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    Top Three Natural Ways to Improve Prostate Health

    Top Three Natural Ways to Improve Prostate Health

    What is the Prostate?

    All men are born with a prostate gland. It is a tiny muscular gland about the size of an apricot.

    The term “prostate” is coined from the Greek expression “prostates,” which literally translates to “to stand before.” This generally describes the position of the gland. Looking from below, just in the area where the urethra leaves the gland, the `prostate gland “stands before” the bladder.[1]

    The prostate gland typically weighs around an ounce or 30 grams. It is a part of the male reproductive system that aids in ejaculation.

    The gland is found right below the bladder, sitting just above the muscles of the pelvic floor. It is also in front of the rectum, which makes it possible to be able to feel the prostate gland around the rectum area.[2]

    What Does The Prostate Do?

    The main function of the prostate is to aid in the production of some of the compounds found in semen. Its muscles also ensure that this seminal fluid makes its way forcefully through the urethra, allowing it to be dispersed during the process of ejaculation.[3]

    In detail, a part of the semen comes from the prostate. Along with the spermatozoa from the testicular glands, fluid from the seminal vesicle, and other secretions from the bulbourethral gland, the prostate makes up a part of the semen. These fluids are all mixed together in the urethra, a duct that transfers urine from the bladder.[4]

    Moreover, prostatic secretion is an important process in keeping the proper function of the male reproductive system, thus affecting overall fertility in men. This prostatic secretion can be identified as a thin, milky-like liquid that contains enzymes called the prostatic-specific antigen or PSA.[5]

    PSA is the enzyme that makes the semen thinner in consistency. This essentially helps in sperm motility and ejaculation. Moreover, the prostate gland also plays a role in the conversion of testosterone to its biologically active form, dihydrotestosterone.[6]

    What Are The Signs of Prostate Problems?

    It is not uncommon for men to encounter health problems in the prostate, especially in the older population. For this reason, it is best for men to be aware of the signs of prostate problems.

    Among the signs that men should be on the lookout for are the following:

    • Pain or discomfort during urination
    • Frequent urination
    • Traces of blood on the urine or semen
    • Pain or discomfort in the lower back, hips, or pelvic area
    • Pain or discomfort in the rectal area or upper thighs
    • Pain during ejaculation

    These accumulated symptoms generally point out prostate-related problems. Among the most common conditions that affect the prostate is benign prostatic hyperplasia, and in worse cases, prostate cancer.

    What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?

    Benign prostatic hyperplasia is the nonmalignant growth of the prostate. This condition is most common among aging men. In fact, about 90% of men aged 70 to 80 are diagnosed with the condition.[7]

    Benign prostatic hyperplasia is often associated with the following symptoms[8]:

    • A more frequent urge to pee, especially during the night time
    • Longer yet weaker stream of urine
    • After urinating, more urine tends to leak out and the bladder never feels empty
    • It takes a while before the urine starts flowing

    These symptoms are all due to the unusual enlargement of the prostate. This enlargement causes the prostate to push against both the bladder and urethra, pushing the patient to urinate more often than normal.[9]

    Additionally, the size of the prostate growth and the severity of the symptoms may not always be directly related. The symptoms vary from one person to another. Some with very enlarged prostates experience few symptoms, while some experience more even though their prostate is not that enlarged.[10]

    On the surface, the condition itself is not as complicated compared to other prostate-related problems. For this reason, BPH doesn’t usually call for immediate treatment, although preventive medication is often recommended by physicians.[11]

    What is Prostate Cancer?

    Prostate cancer happens when the cells in the prostate region start to multiply in an uncontrolled manner. This happens when the DNA of the cells becomes mutated.[12]

    The body’s immune system usually keeps these cells “in check.” Prostate cancer develops if too many of these mutated cells propagate and a tumor starts to grow.[13]

    While cancer is a condition that is less stigmatized, diagnosis of the disease still comes as a shock to the patients. But, the good news is, prostate cancer is among the types of cancer with the biggest chances of recovery.

    Prostate cancer is not as fast-acting versus other types. This type of cancer often grows very slowly, allowing it to be treated effectively.[14]

    Signs of Prostate Cancer

    Prostate cancer may not show any symptoms until it reaches a more advanced stage. Until then, here are some of the signs associated with the condition[15]:

    • Increased urge to pee
    • Blood traces in urine or semen
    • Fatigue due to anemia (happens at a later stage)
    • Bone pain (happens at a later stage)
    • Renal failure (happens at a later stage)
    • Paralysis (happens at a later stage)

    What Causes Prostate Cancer?

    Age, ethnicity, family history, obesity, and certain lifestyle choices all contribute to the possible development of prostate cancer. The risk increases as people get older, although the aggressiveness of cancer decreases along with age.[16]

    Diet is also another big risk factor that may cause prostate cancer. It has been noted that the typical Western diet is linked to the development of the condition. Additionally, vitamin supplementation doesn’t necessarily lower the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, certain vitamins may even trigger the development of the illness.[17]

    A diet high in saturated fat and milk products may also increase the risk of prostate cancer.[18] While the consumption of milk has been shown to contribute to increasing the risk of recurrence of the condition, particularly in overweight men.[19]

    Chemical exposure is another factor that contributes to the risk of developing prostate cancer. Research suggests that the condition is linked to certain medications and medical procedures.[20]

    Exposure to Agent Orange may particularly increase the risk of recurrence of prostate cancer, especially after surgery.[21] Agent Orange is an herbicide and synthesized defoliant.

    Having multiple sexual partners may also increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. The same thing goes for starting sexual activities at an early age.[22]

    Top Ways to Naturally Improve Prostate Health

    While there are several treatment options for prostate conditions, some people still choose to go the natural way. And as surprising as it is, keeping the prostate in good health is not that hard.

    Among the top ways to naturally improve prostate health is by making simple and easy-to-do lifestyle changes.

    Eating Healthier

    Making small changes to your current diet and aiming to eat healthier, overall, is one way to naturally improve prostate health. In a nutshell, a diet that consists of the right serving of fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and healthy fats is a surefire way to keep the prostate healthy.[23]

    Staying Active

    Another way to maintain prostate health is by staying active. Engaging in more physical activities and a regular workout routine decreases the risk of developing almost all kinds of diseases.[24]

    Taking Supplements

    Sometimes, the nutrients found in food are just never enough, For this reason, taking the right supplements may just be the answer to filling in those nutritional gaps. There are a wide variety of all-natural herbal supplements that are formulated and extracted to help maintain good prostate health.[25]

    What Are The Best Foods For Prostate Health?

    “You are what you eat” may often seem to be an understatement. But in reality, this saying comes pretty handy as what we eat generally reflects on our body.

    The same thing goes for prostate health. Eating healthier overall and following a favorable prostate health diet will help you naturally improve your reproductive health.

    Below are some of the best foods for prostate health.

    Turmeric and Prostate Health

    Turmeric is a flowering plant that hails from the ginger family. It is most popularly used as a spice and is usually sold in powder form.

    Aside from being used as a principal spice, turmeric is known to come with a number of health benefits. The spice was used as a remedy for several ailments in Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine.[26]

    Turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. It may also have the ability to aid the treatment of several conditions such as stomach ulcers, heart disease, and many others.[27]

    These medical benefits are all due to the bioactive component found in turmeric, called curcumin. Curcumin is also being linked to possibly assisting in the treatment of reproductive health conditions, such as prostate cancer.[28]

    Research shows that curcumin derivatives may work as a promising alternative to nanoformulations. This is especially helpful in inhibiting tumor growth and suppressing prostate cancer presence.[29]

    Ginger And Prostate Health

    Ginger is among the most popular condiments used worldwide. Not only used as a spice but the herb is also used as a natural remedy for several ailments.[30]

    Ginger contains several bioactive components. Among these components is gingerol which exerts a variety of pharmacological activities that aid in treating certain health conditions. These pharmacological activities are believed to soothe common colds, arthritis, and nausea among many others.[31]

    Ginger may also have the ability to aid the treatment of prostate cancer. This is due to the gingerols, shogaols, and paradols found in the herb. Combined, these phytochemicals may have anticancer properties.[32]

    Additionally, sufficient evidence suggests that ginger root extract may inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The extract also showcased chemopreventive and chemoprotective mechanisms.[33]

    Gingerols also showed activities that arrest the cycle of cancer cells, leading to apoptosis and cancer cell death. This essentially works as a chemopreventive strategy.[34]

    Ginger also possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Indirectly, these pharmacological activities of the herb may assist in treating prostate cancer.[35]

    Nuts And Prostate Health

    Nuts are an excellent source of good, healthy fats. These superfoods may help lower cholesterol levels and even promote brain health.[36]

    Nuts also make an excellent go-to snack. They are convenient and give that extra shot of energy in between meals.

    Aside from being known to be good for the brain, nuts may also benefit the prostate. Brazil nuts, especially, are researched for their possible effect on treating prostate cancer. In fact, they are among the best nuts for prostate health.

    A 2010 study pointed out that Brazil nuts may help treat the condition, along with soy intake. This effect may be due to its selenium content. Selenium is a mineral that is known to be anti-cancer.[37]

    Edible Oils And Prostate Health

    Healthy fats, for the most part, may have the ability to prevent the development of prostate cancer. They may also combat the early stages of the condition.[38]

    Physicians often recommend the intake of healthy fats and oils to prevent the development of prostate cancer. Among the edible oils that are good for prostate health are olive oil, coconut oil, and other vegetable oils.

    In further detail, olive oil consumption has been associated with decreasing the risk of cancer, in general. And when it comes to prostate cancer, the oil has been shown to pose protective effects due to its oleic acid content.[39]

    Coconut oil, on the other hand, may combat the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In an animal study, the effects of the oil were examined. The study stated that coconut oil consumption significantly reduced the prostate weight of the subjects.[40]

    Aside from olive oil and coconut oil, fish oil intake may also contribute to prostate health. This effect of fish oil may be due to its high omega-3 fatty acid content, which is known to have protective effects in cancer-related conditions.[41]

    Other Foods Good For The Prostate

    Tomatoes are not only heart-friendly but prostate-friendly as well. They contain high levels of lycopene which has been shown to inhibit the growth and progression of cancer cells in the prostate.[42]

    Another food that is good for the prostate is broccoli. This cruciferous vegetable is not only full of antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals but has also been shown to delay the formation of prostate cancer.[43]

    Berries are tangy fruits that are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. These little treats may also have the ability to protect the prostate. In a study, the consumption of berries posted apoptotic effects on cancer cells. In other words, consuming berries may help prevent the development of cancer.[44]

    Fish is also another food that is beneficial for the prostate. Aside from being protein-packed and heart-healthy, this seafood may decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer.[45]

    Foods to Avoid for Prostate Health

    Keeping the prostate in check and healthy shouldn’t be a hard task. And while there are foods and supplements that are beneficial for this aspect of male health, keep in mind that there are precautions to be observed, too.

    There is a saying that goes “You are what you eat,” and the same thing applies when it comes to your prostate health. Below are a few of the foods you should avoid to keep your prostate in its tip-top shape.

    Red And Processed Meat And Prostate Health

    A diet high in red and processed meat has been associated with an increased risk of acquiring prostate issues. This may be caused by the heterocyclic amines found in cooked meat, especially when it’s well done. Heterocyclic amines are carcinogens that may trigger the development of cancer.[46]

    Additionally, the consumption of red and processed meat may increase the chances of developing prostate cancer. Including the way the meat is cooked is also a risk factor in acquiring the disease.[47]

    Moreover, the same study pointed out that the risk of prostate cancer is dependent on the way the meat is cooked. It has been found that grilled and barbecued red meat increases the risk of acquiring the disease.[48]

    This is due to the PAH produced by the food prepared and cooked through smoking and grilling. PAH is a mutagenic compound formed during the process which coats the surface of the grilled meat.[49]

    Dairy Products And Prostate Health

    Dairy products, without a doubt, are part of a healthy diet. They are a great source of calcium and some healthy fats.

    But what most of us don’t know is that some of these dairy products may do more harm than good to the prostate. In fact, it has been found that excessive milk intake may lead to a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.[50]

    Furthermore, it has been noted that the following dairy products increased the risk of fatal prostate cancer[51]:

    • Full-fat milk
    • Full-fat cheese
    • Full-fat cream cheese
    • Full-fat ice cream
    • Other dairy products that are high in fat

    Foods High In Saturated Fat And Prostate Health

    Foods that are high in saturated fat gets a bad rap due to their involvement in developing various heart diseases. And while the latter is proven by research, it has also been found that these types of food may also encourage the development of prostate cancer.

    In one study, 384 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between the years 1990 and 1992 were subjected to a case-control trial that examined the relationship between a diet high in saturated fat and prostate cancer. The subjects were regarded as proportional hazard models to estimate the relativity of death from prostate cancer in association with fat intake.[52]

    The said trial ran for five and a half years and during the follow-up period, 32 of the patients have been reported to have died of prostate cancer. The study, therefore, concluded that saturated fat consumption was significantly involved in the survival chances of prostate cancer.[53]

    Moreover, research has also shown that consumption of foods high in saturated fat may encourage the aggression of preexisting prostate cancer.[54]

    Alcohol And Prostate Health

    Alcohol consumption is known to pose several negative impacts on all aspects of health. The same thing goes when it comes to prostate health.

    In fact, a collection of studies found that alcohol consumption is a risk factor in acquiring prostate cancer. As a whole, these studies have found that men who abstain from alcohol had significantly lower risks of developing the disease, while high-volume drinkers, on the other hand, were at higher risks.[55]

    On top of that, early-life high-volume consumption of alcohol has been shown to increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. It is estimated that men who drank at least seven drinks in a week are prone to developing high-grade prostate cancer compared to those who did not drink.[56]

    Coffee And Prostate Health

    Coffee is a breakfast staple that gives the body an instant energy boost. It is a popular favorite of many.

    And while coffee is the go-to energy booster for most, it may do more harm than good in terms of prostate health.

    In one trial study, over 47,000 participants were subjected to test the possible effects of coffee consumption on the prostate. The aim of the study was to determine whether or not caffeine intake is a risk factor for developing prostate cancer.[57]

    By the end of the study, it has been found that 5,035 of these avid coffee drinkers developed prostate cancer.[58]

    Another study has also examined the link between caffeine intake and benign prostatic hyperplasia, another health condition that affects the prostate. It has been noted in the study that caffeine intake may disrupt androgen which may increase the risk of acquiring the condition.[59]

    Best Drinks For Prostate Health

    Aside from food, there are also drinks that are beneficial for the prostate. Below are a few of the best drinks for prostate health.

    Green Tea and Prostate Health

    Green tea is a drink packed with antioxidants. Many people swear by this soothing drink due to its amazing health benefits.

    But what many don’t know is that this warm drink can also pose benefits to the prostate. Recent studies took a look at the link between green tea and treating prostate-related conditions.

    For one, green tea may be an effective aid in treating prostate cancer. In fact, several case-control studies have examined this effect of the drink against the condition. These studies have found that green tea may decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer.[60]

    Prospective studies also showed a correlation between green tea and prostate cancer. These studies suggest that green tea catechins inhibit the progression of prostate cancer. Green tea catechins are polyphenols found in green tea that pose the majority of its health benefits.[61]

    Juicing For Prostate Health

    Juicing is a dietary practice that gained popularity due to its amazing benefits for health. It is known to be a surefire way to get all the extra micronutrients into the body in concentrated amounts.

    Juicing for prostate health may be beneficial, especially when the right recipe is followed. For instance, pomegranate juice has been gaining popularity for its positive impact on the prostate.

    Many believe that drinking pomegranate juice may pose benefits to prostate health. In recent studies, pomegranate juice and extracts have shown promising results in aiding the treatment of prostate-related conditions.[62]

    Pomegranate juice and extracts are especially effective in inhibiting the growth of prostate tumors. Its major components, luteolin, ellagic acid, and punic acid, are all-powerful in inhibiting the growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis of prostate cancer cells.[63]

    Aside from pomegranate juice, cranberry juice has also been found to be good for the prostate. In one study, the juice has been shown to decrease the serum prostate-specific antigen in patients with prostate cancer. In conclusion, daily consumption of cranberry juice and/or extract may regulate the expression of androgen-responsive genes that are beneficial in fighting prostate cancer growth.[64]

    Exercises to Improve Prostate Health

    Exercise, without a doubt, is among the most effective ways of naturally combating several health conditions. It is also a great way of staying healthy and in shape, for the most part.

    When it comes to keeping the prostate healthy, exercise also plays a key role. That said, below are some of the best exercises that may improve prostate health.

    Yoga And Prostate Health

    Yoga is a low-impact exercise that brings out a lot of health benefits. For one, it improves posture and flexibility. It may also help with other health conditions, such as chronic stress, anxiety, depression, and cardiovascular issues.

    On top of those, yoga may also have positive benefits on the prostate.

    Doing yoga may help in improving the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. This effect of this low-impact exercise may be due to its ability to work and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Additionally, yoga has been found that those who practice yoga can improve their muscle strength.[65]

    Moreover, yoga is a type of exercise that is very relaxing, thus it is popular in reducing stress. And as we all know, stress triggers several health problems. Indirectly, yoga may help in preventing the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia and the worsening of its symptoms by combating stress.[66]

    Kegel Exercises And Prostate Health

    Kegel exercises are gaining popularity as a type of exercise that specifically targets the pelvic floor muscles. It is especially recommended for women due to its effect on stabilizing and strengthening the muscles right under the uterus, bladder, and bowel.

    Kegel exercises are not only for women as it may also pose benefits for men, especially in terms of prostate health. In fact, the role of the exercise on to help on prostate-related issues was looked at in several studies.

    For one, kegel exercises are examined to be beneficial in assisting incontinence in patients after going through a radical prostatectomy.[67] Additionally, this type of exercise is also a recommended practice prior to prostate surgery.[68]

    Best Supplements for Prostate Health

    More often than not, it’s difficult to get all the nutrients we need from diet alone. This is where dietary supplements come in extra handy.

    Keeping an eye on your prostate health should be a lot easier by finding the right supplements to take. For that reason, below are some of the most promising herbal supplements for prostate health.

    Saw Palmetto For Prostate Health

    Saw palmetto is a tree native to the Southeast North American soil where it grows in the hills of South Atlantic and Gulf Coastals.

    A fan palm that bears berries, its fruit are extracted to create saw palmetto dietary supplements.

    Saw palmetto and prostate health are often linked together. The extract itself is believed to be very beneficial for the prostate.

    Saw palmetto extract is popularly used today in assisting the treatment of prostate-related conditions. Its extract may have the mechanisms to effectively prevent the development of cancer in the prostate.[69]

    Supplementing on saw palmetto extract may also aid the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.[70] This effect of the supplement may be due to its phytotherapeutic properties. It may also combat lower urinary tract symptoms.[71]

    Bee Pollen For Prostate Health

    Bee pollen is a byproduct of honeybees. They come in small ball shapes or pellets. These consist of pollens that are used as food for the beehive colony.

    Bee pollen is packed with simple sugars, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. These components of the pellets are what makes them among the most sought-after superfoods today.

    As a dietary supplement, bee pollen may work as an antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory. It may also have hepatoprotective and anticancer properties.[72]

    As an aid in prostate-related health conditions, bee pollen may execute wonders. In fact, bee pollen for prostate health has been subjected to several studies in recent years.

    Bee pollen may soothe inflammatory conditions involving the prostate gland. It is effective in soothing nonbacterial prostate inflammation by removing the pain. It may also help in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia.[73]

    Additionally, bee pollen may have the ability to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. In a study, the supplement has been shown to induce apoptosis of cancer cells in the prostate.[74]

    Zinc And Prostate Health

    Zinc is a micronutrient famously marketed toward male health. It is often found in red meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, and eggs.

    This mineral is essentially popular for its benefits on male health. It is known as a male enhancer and aphrodisiac.

    Zinc for prostate health has been a common subject of debate in the past decades. Many argue whether or not the micronutrient is especially beneficial for the prostate.

    However, recent research shows that moderate levels of zinc are good for the prostate. This amount may pose a mechanism that inhibits the terminal oxidation and induction of mitochondrial apoptogenesis.[75]

    In simpler terms, zinc prevents cell death and deterioration. This is especially helpful in suppressing the development of prostate tumors.[76]

    Moreover, zinc is present in the prostate in high concentrations. It is found in the prostatic fluid. This suggests that zinc itself may be essential for keeping a healthy prostate.[77]

    Lycopene And Prostate Health

    Lycopene is a natural carotenoid found in most fruits and vegetables that are red and orange in color. This is also more commonly found in tomatoes.

    Lycopene is essential to the health, especially in terms of cardiovascular health. The carotenoid is also looked at for its possible effect on treating cancer.

    Lycopene for prostate health has also been looked at in several studies. In one study, lycopene showed significant impacts on decreasing the risk of prostate cancer development.[78]

    Additionally, lycopene may reduce the progression of prostate cancer. It may be effective in inhibiting the development of prostate tumors.[79]

    Maca And Prostate Health

    Maca is recently rising as a popular supplement due to its several health benefits. Mostly marketed towards male health, it’s no surprise that this herb is also good for the prostate.

    Additionally, the consumption of cruciferous crops has been associated with reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Maca itself is a cruciferous vegetable.

    Additionally, maca is rich in glucosinolate, which has antiproliferative and proapoptotic properties. These properties may both be effective in inhibiting the development of prostate tumors.[80]

    An animal study conducted on rodents examined the effects of maca on the zinc levels of the prostate. The said study pointed out that the herb reduced both the prostate size and zinc levels of the subjects, therefore concluding that maca administration may be beneficial in keeping the prostate health in check.[81]

    However, take note that only the red variety of maca posed the said benefits on the prostate.

    Ashwagandha And Prostate Health

    Ashwagandha is a popular herb from Ayurvedic medicine. It is known to improve strength, stamina, and the immune system.

    Supplementing ashwagandha may go beyond just the basics. This Ayurvedic staple may also benefit the prostate in different ways.

    One study examined the comprehensive effects of ashwagandha intake on prostate health. The said study noted that the herb has the ability to regulate highly invasive prostate cancer cells.[82] In other words, supplementing ashwagandha may inhibit the development and decrease the risk of prostate cancer.

    Moreover, ashwagandha has mechanisms that may act as an immunomodulator. This may be

    Effective in promoting prostate cancer cell death. The herb may also downregulate the expression of certain transactivators that pro-cancer cells.[83]

    Korean Red Ginseng and Prostate Health

    Korean red ginseng is a powerful herb most popularly used in Traditional Asian Medicine. It also happens to be an herb that is famous for its favorable benefits on male health.

    Among this herb’s benefits include improved strength, stamina, and virility. Popular for sexual male health, Korean red ginseng also happens to pose benefits to the prostate.

    In fact, the effect of the herb in combating prostate-related issues has been looked at in several studies.

    In one study, Korean red ginseng has been found to proliferate the growth of cancer cells. The herb has also been found to pharmacological effects on reducing the growth of the prostate. This is essentially helpful in preventing the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia.[84]

    A study was also conducted to test the effects of Korean red ginseng on rodents with testosterone-induced benign prostatic hyperplasia. The study pointed out that ginseng may influence and decrease prostate size and inhibit the further development of benign prostatic hyperplasia.[85]

    Tongkat Ali And Prostate Health

    Tongkat Ali is another herb most commonly used in Traditional Asian Medicine. It is well known as a natural aphrodisiac, and most of its health benefits are marketed toward male health and virility.

    Tongkat Ali has also been looked at as a possible treatment for cases that involved cancer. In fact, a few studies revealed that the herb may encourage toxicity toward breast cancer cells, making it an essential chemotherapeutic agent.[86]

    Another study investigated the in vitro and in vivo activities of Tongkat Ali when it comes to fighting cancer. This study has found that the herb selectively induces cytotoxicity in human prostate cancer cells.[87]

    The same study has also shown the ability to inhibit the growth of these cancer cells, therefore noting that the herb may work as an effective chemotherapeutic agent in prostate cancer cases.[88]

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