and promise reasonable results for some patients.

Shark Cartilage
Cartilage contains natural chemicals that inhibit blood vessel growth in places like your nose, ear lobes, and around the ends of your bones. Some trials suggest that the chemicals in cartilage may slow the growth of cancer by stopping new blood vessels from forming that ordinarily help cancer grow. Current trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute are investigating the benefit of shark cartilage in regards to cancer.

Plant Extracts
Plant extracts received the greatest recognition as alternative therapies for prostate cancer in the 1990s. One widely used extract is the saw palmetto, a dried ripe fruit from the American dwarf saw palmetto plant. Saw palmetto is accepted and prescribed in Europe to relieve the symptoms of prostatic enlargement. Since the mechanism of its action and anticancer activity remain unclear, the United States FDA does not yet regulate this extract as a drug.

Another popular plant extract is PC-SPES, which is a combination of eight herbs, including chrysanthemum, panax pseudo-ginseng, isatis, rabdosia rubescens, licorice, saw palmetto, ganoderma lucidum, and scutellania (skullcap). Natural hormone-like chemicals found in these herbs cause the prostate cancer to regress. Unlike saw palmetto, PC-SPES has side effects such as blood clots and strokes.

There have been a variety of claims regarding the effects of diet on prostate cancer by both reliable and not-so-reliable sources. Although it is important to maintain a healthy diet for overall well-being, as of now there is no consistent evidence that dietary factors can affect the growth of prostate cancer.

If you are interested in alternative medicines consult your doctor before trying anything new. When considering unconventional treatments research the benefits, risks, and side effects are associated with each therapy. Also, research current or prior clinical trials involving alternative medicines and find out if the therapy will be covered by your health insurance.

Other forms of alternative medicine include: (link to each new full page of content once built out)
·         Biological Alternative Medicine
·         Body-Based Manipulations
·         Energy-Based Treatments
·         Nutritional Therapy
·         Homeopathy and Naturopathic Medicine
·         Vaccines
·         Radiofrequency Ablation


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