How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds contain high protein and fiber, making it a great snack to boost up your energy. Therefore, do remember to save up these nutritious seeds and not throwing them away. Especially during the Halloween season, why not make a delicious and most importantly, healthy snack from all the leftovers from the pumpkin carving session.

Here is how you prepare to roast the pumpkin seeds in a few simple steps. First of all, you scoop out all the seeds of the pumpkin into a bowl by using your hands, a spoon or a carving object depends on your preference. After you have done scooping out the seeds, separate them from the flesh and strings. This can be quite a difficult task but you can do it by rinsing the combined seeds and flesh in a strainer under running water. As the water runs through the seeds, rub the seeds between your fingers in order to separate the seeds from the flesh. Then, you may rinse the seeds again under cold water to discard the pulp. One tip to take note is that it is easier to remove the seeds from the pumpkin before removing the pulp from the pumpkin. Therefore, it is advisable to reach in the pumpkin and pull the seeds off the pulp carefully. This step saves you a lot of work as it will only remove the seeds.  

Once the seeds are rinsed, you may soak them in salt water as the salt water helps to deactivates enzyme inhibitors which could cause irritation to stomach. The seeds may be soaked for few hours before drying with paper towels. After the seeds are dried, you may season the seeds. This is the step in which you can be as creative as you want. You can either simply sprinkle the seeds with additional salt or be more creative. Firstly, remember to toss the seeds with some honey or olive oil so that your seasonings will stick. You may try a few combinations of either sweet or spicy. If you prefer sweet snack, season the seeds with honey, cinnamon or sugar. If you prefer spicy, season the seeds with olive oil, paprika or pepper. You may also try seasoning the seeds with peanut oil, crumbled seaweed or melted butter.  

Now, you can prepare to roast the seeds. There are a few ways to roast the seeds. One of the method is by roasting the seeds in a pan by constantly and continuously shifting them around to prevent the seeds from sticking to the pan and to ensure the seeds are roasted evenly. Another method is by using the microwave by simply putting the seeds and heat for two to three minutes. Then, take the seeds out and stir a few times before reheat for another one minute. You may repeat this step until the seeds are crispy enough. Besides the pan and microwave, you may also use the oven to roast the seeds. Preheat the oven to 160°C and leave the seeds until they become brown. This will usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes. It is advisable to shake the seeds around for every five minutes to avoid burning.      

Once the roasting process has been completed, the seeds should be set aside to cool and ready to be served. Apart from eating the seeds alone, you may try sweet seeds as topping on your yogurt or savory seeds to be added into your soups or salads.

Remove Cat Urine Smell

Cat urine is just like other pets’ urine as it can gives a very bad smell nearly impossible to mask off. It can happens quite often that your cat urinates outside the litter box and on a carpet, bed linens, clothes or furniture. It is very important to remove the urine smell to prevent your cat from repeating the same mistake again on the same spot. As you know, pets tend to return to the same spot which they previously urinated if the odor is still there. Moreover, if the problem is not being taken care off, the urine left unclean will gives out a strong ammonia smell and eventually causes more bacteria growth.

Many of you, cat owners are not quick enough to clean up the urine. Thus, once the urine dries up, you might not see it on the floor but the smell cannot be avoided. Luckily, there are a few items from your house that are able to neutralize the cat urine smell like vinegar, baking soda and enzymatic cleaners. Vinegar is said to be one of the easiest and most useful product when it comes to clean the mess from your beloved cat. By simply making a solution with a mixture of vinegar and water, pour on the affected area as well as the area close by including the wall. You can notice the result after a few hours depending on how strong the smell is. Many people find that vinegar works greatly in removing the cat urine smell as the acid neutralizes the alkaline salts that form in the urine of the cat. Vinegar has a strong smell itself and it will subsides after a few days taking the cat urine smell away too.  

What if your cat pees on your carpet? Once you have noticed this incident to happen, be quick enough to blot up as much as possible the amount of urine. This should be followed up by rinsing the area with clean water and removing the liquid with a vacuum. Remember not to use a steam cleaner as the heat from the steamer can set the stain into the carpet. Then, add some enzyme cleaners to the affected spot and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. After that, start blotting again with a clean piece of cloth. In order to make sure your cat will not return to the same spot again to pee, you should cover the affected area with aluminum foil or cover with an upside-down laundry basket during the cleaning process. If the urine smell do not go away from the carpet after your cleaning effort, you can use an oil based, stain blocker primer under the carpet to neutralize the smell.

Your cat might not only pee on the carpet but also on cushions and mattresses. Do not freak out as you can clean them in a similar way as how you clean the carpet. Firstly, soak the affected part of the cushion or mattress with water and blot up as much as possible the liquid with a towel. Then, soak them again in enzyme cleaner and allow the cleaner to settle for about 15 minutes. Squish out the excess liquid and blot again with towels. Let the cushion or mattress to dry completely. While allowing the items to be dried, make sure your cat cannot go near them. This is to discourage your cat from peeing on the cushion or mattress again. Bear in mind that thick cushions and mattresses may require more than one application to remove the smell completely.

Your naughty cat may also pee on linens and clothing leaving them with a terrible smell. When this happens, you must first rinse the clothing with cool water. Then, put the clothing into the washing machine with detergent and a cup of baking soda or some vinegar. You can most probably still smell the urine after the first cycle of washing. Do not panic, the process is not complete yet. Now, add some enzyme cleaner and proceed to the next cycle of washing. Sometimes, you may require to wash the clothing for a few times in order for the cat urine smell to be completely gone.       

 

Remove Dog Urine from Carpet

For dog lovers like you, you are aware that no matter how well-trained your dogs are, there are times when accidents do occur. Your dog may accidently pee on your favourite carpet especially a young puppy or an older doggy. This will cause your entire home to stink as the urine contains strong ammonia smell. Therefore, it is important for you to be equipped with some good knowledge on how to remove the urine of your dog from the carpet in order to prevent the smell to spread.

Most importantly, you must quickly remove and clean up any urine that is still wet. When you spotted that your dog has urinated on the carpet, do not delay in cleaning. Once the urine dries up, it will not only stains the carpet but also increases the growth of bacteria. It is best to remove the urine by placing a few paper towels over the wet area of the carpet. Press hard on the towels so that they could absorb the urine as much as possible. This way, the urine smell can be highly reduced. Keep in your mind that cleaning up the mess right after it happened will definitely save you a lot of work.

If the urine of your dog has already set into the carpet, there are still ways to clean it by neutralizing the urine odor. First, you need to create a white vinegar cleaning solution with a ratio of one to one of vinegar to water. Vinegar is a very good choice as it is able to neutralize the smell of ammonia from the urine without causing the carpet fibers to fade. In other words, it cleans and protects your carpet. Once you have prepared the white vinegar solution, pour it slowly on the affected area on the carpet. Make sure that you allow sufficient time for the solution to reach deep down into the lower fibers in the carpet in order for a complete neutralization to occur. After about ten minutes, use some paper towels to blot the carpet in order to soak up the liquid. Then, leave the carpet to dry, which may take up to few hours.

The process does not end by leaving the carpet to dry. Once the carpet is almost dry, you need to sprinkle some baking soda on the same affected area and allow it to settle. The time that you allow the baking soda to settle into the carpet depends on how severe the stain of the urine. Some suggests to leave it for only 15 minutes while some say it is best to leave it for several hours. After that, run a vacuum over the affected area. With the use of white vinegar and baking soda, your problem should be well taken care off.   

Other than the conventional ways to remove dog urine from the carpet, you may easily opt for some solutions available commercially. In case if the conventional methods fail you, there are many pet urine and stain removers and deodorizers in the market. The variety of choices available can sometimes be a headache as certain products will work better than others, depending on your carpet type. Therefore, it is highly advisable to read the label on the products carefully before getting one that suits your need.    

 

Prostate cancer survival rate

prostate-Survival-CTCA-5YR-Vertical-2014

Prostate cancer is one of the cancer types that is slow to grow and isn’t quick to spread. Through going along diagnoses, prostate cancer can be considered to be less threatening compared to other types of cancers. Prostate cancer is seen as a less dangerous illness than other medical conditions for many men. Because of these reasons, and due to early detection stages, prostate cancer tops as one of the highest cancer survival rates of all the different types of cancer. Knowing this can help explore what this means for those at potential risk.

Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer next to skin cancer. In a man’s lifetime, only 1 in 7 will be diagnosed with cancer. For much older men who are never diagnosed, it is astonishing to find two thirds of them could have prostate cancer. Out of these figures, only 1 in 36 men actually dies from prostate cancer. The diagnose of prostate cancer in these much older men usually turn out to be slow growing and non aggressive. Hence, the actual cause of their death is usually due to other health and medical illnesses like heart disease, stroke and others. It has nothing to do with prostate cancer.

Close-up of a happy senior man posing with his two poodles.

One can say that prostate cancer survival rates look positive. By the time men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, they are around the age of 70. Many of these men face death due to other complications of health problems over the period of 5 years that is irrelevant to prostate cancer. When survival rate of prostate cancer is calculated excluding these group of men who die of other causes, the figures look very encouraging. About 99% of men with prostate cancer that is common will hold out for 5 years and more upon being diagnosed. And for most of the men whose prostate cancer has not spreaded and remain only in one area nearby, the prognosis is far more promising. Close to all of them will live for a minimum of 5 years. For men with prostate cancer that has spreaded which make up about 30%, 1 in 3 of them will live for at least 5 years after diagnosis. However, this is mere approximate statistic.

It is quite complex to understand the prognosis of your prostate cancer because of the various factors involved in the growth and development of prostate cancer. There are some factors that will influence the result of your cancer and they are PSA level, stage and gleason grade or score.

There are fewer men (5%) that have advanced prostate cancer as compared to localized cancer (only in one area) and 9 out of 10 men with prostate cancer have localized cancer so it’s safe to say none of these men will pass away from prostate cancer after 5 years.

Despite all the statistics that are gathered, there isn’t complete certainty on how dependable they are.  It does not foretell what will become of you and exactly how long your lifespan is. Each person’s cancer is different and individualistic. The way and how cancer grows and their rate differs from one person to another. There is not enough specific information on what treatments the patient had and how the prognosis was impacted by those treatments.

Unfortunately, statistics are often not up to date. With any kind of statistics, much time is needed for them to be gathered and collaborated. Hence, it is not an accurate speculation that includes more recent developments in treatments. There are newer drugs used to treat advanced cancer and this is it is not taken into consideration into the above statistics. On the other hand, it is a good thing that these statistics are outdated as there is probably better and more improved statistics considering the 5 year relative survival rate for men diagnosed with cancer was 92.9% in 1990 and at present, it is 99%.

Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

ProstateCancerDiagnosis

Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers among males and because of this, there is a strong public and medical interest in making the diagnosis and staging of this cancer. Despite the cancer being slow growing, it makes 10-percent of cancer linked deaths in men and about a thousands of lives of men being taken every year because of the disease.

Most prostate cancers are initially diagnosed through tests and screening. This is because it remains controversial whether to test men with no symptoms for prostrate cancer. Some health and medical institutions do not concur if there are any benefits to screen while some others advise men to contemplate screening for men in their 50s or earlier for those who have some risk factors. Some medical institutions are against any kind of screening.  There is no precise and exact test for prostate cancer so consult your doctor and discuss your condition, risk of screening and concerns to see if prostate cancer screening and diagnosis is right for you.

One of the prostrate screening tests is digital rectal exam (DRE). A doctor uses a lubricated finger with a glove inside your rectum to inspect the prostate which is next to the rectum during the DRE examination. Further tests may be needed if the doctor finds any unusualness found in the shape, size or texture of the gland. A second screening test available is the Prostrate-specific antigen  (PSA) test. The healthcare team will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm to evaluate the PSA, which the prostate gland naturally produces as a substance. It is safe to say that if there is a small amount of PSA in the bloodstream, it is normal. A suggestion of prostate infection, inflammation, enlargement of cancer would be a result of a higher than normal level found.

Studies have shown to be doubtful and disagreeing on whether a combination of DRE and PSA testing helps to distinguish prostate cancer at its earlier stages. As a result, prostate cancer screening remains a huge debate among health experts.

Upon completeing the DNA and PSA test, some other tests will be done to conclude if you have prostate cancer. One of them is a small examination done with an insertion into the rectum through ultra sound the shape and size of a cigar. An image of your prostate gland will be made by a probe using sound waves. If there is suspicion of prostrate cancer from the first testing results, a method collecting sample of cells from the prostate called prostate biopsy will be advised by the doctor. A prostate biopsy happens when tissue is collected using a thin needle inserted into the prostate. In a lab, the tissue is then examined to see if cancer cells are present.

radiation-testicular-bw

When a biopsy certifies the presence of cancer, what follows is the determination of the degree of cancer cells aggression (grade). The job of a pathologist in the lab will study how much difference there is between the cancer cells and healthy cells. An aggressive cancer is more likely spread rapidly if it has a higher grade. It is not necsesary for a patient to stay overnight in this procedure and it can usually be done in a hospital or a doctor’s office. Local anaethesia is given to the patient beforehand to numb the area and antiobiotics are presecribed at the start of the procedure to avoid infection.

As soon as the prostate cancer has been diagnosed, the doctor will take on the next task of pinning down the intensity (stage) of the cancer. If there is an impression by the doctor that the cancer may have spreaded beyond the prostate, it is recommended to have some imaging tests done. They are bone scan, ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) positron emission tomomography (PET).It is to note that not everyone should take these tests. Your doctor will help advise you on which is most suitable for you.

The stage of the cancer is then assigned by your doctor once the tests are taken which will help to lead you to the appropriate treatment. The first cancer stage is Stage I. The cancer in this stage is restricted to a very small area and cancer cells are not seen as aggressive under a microscope. At Stage II, the cancer cells are remain small and viewed under microscope and can be aggressive. It is possible that the cancer may be bigger and have enlarged on both sides of the prostate gland. In Stage III, the cancer has spread to seminal vescicles and other nearby tissues. Lastly, organs such as bladders, lymph nodes, bones, lungs and other organs which have been infected by cancer is considered Stage IV.

Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

Every male is at a potential risk in contracting prostate cancer. It is said that about one in six men will develop prostate cancer in his lifespan though only one in thirty-six of them result in dying from the disease. For men who approach the age of 80, about 80 percent of them have cancer cells in their prostate. The purpose of prostate cancer screening is to detect cancer in the early stages. If you have the knowledge and awareness of the risk factors, it helps you to determine a suitable prostate screening appointment with your doctor. Who exactly could have these risks and why?

Ever heard of the saying that age is just a number? Unfortunately, age and numbers matter the most in determining a diagnose for prostate cancer. The greatest risk factor in this debilitating disease is the age. White men after the age of 50 whose family have no prostate cancer history and black men after the age of 40 who have a close relative with the disease are at greater risk. Two thirds of men at the age of 65 and older are diagnosed with prostate cancer. The cancer acts less aggressively the older the patient is, usually when they are above 70 years old.

Family history plays an important risk factor in the development of prostate cancer. If a man has a relative in the family who had prostate cancer, the risk is weighed to be quite high. The American Society submits that the risk to getting prostate cancer is more than twice if the man’s father or brother has the disease. There is more heightened risk for having a brother that has prostate cancer than a father who is afflicted with it. If there are numerous family members affected, the risk is even  much bigger. It is recommended that screening be done at age 40 for such men. There are studies showing that prostate cancer has hereditary genes that increase the risk of prostate cancer. Only about 5 to 10 perecent make the heredity forming prostate cancer in all of the cases according to some experts.

Another risk factor is race, where African American men have 60 percent more chances of getting prostate cancer than white American men. The cancer tends to be more advanced when diagnosed too. For Japanese and African males who reside in their home country, prostate cancer is very much less prevalent. However, once they immirgate to the U.S, these statistics take a hike discernibly. Arican American males at the age of 40 make them the second group of men to be screened and tested. Diets that are high in fat, environmental issues, lack of contact with sun, heavy metal exposure like cadmium, infectious agents and smoking are probable causes according to the theories of some researchers. Until now, the variation in races are still not clearly understood.

fat consumption

Some studies propose that diet is an assigned factor for prostate cancer. Countries that have a high dietary fat consumption based on meat, dairy products are more commonly strickened with the disease compared to countries where rice, soybean products and vegetables make up the staple food. The growth of prostate cancer cells is aided by saturated fats which causes testosterone production to rise.

Over the years, what is learnt is that prostate cancer have several diseases wth various causes. Slow growing tumors and more threatening and incurable cancers both have different underlying causes. For example, smoking may be a factor for advanced prostate cancer but has not been known for low risk prostate cancer factor. Similarly, men who consume less vegetables, especially in the broccoli family face higher risk of of aggressive prostate cancer but not to low risk prostate cancer.

A measure of obesity, which is the body mass index is not considered a link to a diagnose of prostate cancer comprehensively. As a matter of fact, due to the dilution of PSA in a bigger blood quantity, men with obesity have  substantially lower PSA levels than non-obese men. Tall height, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle, high calcium intake, African American race and Agent Orange exposure are some examples of other aggressive risk factors to prosate cancer.

Other conditions like prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) may be linked to raised risk of prostate cancer. Under a microsope, the cells look abnormal when examined in this PIN condition. It is not fundamentally related to any symptoms. Before the age of 50, almost one half of men will be diagnosed with PIN.

There are possibilities that some genome changes where certain genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have been studied to cause prostate cancer risk to

Prostate Cancer Prevention

2014_Prostate_Research_Portfolio_v2

As prevention is better than cure, there are several ways to hinder the development of prostrate cancer if you are concerned about it’s risks. Since there are many studies that often oppose each other and are not typically constructed to prove if something actually prevents prostrate cancer, it can be said that there is no definite answer on what is guaranteed to prevent prostrate cancer yet. If you have an interest in prostate cancer prevention, doctors in general have recommended that men with an average risk of prostrate cancer can adopt healthier choices to an overall well being. In order to decrease the possibilities of getting prostrate cancer, there are some actions you can take as a steps of prevention.

There are a few clues that suggest consuming a healthy diet that is low fat and large amounts of vegetables and fruits lower the risks of prostrate cancer. However, there is no concrete proof of this theory. Aim to select a low fat diet – foods that contain fats are foods like meat, nuts, oils and dairy products such as eggs, milk and cheese. It is shown that when high amount of fats were eaten by men each day, there was an increased risk in prostrate cancer. Although this coalition does not signify that excess fats cause prostrate cancer, there are still proven benefits such as weight management and a stronger heart by reducing fat intake.

According to the American Cancer Society, men who smoke are prone to having a reappearance of the disease. Smokers are deemed to develop prostrate cancer that is aggressive. The good news is that it is not too late to quit smoking. Prostrate cancer patients who have stopped smoking for over 10 years have reportedly shown to have the same mortality risk compared to present smokers.

 

One of the controversial prostrate cancer prevention points is exercise. Some big studies have demonstrated that exercising undoubtedly improves the general health risks in men, but it has failed to show that it actually lowers the risk of prostrate cancer. The trying explanation for this is that men who regularly work out usually end up getting tested for prostrate cancer.

bigstock-Senior-Man-Exercising-In-Park-13909706_opt

This brings early stage detection diagnoses as a result of getting screened according to a researcher, Steven C. Moore from the National Cancer Institute. This alone could cover any conceivable effects of preventive effects of exercise. When in fact, says Moore, other research proposes that exercise can ward off dangerous forms of prostrate cancer.

Some studies that are ongoing explores the different purposes of certain drugs that are linked to hormones. Proscar (finasteride) and Avodart (dutasteride) are among many drugs given by doctors play a role in decreasing the amount of male hormone as preventive agents for prostrate cancer. They are known to reduce the risk to a predicted figure of 23%. Enlarged prostrate are often prescribed for treating the symptoms using these drugs called 5-ARIs, a shortname for the chemical name. The U.S Food and Drug Association does not approve the drugs as cancer prevention due to studies demonstrating that patients diagnosed with prostrate cancer result in having high lethal form of the disease from taking 5-ARIs.

Finally, if you are taking supplements such as Vitamine E for prostrate cancer, think again. There are no reliable statistics showing that any other vitamin, medicinal herb, or mineral stops prostrate cancer from happening states Mark Moyad, M.D., director of preventive and alternative medicine from the Unviersity of Michigan Medical Center department of urinology.

If you are interested in how you can avoid developing prostrate cancer, talk to your doctor or health care professional about cancer prevention approaches and if they will suit and help you.

 

 

Prostate Cancer Causes

prostate-cancer2

The answers to what causes prostrate cancer is not absolute. However, there are several things that contribute the development of the condition. The prostrate is a small gland found below the bladder in a body of a man. In more common cases, the tumor in the gland grows at a slow pace and causes some health problems. In fewer and rarer cases, the cancer cells may spread outside of the prostrate gland when it becomes aggressive.

One of the leading causes to growth of cancerous cells in prostrate cancer is the mutations in your DNA or genetic material, which are the changes in the DNA of a prostrate cell. The mutations in the DNA make normal cells start to grow abnormally. This process is what forms cancer. A tumor then is developed through the growing and dividing of the abnormal and cancerous cells. When prostrate cancer becomes serious, it will depart from the original tumor and disseminate to other parts of the body.

The American Cancer Society suggests that another possibility that causes prostrate cancer is genetics where the DNA changes are inherited by parents and family history. If you have a brother or father below the age of 60 who had prostrate cancer, it raises the chances of developing prostrate cancer. According to some research, a close female relative with breast cancer may also increase the risk of prostrate cancer developing. However, mutations in DNA can also be acquired during the lifetime of a person.

One of the most convincing and striking causes of prostrate cancer in men is the age factor. Only one in 10,000 men under the age of 40 will develop prostrate cancer while that number multiplies from 1 to 14 for men in the age range of 60 to 69 according to The Prostrate Cancer Foundation. The bulk of cases reported to have been diagnosed with prostrate cancer are men over the age of 65. So it is clear that the risk goes up for men as they age older.

Race or ethnic group being one of the causes to prostrate cancer is still not fully comprehended and explained. It is founded that African American or African Caribbean men are twice more prone to being diagnosed with prostrate cancer compared to men of Caucasian descent. Asian an Latino men are reported to have the least occurrences of prostate cancer diagnoses.

Research links between diet and prostrate cancer are still unfolding with time and studies. It appears that foods rich in animal fats led to fewer vegetables, fruits and nuts intake as well. It is not confirmed if it is this lack or the higher amount of fats is the reason of escalated risk in prostrate cancer.

Some other risk factors and causes have been examined as well. However, it has not been very clear  how these are a direct cause to prostrate cancer. Obesity, smoking, some sexually transmitted disease and having vasectomy are some of these examples. A theory suspects that inflammation of the prostrate is also a threat as it damages the DNA which causes the cell to become closely cancerous. Although, there is much more to be looked and researched into this area.

Men with high levels of a hormone, insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are noted by researchers to possibly contract prostate cancer. Insulin and IGF-1 are very much alike, only that IGF-1 affects cell growth instead of sugar metabolism. On the contrary, other studies have also shown that there is no link between prostate cancer and IGF-1.

With all the different possible causes of prostrate cancer, it is no doubt that there are many factors that may be responsible for the development.

Prostrate Cancer Symptoms

It can be helpful for men to watch for signs or symptoms to detect and treat prostrate cancer in the early stages. Sadly, there are not any clear signs of warning signals. It is known that  if prostrate cancer does produces symptoms, it is only identified in the later stage. Prostrate cancer symptomps are not necessarily experienced by everyone. The symptoms of the disease can vary from one individual to another. However, there are some symptoms that could be marked as prostrate cancer. Perhaps with learning what to watch for and being aware of such symptoms and later checking with the doctor could help prevent further problems from escalating. Because the distance between the prostrate gland, bladder and urethra is quite close, there are various unrinary symptoms that accompany prostrate cancer. A tumor can cause pressure on and restrain the urethra depending on its size and location which obstructs the flow of urine.

There are several signs of prostrate cancer that are tied to urination and some of them are burning or pain during urination. The patient may also experience trouble urinating, and struggle to start and stop while urinating. There may be urges to urinate more frequently at night. The person may not be able to control the bladder. The flow and pace of urine will possibly decrease. It is possible to have blood in the urine or semen. They may also lose the ability to stand up urinating.

Painful erection and difficulty in developing an erection (erectile dysfunction) are other symptoms of prostrate cancer. Aside from urinary symptoms in the area, patients can also have swelling in legs, lower back or pelvic and less immobility in the hips, legs or feet. Constant pain in the bones that doesn’t disappear or fractures are also symptoms of the disease. Different things, including spreading of the prostrate cancer can cause the occurrence of this pain.

An enlarged prostrate gland, or secondary cancers elsewhere in the body may also be symptoms of advanced prostrate cancer. The symptoms from secondary cancers rely on the location of the secondary cancers in the body. Nonetheless, some men can experience some general symptoms such as being unusually weary than normal, typically unwell and a loss of appetite.

However, the same symptoms can appear in non cancerous conditions. For example, men who have these symptoms may also have a condition named BPH (benign prostratic hyperthropy) or an enlarged prostrate. An infection or other conditions can also cause uninary symptoms. Plus, at times there are no such symptoms existing in men with prostrate cancer. Thus, it’s important to know some of the symptoms above does not signify that you have prostrate cancer.

It is recommended to see a doctor for a checkup or further advice if you have one or more these symptoms persisting for over two weeks. The doctor will give you a diagnosis based on how long and how often the symptoms have been occuring and other related questions. A crucial part of prostrate cancer care and treatment lies in relieving the symptoms if cancer is diagnosed. This is also known as palliative care, symptom management or supportive care. If there are any new symptoms and change of symptoms, be sure to inform your health care team.

 

 

 

 

Staring Into the Pipeline

The side effects of treatment can make us doubt our personal strength. 

Pipeline-Facility

 

I often say that there is no better time to be a prostate cancer patient–if you have to be one–than today. I believe it. I encourage many fellow patients with the idea. The pipeline, as underscored by the news coming out of this week’s ASCO meeting, is full of promising new drugs, combinative therapies and neoadjuvant (prior to primary treatment) use of new drugs that are currently being used later in disease progression.

But there are times when it is difficult to embrace the optimism.

For me, weekends can be the hardest times to believe. During the work week, we wear our “everything is fine” masks, we’re distracted by tasks and issues of the office, working hard to keep up physically and mentally and crashing when we return home, often falling into our beds early with no other option. There is little time to ponder how we feel emotionally or physically. Forward… forward… forward… There is little choice for anything else. We need to keep our lives together and strive for normalcy.

Weekends are different. Like everyone, we shift from overdrive to neutral. As patients, we can remove the masks. We hope to coast a bit, spending newly revalued time with family and loved ones and perhaps catching up on a few projects that have been put on hold for obvious reasons. But, with our weekly guard and distractions down, simple things like taking a long healthy walk, organizing the garage or planning to have friends over can hit us over the head with fatigue and pain. Tired and vulnerable, the cracks in our emotional armor can widen and turn to gushers. I find myself walking through the aisle of the supermarket trying hard to resist a tearful breakdown. It is driven, no doubt, by a near total lack of testosterone and the fact that each step makes me feel like an 85-year-old man. In the privacy of my home the emotional episodes come without warning. Physical pain overtakes will.

It’s times like these that one’s optimism for the pipeline can turn to doubt. Sure, if my disease recurs, there are more treatment options. If I become ADT resistant, there are multiple options including chemo and new drugs such as Zytiga (approved) and enzalutimide (pending approval) with Alpharadin and XL184 fast on their heels. More than 20 others are also in trials.

I believe in the pipeline. I believe overall…

Like many patients with whom I speak, my experience has taught me that I am not afraid of death. That is a matter of nature and biology. From the day we are born, it is our fate. What I am afraid of is missing those I love. That’s a matter of the heart.

I’ve always been a proponent of not putting the cart before the horse. Yet, I’ve learned it’s not always easy.

In my moments of doubt and vulnerability I wonder: should the time come when I have to stare into that pipeline of promising new treatments, will I be able to find the strength–supported by love and duty–to persevere and step up to the plate? Or, might I fail the test, tempted by an urge to let nature prevail? Others find the inner strength everyday. Would I be able to measure up?

That’s the haunting question that brings me to my emotion’s knees. It’s the dragon many of us need to slay with our swords of the heart and a battle cry of “I believe!”