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Melatonin is a hormone that is associated with the sleep-wake cycle.  When people talk about not getting good sleep, many times their body is not producing enough melatonin to put them into the deep sleep that is needed for the body to repair itself.  Because of this, you might wake up extremely tired and unmotivated throughout the entire day.  Melatonin can be purchased over the counter and taken in small doses so you can test how much you need to get the proper amount of deep sleep.  Current studies suggest that melatonin could be linked to something other than how good or poorly you sleep.  One study suggests that there is a link between lower levels of melatonin in the body and an increased chance of prostate cancer.  The studies are very new, but there is evidence that if you have lower levels, the chance for prostate cancer is higher when compared to men that have higher levels of melatonin.

Researchers have measured first morning urinary melatonin metabolite in 928 men that do not have prostate cancer.  During the research period, 111 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, including 24 of them that had the cancer in an advanced state.  The metabolite that was tested was called 6-sulfatoxymelatonin or 6-STM and for those that had a level below the tested median, the chances of prostate cancer was 4 times more likely.  The time that researchers followed up with patients from the time they took the urine tests was about 2.3 years.  Men in the study that reported to have sleep problems during the baseline, has lower morning levels of 6-STM compared with others that did not report sleep problems.  One researcher claimed that night-shift work was a human carcinogen based on data from breast cancer research.

People are generally supposed to be sleeping at night and not working.  By working at night, you are disrupting the rhythms in the body and that could affect the natural secretion of melatonin through nocturnal exposure to artificial light.  In other studies, night-shift work has been linked to advanced risks for prostate cancer, saying that men that worked at night had a 2.8 times more risk than those that never worked at night.  The main study showed that one in seven men reported they had problems getting good rest, one in five could not stay asleep and one in three had to take medications to fall asleep.  Because the studies are very new to the medical world, more needs to be done to investigate the link between sleep duration, melatonin production and the risk for prostate cancer.  For now, the studies look promising for those that are curious if they have a high chance of prostate cancer.

Because melatonin can reduce the risk of prostate cancer, it is very important that you understand the ways that you can increase the levels of melatonin naturally.  By having a schedule that keeps you up at night might be one way that you are blocking the natural production of melatonin.  By allowing your body to naturally produce melatonin, you will have a 75 percent less chance of developing prostate cancer.  Because the body only produces melatonin when it is dark and at night, it is important that you do not work at night or stay up very late when you should be sleeping.  Because supplements for melatonin can be purchased and can be relatively safe, that does not mean there are no worries.  According to one doctor, even if you are taking a melatonin supplement, you should be very careful about it.  Taking too much melatonin could lead to your body not knowing how or when to produce it naturally.

Other than increasing your melatonin levels naturally, good sleep has other benefits that include lowering the risk of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.  The easiest way to make sure you are producing melatonin naturally is to keep your bedroom dark at night and to stay on a normal sleep schedule.  If you cannot maintain that, supplements are an option that can be used.  Low melatonin levels can be detected and if you think you are getting poor sleep, you could consult your doctor for ways to improve both.

 
 
 
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Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer that affect men all over the world.  With that being said, there is a lot of attention from doctors looking to find ways to prevent or treat the cancer and prolong the life of those that are diagnosed with it.  Like breast cancer, prostate cancer is likely to be found during routine exams and might not create any symptoms that are out of the ordinary for pain your life.  Well known symptoms include pain, problems urinating and even erectile dysfunction.  Today, there are more ways to test for the cancer, including blood tests that might show if you have a raised prostate specific antigen test or concerns after your doctor performs a rectal examination.  If there is suspicion that you have prostate cancer, it can be confirmed through a Trans Rectal Ultrasound guided Biopsy.  That procedure take a small sample of the prostate tissue and is then examined under microscope.

Once your prostate cancer has been confirmed, you will have a variety of options for treating it or preventing it from growing larger.  Depending on what stage your doctor figures you are in, the treatment options might change.  On of the options that might be offered is called cryotherapy.  The treatment has been around since 1996 and is a new therapeutic procedure.  Cryotherapy can also be called cryosurgery, is a minimally invasive procedure that might be done in one day and involves the application of needles under the guidance of an ultrasound system.  Basically, the cryotherapy is going to be freezing the abnormal and diseased cells that are found inside the prostate gland.  The same type of thing is common when removing warts or moles from the skin.  The freezing of the prostate gland is done so inside the body and because the cryosurgery uses needles compared to scalpels, the surgery can be cheaper and cause less pain for the patient.

Not everyone is a good candidate for the cryotherapy.  The list of people that will not be able to go with the cryotherapy process include those with a large prostate, if you had the surgery before, if you have a disease like stenosis, if you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease or if you have had pelvic surgery of any kind as the scarring could interfere with the cryotherapy procedure.  The process is quite simple and if you are lucky enough to have it as an option, that means you are in the very early stages of prostate cancer and it can be kept from growing any larger or transferring throughout the body from the prostate gland.  If you do go through the cryotherapy process, the recovery process might raise a few questions from you.

Because the cryotherapy process is quite simple and can take less than two hours to complete, the recovery process is not that long.  If fact, after the operation you may notice some swelling of the scrotum, but that is usually gone within 3 to 4 days after the procedure.  There can also be some mild bruising of the perineum, but in most cases you will be feeling good enough to mobilize the same day that you have the cryotherapy and back to your normal daily routine within the next 3 to 4 days.  Just like with any surgery, there can be side effects once the procedure is completed.  Side effects of the cryotherapy tend to be worse for men that already went through the radiation process before the cryotherapy.  That is why it is important to diagnose and start the cryotherapy first if that is the best option provided by your doctor.

 

Most of the time, men that have the cryotherapy done, have blood in their urine for a day or two.  Any longer than that and it might be time to head back to the doctor for a checkup.  General soreness around the area where the needles were used is common as well.  One of the main side effects is erectile dysfunction.  Because the process freezes the nerves and damages them, erectile dysfunction can be seen in as many as 4 out of 5 men that go through with cryotherapy.  

 
 
 
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Prostate cancer is being found more commonly these days and so are the ways to take care of it.  As technology advances, so do the remedies for things that many thought might never be fixable in the past.  Prostate cancer is very unlikely in a younger male, but once you reach the age of 50, things are going to be a little different.  Getting frequent checks by your doctor will help you keep tabs on the prostate and could provide useful information should things start to change and you are required to prepare for cancer treatment.  There are some experts that say you can just cut the problem out if the tumor did not get around to the rest of your body, while others would like to treat with hormones in the early stages with hopes of preventing an increase in the tumor size.

For those that are not to keen on getting chemotherapy, there might be another option for you according to reports.  There were recent headlines made by a doctor that treated stage 2 prostate cancer by freezing it, or using Cryosurgery.  Some doctors might still think of Cryosurgery as an experimental operation, thus leading to the option not being mentioned all that much.  Some urologists confirm that early studies do suggest the Cryosurgery will work for men that have very early stage prostate cancer that is confined to a very small area of the prostate.  For those that did not respond well to radiation therapy, the Cryosurgery procedure has also proved to be a success according to doctors.  Cryosurgery, or also known as cryoablation, works by freezing the cancer cells inside the prostate gland.  The procedure is quite simple and includes a doctor inserting many hollow needles into the prostate gland and pumping intensely cold gasses through the needles.

This allows the doctor to freeze the cancer cells inside the prostate.  The doctor would then use an ultrasound machine to get a picture of the prostate gland and that allows the doctor to find the cancer cells that need to be frozen.  For the procedure you would either be put to sleep or be given a spinal anesthesia to keep you numb during it.  Follow up biopsies would be needed to ensure your cancer has been cured.  Prostate cancer affects millions of men and according to studies, more than 75 percent of those treated this way did not experience any progression within 36 months of the operation.  There can be some side effects to the Cryosurgery process, including erectile dysfunction or urinary incontinence, but those things are happening in a very small percentage of those that underwent Cryosurgery.

One of the biggest advantages to the Cryosurgery process is that you can work on a very small area in the body without damaging anything else around it.  There is also less blood loss, decreased levels of pain during and afterwards and shorter hospital stays.  Being able to go through a short procedure, without chemotherapy, having less pain and being able to head home to the family earlier than normal, are all very positive things to Cryosurgery.  On the other side of the coin, there is not enough research done to calculate any bad things that could come from Cryosurgery, or whether or not it will be more effective than chemotherapy.  Even though there has not been that many studies into the side effects, one for sure is erectile dysfunction for almost 45 percent of those treated by Cryosurgery.  If you are in the early stages of prostate cancer, this is certainly a viable option, but might not be one that you can count on your doctor suggesting.

The pros for Cryosurgery include having a smaller procedure, less blood loss and discomfort, getting home to your family sooner and not having to use chemotherapy to treat the cancer.  For those that get the prostate cancer diagnosed early enough the freezing of the cancer cells is certainly an option.  If the cancer has spread further than the prostate, then Cryosurgery is not going to be an option.  This is why it is important to get regular checks on your prostate, especially if you are 50 years or older.

 
 
 
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Prostate cancer is well known to be one of the more common instances of cancer, but the question remains why? As a doctor that specializes in HIFU and Cryotherapy treatments for prostate cancer, I can tell you some of the most common risk factors associated with prostate cancer, and whether there are steps you can take to prevent these risks.

Age

It may sound obvious, but the leading causes of prostate cancer is simply the age of the individual. Prostate cancer cells can arise at any time in a man's life, but beyond the age of 65, the chances of this occurrence rise. What can be viewed as good news is that traditionally the aggressiveness of prostate cancer cells diminish the older the patient is. Since this is something that you can't control, I can only tell you to  have your prostate checked regularly in order to avoid having prostate cancer develop to an advanced stage.

Family

This is yet another aspect of your life that you can't control, but your family history is a potentially large risk factor for prostate cancer. It's found that men who have relatives that suffer from prostate cancer have a very high chance to also suffer from the disease. While you may not be able to change your family history, you can get regular screenings for prostate cancer around age 40 in order to detect any potential instances of prostate cancer cells.

Diet

Finally, we get to something that we can really pay attention to and change if we're going down the wrong path. As you're likely well aware, fatty foods are commonly associated with health problems and potentially cancerous cells. This is entirely the case with prostate cancer, as countries that have a predominantly meat and dairy focused diet have been found to have more instances of prostate cancer than those countries who subsist off rice and vegetables. While you may be a citizen of the meat and dairy heavy country, you can take the steps necessary to give yourself a better diet. Reduce the amount of fatty foods that you eat on a weekly basis, instead replacing these foods with grains and vegetables. You'll not only find that the chance for prostate cancer diminishes, but you'll also get better nutrients that your body needs.

Race

Though there's not specific evidence as to why, it has been found that certain races of people are more inclined to get prostate cancer than others. African-American men tend to have prostate cancer occur 60% more often than white American men. Similarly, western countries have lower incidences of prostate cancer. Some theories return to the diet, as traditionally western countries live more on rice and vegetables than they do on fatty foods. However, this is not enough evidence to say for certain why these percentages vary.

Ultimately, the likelihood of prostate cancer is still very common, and some of the risk factors cannot be changed, but there are still steps you can take to prevent prostate cancer from developing. Changing your diet, stopping smoking, or generally just getting out and exercising have been found to drastically increase the quality of life while also reducing the risk for prostate cancer cells from forming.

 
 
 
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