Prostate cancer treatment goes after your brain

It seems like the worst diagnosis in the world.

Being told you have prostate cancer feels like more than just a threat to your life.

It feels like a threat to your manhood -- a threat to everything that makes you who you are.

Ironically, the real threat to your manhood isn't the disease. In most cases, the disease itself is harmless.

It's the treatment!

One of the most common prostate cancer treatments cuts off your manly hormones, literally making you less of a man.

And as bad as that is, the latest research finds it can do something far worse.

Just five years after undergoing what's known as androgen deprivation therapy, or ADT, your risk of dementia doubles.

But it doesn't end there.

That's only the beginning -- because the longer you're getting ADT, the higher that risk climbs. And if you've been on ADT for a year or more, the risk of developing dementia climbs by 136 percent.

That's in line with a warning I shared last year, which found ADT will boost your risk of Alzheimer's disease by 88 percent and more than double the odds if your treatment lasts more than a year.

Yet despite this risk -- and despite other more immediate risks such impotence, low libido, "brain fog," mood disorders, fatigue and the growth of male breasts -- ADT remains one of the most common treatments for prostate cancer.

At any given time, close to half a million American men are getting it.

They get it because it works, in a sense. Few men who have ADT die of prostate cancer.

Want to know what else works?

Nothing at all!

In many cases, doing nothing -- no drugs, no surgery, no radiation -- is every bit as effective at stopping prostate cancer. And that's because, in many cases, the tumor isn't a threat.

These cancers grow so slowly that they would never hurt you in a normal human lifespan.

That's why the best approach to prostate cancer isn't to panic and rush out into treatment.

It's to carefully go over all your options with a doctor, and to get a second and third opinion, because low-risk tumors can often be handled with what's known as the "watch and wait" approach.

That's when you choose no treatment, but let a doctor run some tests every now and again to check on the tumor to ensure it hasn't become more aggressive.

Work closely with a holistic medical doctor.

And if you're in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.