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Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer: Now What?

diagnosed-with-prostate-cancer-now-what_300If you have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may be thinking, “Now what do I do?” The first thing you need to do is take a big breath and relax. You have a very good chance that your prostate cancer is very treatable and is not likely to kill you.

The statistics are in your favor. In the United States, a male has a 16 percent chance of receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer but only a 2.8 percent risk of dying from prostate cancer. Survival rates for prostate cancer, as reported by the American Cancer Society, show that the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent and the 10-year rate is 91 percent. Most men who find out they have prostate cancer do not die from the cancer itself but from other, concurrent causes.

Now that you are calmer, there are several important steps you can take to help prevent cancer from spreading, minimize the impact of the prostate cancer on your life and help ease your mind, while giving peace of mind to your family.

You do have some work ahead of you in becoming an informed patient and an advocate for your own health. For your best outcome you should follow some guidelines to continue to have a good quality of life and give yourself the best shot at defeating prostate cancer.

Get More Opinions

Before you start any treatment, make sure you get a second and even a third opinion. These consultations are most likely covered by your insurance plan. The other doctor might confirm your diagnosis, but he may have a differing opinion about your diagnosis or treatment plan. One doctor might come up with a treatment the other doctor did not consider. This allows you to be more informed and make more educated decisions about how you want to treat your cancer.

Be Informed

Ask a lot of questions and make sure your doctor fully explains everything about your current health and what you can expect both in the near future and down the road. If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to speak up. The Internet is a great tool for researching the latest studies and articles about new treatments or developments.

If you are concerned about treatment side effects, look them up online. There are newsletters for which you can sign up and forums in which you can “meet” or chat with other men or their spouses, who are going through the same thing as you and your significant other. You can find comfort in the fact that you are not alone in facing this disease. You can get advice and information about the treatment experience from someone who has just been through it himself.

Make Lifestyle Changes To Promote Prostate Health

It is more important than ever to take a good look at your diet and lifestyle. Make changes to stay as healthy as you can so you can enjoy maximum immunity and the strength to fight this disease. Read up on the Prostate Diet to learn how to promote the best prostate health and whole-body health, too.

Here are 19 steps to better prostate health:

  • Eat a larger variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat heart-healthy fats such as olive oils, nuts and avocados.
  • Trade in animal protein for plant-based protein.
  • Eat whole foods to get fiber.
  • Drink green tea.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3, such as salmon and other fatty fish.
  • Avoid food additives.
  • Avoid red meat.
  • Don’t take calcium supplements.
  • Eat cancer-killing foods like tomatoes, cayenne and turmeric.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Lose weight if you need to and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Manage your stress.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Look to natural therapies to supplement your health such as Prost-P10x.
  • Keep your hormones in balance.
  • Maintain a healthy sex life.
  • Stay away from chemicals and toxins (such as pesticides).
  • Exercise.

Consider Your Treatment Options

Your options for treating your prostate cancer may include both conventional therapies and complementary treatments. Read all you can so you can be informed and so you can get better information when you talk to your doctor. Learn about different ways to treat prostate cancer so you can make the right decision based on your health and stage of cancer. Options may include watchful waiting or active surveillance. Your doctor may recommend this if you have a very early stage of prostate cancer. This option involves using blood tests to keep an eye on your prostate-specific antigen (PSA), getting regular prostate exams and having biopsies performed. Other more active therapies may include hormone therapy, radiation, chemotherapy or surgery.

Maintain Medical Records

You will be dealing with a lot of information. Keeping all your medical records organized makes it much easier for you and your doctors to keep everything straight. Then, if you get a new doctor, you can easily make copies of everything to quickly bring him up to speed. Make sure to get copies of all your test results, and keep them in a file or binder. Ask for digital copies of your radiology scans so they can be compared to any scans you may have in the future. It is also a good idea to keep a record of all the medications, supplements and over-the-counter products you take. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can keep your test-result numbers and list of mediations in a notebook app for easy reference. Your doctor and pharmacist should have an up-to-date copy of this complete list so they can be sure not to prescribe anything that can cause a harmful drug interaction.

Establish A Social Network

You don’t have to go through this ordeal alone; it is best if you can get support from a social network of your family, friends, medical professionals and support groups. Online social sites like Facebook have these types of support groups. You can follow Prostate.net on Facebook to stay informed and interact with other prostate cancer patients. Other sites have forums and support groups as well.

Ultimately, you and your loved ones will be making medical decisions for you, so it is important to stay informed. If you understand what is going on in your body and what all your options are, you can feel confident in deciding how to fight this disease. Following the lifestyle and diet changes discussed here will increase your odds, improve your overall health and give you a sense of control over the situation. Doing all this will help you turn all your questions about what to do into answers.

Dr. Geo Espinosa

is the Director of the Integrative Urology Center at New York University Langone Medical Center and the Chief Science Officer at Prostate Research Labs. Before joining NYU, Dr. Espinosa was a clinician, researcher and director of clinical trials at the Center for Holistic Urology at Columbia University Medical Center. He is a licensed naturopathic doctor, licensed acupuncturist, a Certified Nutrition Specialist and a Registered Herbalist. Dr. Espinosa is an author of the naturopathic entry in 1000 Cures for 200 Ailments (Harper Collins, March, 2007) and “Prostate Cancer — Nutrients that may slow its progression,” Food and Nutrients in Disease Management (Maryland: Cadmus Publishing, 2009). Dr. Espinosa also serves on the editorial board of the Natural Medicine Journal. Dr Geo is a frequent speaker at universities, medical schools and conferences on Integrative Health, nutrition and natural treatments for prostate disease. Read more on Dr. Geo.

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