Taking Charge of Your Health When You Have Prostate Cancer
A diagnosis of prostate cancer is a life-changing event both physically and psychologically for a man. In addition to the physical impacts of the cancer and treatment options (typically urine control, erectile function and pain) the sheer shock and worry can have a significant adverse impact on your general health.
A diagnosis of cancer brings your health clearly into your primary focus. And rightly it should. In Chinese Medicine, the belief is that the only thing that can naturally kill cancer is your own body’s defences. Your body kills cancerous cells all of the time but something has happened and it’s dropped the ball on your prostate.
By making your body strong, you give it the best chance to do its job in controlling the cancer you have or preventing its return after successful treatment.
Courses of Action
Generally, there are two courses of action you can take (and only you can decide what action to take after consulting with your doctor): active surveillance and treatment.
With active surveillance, you and your doctor will watch your cancer closely to see if it causes any symptoms or appears to be growing. During this time, you will have checkups and tests, such as PSA tests and digital rectal exams. You may also have prostate biopsies. There are a range of factors taken into account including your age, general health, Gleason Score, etc.
If you decide on watchful waiting, you can take action by making your body strong to better manage the cancer and its physical and emotional effects on you.
Treatment for Prostate Cancer
You may decide (along with your doctor) that treating the prostate cancer is the best option. Treatment options generally revolve around surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. These Western treatment methods are important for curing or arresting disease progression. However, due to the different side effects each option causes (e.g. inability to control urination, impotence and loss of sexual desire, nausea, vomiting, sleep problems, bowel dysfunction), these clinical methods still have limitations.
If you decide on treatment you can take action strengthen your body:
Before treatment to better prepare yourself physically and mentally (reduce anxiety and regain a sense of control).
After surgery to speed up recovery time, manage pain and return your body to a strong state after what it’s just been through.
For the duration of longer treatments like radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy.
To help reduce symptoms of incontinence, erectile dysfunction, nausea and vomiting (that often goes with chemotherapy treatment) and hot flashes that may accompany hormone therapy.
Chinese Medicine Treatment
We treat prostate cancer in an integrative, holistic fashion, using Chinese Medicine to help prevent the disease or slow its progression. We treat men at all stages of prostate cancer, including those who are undergoing active surveillance, men who have had a recurrence of prostate cancer after first-line treatment, and men with high-grade prostate cancer who have undergone surgery.
Going to the gym and running help you get strong on the outside, but you need to be strong on the inside to help your body cope with the cancer. Our treatments help you get strong on the inside (strong energy and chi) to give your body the best chance to deal with your prostate cancer.
How We Treat Prostate Cancer
We use a combination of acupuncture, herbs, dietary advice and Qigong. For details of each treatment option, please see other pages on this website.
Benefits of Chinese Medicine Treatment of Men with Prostate Cancer
Pain Management: Cancer itself can cause a lot of pain because of tumours, swelling and inflammation. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments can also cause pain. Acupuncture is very effective in helping you manage pain. Patients who receive acupuncture may be able to use lower doses of pain medications.
Immune System Modulation: Cancer and treatments including radiation and chemotherapy cause a suppression of bone marrow – the source of the body’s immune system. Acupuncture directly stimulates the immune system to produce more natural killer cells and lymphocytes to reduce the risk of infection.
Inflammation: Part of the physiology of cancer is increased inflammation. Many of the treatments for cancer such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery also cause inflammation and pain. Acupuncture reduces the pain and swelling related to inflammation.
Nausea and Vomiting: Acupuncture has been shown to reduce nausea and vomiting in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy treatment.
Sleep: Deep sleep is required for healing. Patients with cancer can find it very difficult to sleep due to pain and anxiety. Acupuncture reduces pain and anxiety and greatly improves sleep.
Incontinence. After treatment, incontinence is one of the most common side effects and one of the most embarrassing and difficult for a man to live with. Acupuncture Melbourne has been shown to return patients to continence faster by improving blood flow to the pelvic floor area.
By reducing pain and anxiety, helping the body recover from treatments, boosting the immune system, improving continence and aiding sleep, acupuncture can substantially improve the health and wellbeing of a man affected by prostate cancer.
If you would like to come in for a chat about your prostate cancer and how acupuncture can help you call us to book a free 15 minute consultation on 9988 1928.
Note: In Melbourne Chinese medicine is not permitted to be the primary treatment for cancer, it is a support treatment.