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Diseases & Conditions : Prostate Health


Herbal Remedies For Prostate Cancer

What are herbal remedies?

Over the centuries, man has gone from a simple diet consisting of meats, fruits, vegetables, and grains, to a diet that often consists of foods rich in fats, oils, and complex carbohydrates. Nutritional excess and nutritional deficiency have become problems in today's society - both contributing to several chronic diseases. Many dietary and herbal approaches attempt to balance the body's nutritional well-being. Dietary and herbal approaches may include dietary supplements and herbal medicine.

Most herbal medicines or "herbal remedies" for treatment of prostate cancer have not been studied scientifically (in a randomized clinical trial, a highly regarded approach). In particular, combination herbal remedies currently on the market should be approached with caution, since reported side effects have included venous thrombosis (blood clots in veins), breast tenderness, and loss of libido (desire for sex.) For example, a popular supplement sometimes used by men with prostate cancer, called PC-SPES, was taken off the market after a warning by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002. PC-SPES was found to contain other prescription drugs that could cause serious health problems, according the American Cancer Society. In addition, many herbal preparations have not been studied in men with prostate cancer.

Are herbal remedies considered to be a form of complementary and alternative medicine?

Yes. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) encompasses unconventional approaches to healing, beyond standard medicine.

  • Standard/conventional medicine refers to medical treatments that have been scientifically tested, found to be safe and effective, and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

  • Complementary medicine is any form of therapy used in combination with other treatments. Complementary therapy usually serves to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.

  • Alternative medicine is used alone, without recommended standard treatment.

Some people use complementary treatments to relieve symptoms or side effects while undergoing standard/conventional treatment (such as pain relief during cancer treatment).

Consult with your physician prior to utilizing any type of dietary or herbal supplements in the treatment or prevention of prostate cancer.