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Are there alternative treatments for prostate cancer?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Although no alternative treatments will cure prostate cancer, there are options to help you cope with side effects of the cancer's symptoms or the treatment of the disease. All of these alternative treatments are aimed at reducing stress and taking the mind off the disease. Examples include exercise; meditation; guided relaxation techniques; music, dance or art therapy; and the comfort of spirituality.

More investigation is needed in this area. In general, there are many herbs and botanicals out there that may one day show promising results for patients who are ill, and that’s why it’s so important to continue pursuing research in these areas.

There are no alternative therapies for prostate cancer that are clinically proven effective, says William Oh, MD, an oncologist at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. In this video, he describes investigating one alternative therapy.

Alternative therapies for prostate cancer, specifically supplements, are fine as long as there's some evidence behind them. There was a very famous case in California several years ago in which an herbal medicine called PC-SPES was being sold as a Chinese supplement. It was analyzed and found to contain estrogen, which does reduce your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) but was an older treatment for prostate cancer that resulted in heart attacks and blood clots, so this was taken off the market.

There are lots of advertisements for saw palmetto or Pygeum africanum that are sold for prostate health. Those have no role in prostate cancer prevention or treatment. They are sometimes sold for the reduction of the size of the gland to help a man empty his bladder more effectively. An integrated approach of diet, exercise and close monitoring could be a great solution, however.

Some of the best alternative treatments for prostate cancer include simple lifestyle changes, like eating a healthier diet and getting into shape. Watch me suggest lifestyle changes that can help fight prostate cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.