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Use Of Altenative Medicine In Prostate Cancer

According to a conclusion of a group of the University of California-San Francisco, about one third of prostate cancer sufferers in the United States receive some type of alternative or complementary medicine therapies. People using alternative medicine have more education, higher incomes, and more advanced cancers, targeting the prostate health when were younger. They also were more likely to face other illnesses.

Because alternative or complementary therapies could interact with other medicines, it is very important for patients to tell their physician everything they are taking.

After investigation of a group of 2,582

prostate cancer patients, the study found that 852 (about one third) reported the use of some alternative medicine, such as mineral or vitamin supplements, herbs, antioxidants and some sorts of alternative treatment for "prostate health," such as saw palmetto or lycopene.

The study has no conclusion about how prostate patients take the decision to start using complementary or alternative medicines and about the way they are getting their information. There is also no mention regarding how the use of these therapies affects health and quality of life in men with prostate cancer.

Men can find a lot of alternative therapies on

the market, but the question is, do these therapies work?

If taken in small to moderate portions, these products show to be safe. But they haven't been tested yet in large, long-term trials. Some may be beneficial by providing protective effects before prostate cancer develops, such as treatments based on Vitamin E, selenium or lycopene. But they are slowly gaining acceptance in conventional medicine.

Apart of the fact that they may or may not help, the benefits and risks of such products and practices remain unproven by scientific techniques. However, the biggest problem is the production of these products is not well

regulated by an authority and the amount of active ingredient may vary from bottle to bottle or even from pill to pill.

About the Author:

Valerian D is a freelance writer specialized in health issues affecting men such as prostate cancer. Visit to learn more

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