compiled by Healing Cancer Naturally from material © 1994-2000 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Cancer of the prostate (carcinoma of the prostate gland) while rare before the age of 60 increases in frequency every decade thereafter. While cancer of the prostate is a common disease and one of the most common cancers, markedly low incidences are seen in Oriental populations, especially in Japan. As with other tumors, immigration from low-incidence to high-incidence countries is followed by an increased incidence in the migrant population [suggesting a strong causative link with nutritional, environmental, cultural and lifestyle habits]. Although no definite etiologic factors have been established, the isolation of HSV-2 from cells of prostatic cancer and the presence and persistence of CMV virus in cultured human prostatic cells have suggested that these viruses might be involved. The fact that prostatic carcinoma is rare before the age of 50, increases in incidence in subsequent years, is not seen in castrates, and regresses following castration implicates the presence of male hormone as significant factors.
Genesis, Diagnosis & Symptoms
Carcinoma of the prostate may manifest itself in three forms: (1) cancer producing symptoms leading directly to the prostate, (2) hidden cancer that causes no prostatic symptoms but spreads to certain other parts of the body, and (3) latent cancer, where a slow-growing mass is found, usually at autopsy. Latent tumors are found in 25 percent of the male population over the age of 40 years. The cancerous prostate is usually hard and dry and shows small islands of yellow cancer cells distributed throughout the tissue. The cancer may spread from the prostate to the floor of the bladder and to all of the reproductive ducts leading into the prostate. The pelvic and spinal lymph nodes are involved early, as well as the bones of the pelvis. Cancer may spread to the liver, lungs, or bone by way of the blood system; about 70 percent of the cases show bone involvement. Infections of the prostate are common and are usually caused by bacteria that inhabit the stool. Gonorrhea, a venereal disease, may also affect the prostate. Treatment is usually administration of antibiotics.
Cancer arises in the epithelium lining the prostatic acini and small ducts, and, more rarely, in the main ducts. The majority are adenocarcinomas that tend to infiltrate the organ stroma and break through the capsule to spread to the rectum, the base of the bladder, and eventually to more distant sites by dissemination via lymphatics and blood vessels. Metastases to the bones are quite common.
The diagnosis is made by finding cancer cells in a specimen of tissue taken from the prostate. Elevated levels of acid phosphatase (an enzyme of the prostate) are found in the blood (in 75 percent of cases) when the cancer has extended outside the prostate capsule and metastases are present.
Other abnormalities & diseases afflicting the prostate gland in the male reproductive system
The prostate gland is dependent on the hormonal secretions of the testes for growth and development. In men over the age of 60 years, enlargement (hyperplasia) of the prostate is relatively common. In the vast majority of cases it causes no symptomatic difficulties, though infection may occur, as may rupturing of blood vessels. Enlargement may cause compression of the urethra with progressive obstruction of the flow of urine, incomplete emptying, or inability to void; there may also be a constant dribbling of urine. The bladder is never totally emptied, however, and the remaining urine becomes stagnant and infection sets in. The stagnant urine may cause the precipitation of stones in the bladder; the bladder muscle thickens to overcome this obstruction. If urine begins to back up in the kidney, progressive damage may ensue, which can lead to kidney failure and subsequent uremia (the toxic effects of kidney failure).
Prostate Cancer: Dietary Link
There are three ways in which a person's usual diet may lead to cancer: (1) A carcinogenic (cancer-producing) substance in food (or drink) can come in contact with the epithelium (inner lining) of mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, or, usually in chemically altered form, with the intestines, liver, or urinary bladder. Most such substances in food are only weakly carcinogenic and would have no effect taken once or twice, but they might lead to cancer if taken repeatedly over a long time. (2) The plane of nutrition (i.e., whether a person is a little overfed or a little underfed) may influence the incidence of endocrine-dependent cancers by altering hormone secretion or metabolism. Cancers thought to be in this category are those of the breast, uterus, or prostate. (3) Some nutrients may influence susceptibility to carcinogenesis at other sites.
Notes by Healing Cancer Naturally
According to eminent alternative & conventional cancer treatment researcher Lothar Hirneise and other researchers, prostate cancer is, generally speaking, one of the most innocuous cancers one can have. In fact, many men who die of other causes are found at autopsy to have had prostate cancer, safely encapsulated for decades by the wisdom of their body... Also compare Cancer “over-diagnosing” and “over-treatment”: Do be aware!.
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