The number of men who use herbal therapies to treat prostate cancer is between 10 to 22 percent according to a number of studies. Perhaps herbal alternatives are popular with men because it has been observed that the Chinese, who use lots of herbs, have low incidences of cancer. While one might be jumping-the-gun in ascribing a strong correlation between the use of herbs and low incidences of cancer, it can't be denied that diet and lifestyle has a major impact on incidence of prostate cancer in any population.

Herbs Commonly Used
An herb that is most commonly used by men to treat prostate cancer is the saw palmetto. It is an extract from the dwarf palm, which is grown in the southeastern United States. It is believed that Native Americans used extracts from the herb to treat urinary problems. It is said that saw palmetto has the ability to block the production of testosterone and by the extension the growth of prostate cancer cells. Studies have shown that it does increases urine flow, reduces urinary urgency and decreases urinary obstruction. Other herbal alternatives that are used to treat prostate problems include: yohimbe, kava, jin bu huan and PC-SPES.

Side Effects
The book "100 Questions & Answers About Prostate Cancer" highlights PC-SPES as an effective herbal preparation that has been used to treat localized and advanced prostate cancer. PC-SPES was first marketed in 1996. PC stands for prostate cancer and spes is a Latin word that means hope. However, E. Fuller Torrey and Carlton Stoiber in their book "Surviving Prostate Cancer…" state that PC-SPES has been known to cause breast enlargements, which is nearly universal in persons taking PC-SPES. Other side effects include: thromboembolism (blood clots in the leg) and a mysterious bleeding condition.

Men who are considering taking herbal preparations to treat any cancer should be aware that they could experience serious side effects when the herbs interact with other medications they are taking. It is of utmost importance that a doctor be consulted before taking herbal remedies. The risk of having complications, from the use of some herbal supplements, is heightened by the fact that there is no regulation of the manufacturing of these supplements. This is so because manufacturers of herbal supplements are not required by law to be regulated, once they don't claim the product is a treatment option for a specific disease or medical condition.

E. Fuller Torrey and Carlton Stoiber list the following side effects of using other herbal preparations as follows:
· Liver failure from the use of kava
· Hepatitis from jin bu huan supplements and
· Seizures caused by using supplements derived from the yohimbe plant.

Other prostate cancer treatment options include:
· Brachytherapy Radiation
· Cryotherapy (cryosurgery)
· Hormone Therapy or Androgen Deprivation therapy
· Radical Prostatectomy
· Watchful Waiting