Article #2: Enlargement of The Prostate by Herbert M. SheltonThe prostate gland is a part of the male sexual system. It is a somewhat conical-shaped body about the size of a chestnut, which surrounds the first one and one-half inches of the urethra. Its base is directed upward and lies in contact with the lower part of the bladder. Its upper and posterior part is pierced by the ejaculatory ducts. The gland itself is composed of muscular and glandular tissue. It secretes a thin fluid which is sent into the urethra to join with the semen.
Prostatic “diseases” are rare in early life. It is estimated that approximately 35% of men reaching the age of sixty have enlargement of the prostate gland, while sixty percent of men past middle age have at sometime or other some type of prostatic trouble.
While most cases of prostatic enlargement are said to develop after fifty, the gland actually enlarges gradually over the years. In practically all cases the enlargement sets in years before any symptoms develop.
Though we are frequently reminded that men past forty are especially liable to suffer with prostatic enlargement, it rarely causes pronounced symptoms before the fiftieth year. For this reason, it is said to be a difficulty of later life.
This, however, is because we are in the habit of ignoring all of the warning signs of trouble that precede the development of all so-called diseases.
The gland surrounds the urethra and neck of the bladder and when it enlarges compresses the bladder outlet obstructing the free flow of urine. This strangulating effect on the urinary canal causes urination to be difficult and progressively more frequent, with mild burning and some dribbling.
The need to empty the bladder at night is most noticeable. The intervals at which this has to be done grow shorter and shorter. Nocturnal frequency is usually the “first” symptom, though acute retention of the urine, or sudden inability to urinate, is said, often, to be the “first” symptom and may occur at any time. It is the rule that frequent urination, both day and night, long precedes complete inability to void the urine.
In the early stages of prostatic enlargement there is incontinence of the urine, distention of the lower abdomen, constipation, loss of weight, loss of appetite and dryness of the mouth. Back-pressure upon the kidneys is produced by the over-distended bladder, gradually reducing their function and producing, eventually, uremia. Enlargement or tumor of the prostate not infrequently becomes malignant-cancerous. From ten to twenty percent of them are said to develop into cancers and it is estimated that cancer of the prostate gland is present in twenty percent of all men over sixty.
Cancer develops out of sites of chronic local irritation and its concomitant hyperemia or chronic low-grade inflammation. Chronic enlargement and irritation of the prostate terms an ideal location for the evolution of cancer.
Recently we saw a case of prostatic enlargement that had been giving the man trouble for a period of six years. He had ignored it and it continued to grow worse. Finally, the discomfort became so great he could tolerate it no longer. He went to the hospital for an operation. Cancer was found. A condition that was not cancer six years ago was permitted to slowly evolve into cancer. This was a needless and preventable development.
The cause of prostatic enlargement is said to be “obscure,” which is the equivalent of saying, it is unknown. It is also said to be “apparently a part of the aging process, associated with glandular changes that occur in middle life.” If these things were really true, prostatic enlargement would present a truly dark picture.
Removal of the prostate, so freely advised and so often performed, is a dangerous procedure and frequently very “unsatisfactory.” It is not necessary, as out experience with prostatic enlargement has amply proven.
While overeating or drinking, alcoholism, exposure to wet and cold, and long continued resistance to the call of nature, often precipitate a crisis and are commonly listed as causes, they are not primary causes. “Chronic gonorrhea” if often listed as a cause but this delusion must sooner or later be given up.
Prostatic enlargement rests primarily upon a basis of chronic toxemia growing out of a mode of living that inhibits elimination. There is reason to believe that sexual abuse may constitute a leading factor in its development.
It has been our experience that when toxemia is eliminated, the enlarged prostate returns to its normal size and all symptoms end. Cases we have cared for include those in which voluntary voiding of urine was no longer possible. The catheter had to be used until a few days of fasting produced sufficient decrease in the size of the prostate that voluntary urination was again possible.
A recent case cared for here at the Health School was forced to void urine every fifteen minutes during the night and very frequently during the day. The man underwent a lengthy fast which brought immediate and progressive subsidence of symptoms, until finally he was able to go for fifteen hours without voiding urine.
Our plan of care is to ignore the prostate and eliminate the toxemia, restore nerve energy and re-order the sufferer’s mode of life. Rest in bed and fasting are accompanied by exercise and sunbaths and followed by proper diet with exercise and sunbaths. We do not use and do not recommend (rather we condemn) massage of the prostate, nor any other form of local treatment—drug, electrical, etc.
Exposure or overdoing, react immediately upon the prostate sufferer. Cold, wet feet, etc, that result in congestion in these sufferers, must be avoided. Indeed every enervating influence must be corrected or removed if nerve energy is to be become normal and dependable health be restored. This means that coffee, tobacco, alcohol, soda fountain poisons, overeating, etc., must all be discontinued.
The permanence of recovery depends upon proper care of the body. Any return to enervating habits will reproduce the toxemia and result in a recurrence of the enlargement.
The logical plan to be pursued by intelligent men is to live in a way to maintain good health and thus avoid prostatic enlargement. If the gland has already enlarged, the intelligent man will attend to it promptly and not neglect the condition until acute retention of the urine occurs, or until cancer has evolved.
Reprinted from Dr. Shelton’s Hygienic Review, April, 1942