Harvard Perspectives on Prostate Disease

Complementary therapies for prostate disease: What works and what doesn't

Complementary therapies for prostate disease: What works and what doesn't

Harvard experts discuss issues that patients may want to consider

If you have been diagnosed with prostate disease, chances are that you've thought about trying some type of complementary therapy in addition to conventional medical treatment from a physician. If you have, you are not alone. Various studies have found that anywhere from 27% to 43% of American men with prostate cancer use at least one form of complementary therapy. Similar findings have been reported in Canada and Europe. Although statistics are harder to find for how many men use complementary therapies for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), erectile dysfunction, or prostatitis, it is likely that the practice is common.

Unfortunately, the issue of complementary therapies doesn't often come up during a visit to the physician. Patients tend not to mention the complementary therapies they are using, while doctors may not ask about them. Often this is a function of time: A man and his doctor may have only 10 or 15 minutes together in a typical office visit.

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