The below provides a general overview on this topic and may not apply to everyone. Any treatment protocol should be discussed with a qualified healthcare practitioner ... Please refer to: Medical & Legal Disclaimer.
Potential Consequences of Prostate Surgery:
- Those that have been treated for prostate cancer may be uninsurable
All options, including non-surgical, should be considered very carefully.
The PSA Test - How Valuable a Tool is it?
Dr. Thomas Stanley, professor of urology at Stanford University School of Medicine, recently announced at a medical conference:
"We need to recognize that PSA is no longer a marker for prostate cancer. We originally thought we were doing the right thing, but we're now figuring out how we went wrong."
Dr. Stanley changed his mind about the test because of the alarming number of FALSE positives. A false negative is when the patient DOES have cancer but the test fails to detect it.
It turns out that 70 to 75 % of men with elevated PSAs don't have cancer (a false positive). Yet, patients are still being asked to go through a horrendous (and likely unnecessary) prostate biopsy that has a high risk for serious infections and possibly side effects (see below).
In one study, researchers followed 9,459 men who had annual PSA tests. Of this group, 2,950 had test results showing very healthy prostates. But when these "healthy" men underwent biopsies, a whopping 15% tested positive for cancer! Many had high-grade cancer; and the PSA test missed it in all of them.
The incidence of false negative may be even higher.
Bottom line: You shouldn't rely on PSA alone whether or not you have cancer. Discuss with your doctor other or additional diagnostic tools.
Prostate biopsies are taken by random needle jabs into the gland. No matter how many sticks are made, there's no way to know if cancer lurks outside the needle tract.
Although biopsies are thought to be safe, they could actually help spread more cancer! Even mainstream medicine is beginning to realize that needle pricks from biopsies can actually release cancer cells into your bloodstream.
Prostate cancer tends to be slow growing and most patients die of other causes; but once the cancer has been released into the blood, it can be extremely violent and difficult to treat.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Prostate cancer kills more men than any other kind except for lung cancer. Each year, 680,000 men worldwide are diagnosed with the disease and about 220,000 will die from it.
The good news is that most prostate cancer tumors grow so slowly that they never threaten the lives of the patient. Natural causes will kill those men long before the tumors do. Traditional treatment methods are invasive and debilitating that they may impact the quality of life, potentially causing everything from chronic incontinence to permanent impotency.
About Androgen Depletion Therapy:
A new study has found that men whose prostate cancer is treated with hormone deprivation therapy (known as Androgen Depletion Therapy) could experience memory loss and difficulty in concentrating.
According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Christian J. Nelson, a lead author of the study, patients "may find it more difficult to hold several pieces of information in their mind at one time." The study found that between 47 and 69 percent of patients treated with androgen depletion therapy experienced some decline in mental capacity. However, Nelson states that "treating the disease is much more important than these subtle cognitive effects."
According to Dr. Durado Brooks of the American Cancer Society, mental confusion isn't the only downside of androgen depletion therapy. Other known effects include fatigue, hot flashes, and anemia. He also said that recent studies have revealed that this treatment can cause an increased risk of fracture and other conditions; and that cardiovascular death rates may be higher among men undergoing this therapy. Many men are being treated with androgen depletion therapies at the outset of the disease, in early and localized stages, even though research has shown that it doesn't help them live any longer. Dr. Brooks advised that "Men need to decide whether the potential benefit outweighs the harm of the therapy for them."
A new study, referred to as “Breakthrough Cancer Study”: Change Lifestyle, Change Risk: produced amazing results (cancer remission) with Prostate Cancer patients.
The key points:
- Low-fat vegetarian diet (10% of the diet)
- Cutting out cheese products - including butter
- Exercise 30 minutes a day
- Incorporate stress-management strategies into your daily activities, such as meditation / yoga
Early-stage Prostate Cancer:
In a study of over 9,000 men who opted to put off treatment for prostate cancer (or skip it entirely), only 10 percent of them had died of the cancer 10 years later. In fact, most of the men were living with the disease without significantly worse symptoms. Even the 30 percent of the men who chose to eventually undergo treatment were able to put it off for an average of 11 years.
The Value of Nutrition on Prostate Health:
- Broccoli & Cauliflower:
- Broccoli consumption interacts with GSTM1 to perturb oncogenic signalling pathways in the prostate.Traka M, Gasper AV, Melchini A, Bacon JR, Needs PW, Frost V, Chantry A, Jones AM, Ortori CA, Barrett DA, Ball RY, Mills RD, Mithen RF.
Phytochemicals and Health Programme, Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, United Kingdom.
BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies suggest that people who consume more than one portion of cruciferous vegetables per week are at lower risk of both the incidence of prostate cancer and of developing aggressive prostate cancer but there is little understanding of the underlying mechanisms. In this study, we quantify and interpret changes in global gene expression patterns in the human prostate gland before, during and after a 12 month broccoli-rich diet.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: Volunteers were randomly assigned to either a broccoli-rich or a pea-rich diet. After six months there were no differences in gene expression between glutathione S-transferase mu 1 (GSTM1) positive and null individuals on the pea-rich diet but significant differences between GSTM1 genotypes on the broccoli-rich diet, associated with transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFbeta1) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) signalling pathways. Comparison of biopsies obtained pre and post intervention revealed more changes in gene expression occurred in individuals on a broccoli-rich diet than in those on a pea-rich diet. While there were changes in androgen signalling, regardless of diet, men on the broccoli diet had additional changes to mRNA processing, and TGFbeta1, EGF and insulin signalling. We also provide evidence that sulforaphane (the isothiocyanate derived from 4-methylsuphinylbutyl glucosinolate that accumulates in broccoli) chemically interacts with TGFbeta1, EGF and insulin peptides to form thioureas, and enhances TGFbeta1/Smad-mediated transcription.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that consuming broccoli interacts with GSTM1 genotype to result in complex changes to signalling pathways associated with inflammation and carcinogenesis in the prostate. We propose that these changes may be mediated through the chemical interaction of isothiocyanates with signalling peptides in the plasma. This study provides, for the first time, experimental evidence obtained in humans to support observational studies that diets rich in cruciferous vegetables may reduce the risk of prostate cancer and other chronic disease. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00535977. PMID: 18596959 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
- More Studies on this subject:
- Men who consume broccoli or cauliflower have a lower risk of prostate cancers that have spread beyond the prostate. Researchers tracked more than 29,000 men in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. After four years, the risk of advanced prostate cancer (stage III or IV) was roughly half as high for those who ate broccoli or cauliflower more than once a week than those who ate those vegetables less than once a month. (Ref.: "J. Natl. Cancer Institute" 99: 1200, 2007)
- Cauliflower is loaded with nutrients that are essential for keeping the immune system strong. One study found that eating just four servings of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli or cauliflower, a week slashed the risk of dying from ANY medical cause by 26%! (From "The Doctors Book of Food Remedies," page 149).
- Pomegranate juice packs a punch on prostate cancer that prolongs post-surgery PSA doubling time, drives down cancer cell proliferation and causes prostate cancer cells to die, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research. PSA, or prostate specific antigen, is a protein marker for prostate cancer. The faster PSA levels increase in the blood of men after treatment, the greater their potential for dying of prostate cancer. "The velocity of the increase in PSA is decreased by 35 percent among those who drank the pomegranate juice," said Allan Pantuck, M.D., associate professor, Department of Urology, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, and lead author of the paper. "We are hoping that pomegranate juice offers a novel strategy for prolonging the doubling time in men who have been treated for prostate cancer," Dr. Pantuck added.
- Study participants drank eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily
- The American Chemical Society (2007) reports that Pomegranate juice has a set of antioxidants called ellagitannins, which have the ability to target prostate cancer cells in a unique "seek and destroy" fashion. The California researchers who made the discovery further report that ellagitannins break down in the body into a special class of metabolites that inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Researchers hope that due to its medicinal properties, pomegranate juice may one day play an active role in the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer.
- Flaxseed Halts Prostate Cancer Growth New Study Shows
A new US study suggests that flaxseed, which is rich in omega3 fatty acids and lignans, can stop prostate cancer tumors from growing. The study was presented at the 43rd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago on Saturday by researchers from Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.
The researchers think that flaxseed, which has similar properties to sesame seed, probably interrupts the chain of events that eventually makes cells multiply out of control and become a tumor.
Dr. Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, a researcher in Duke's School of Nursing and lead investigator on the study said that:
"Our previous studies in animals and in humans had shown a correlation between flaxseed supplementation and slowed tumor growth, but the participants in those studies had taken flaxseed in conjunction with a low-fat diet."
However, she explained that: "For this study, we demonstrated that it is flaxseed that primarily offers the protective benefit."
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, and researchers at the University of Michiganand the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill also took part.
Demark-Wahnefried and colleagues recruited 161 men who were due to have surgery for prostate cancer (prostatectomy: where all or part of the prostate gland is removed). The patients were randomly assigned to one of four groups. One group took 30 grams of flaxseed a day for an average of 30 days before they had the operation (the flaxseed only group). Another group did the same but also followed a low-fat diet (20 per cent or less of their calories from fat). A third group did not take the flaxseed and only followed a low-fat diet, while the fourth group, a control, had none of the interventions.
After the surgery, the researchers examined the tumour cells under a microscope to assess how quickly they had multiplied.
They then compared the men who had only flaxseed, with or without following a low-fat diet, with the men in the other two groups: no intervention and low-fat diet only. They found that the slowest rate of tumour growth occurred in the two flaxseed supplemented groups.
Demark-Wahnefried said: "The results showed that the men who took just flaxseed as well as those who took flaxseed combined with a low-fat diet did the best, indicating that it is the flaxseed which is making the difference."
The flaxseed supplement was given in ground form because in the whole form the seed coat is hard and indigestible . The patients took the flaxseed either in drinks, sprinkled on food, or with yogurt.
Flaxseed is thought to stop the growth and spread of cancer cells. This could be because the omega-3 fatty acids it contains interferes with the ability of cancer cells to cling onto other body cells, said Demark-Wahnefried. The lignans it contains may also have antiangiogenic properties, the ability to stop the blood supply to the tumour.
Demark-Wahnefried said that they were "excited that this study showed that flaxseed is safe and associated with a protective effect on prostate cancer". In next phase of their research the team hopes to study the preventative properties of flaxseed, and its effect on patients with recurrent prostate tumours. As well as being antiangiogenic, the lignans in flaxseed, one of the richest sources of these fibre-related compounds, are thought to interfere with or prevent cell division and affect hormones. They are antimitotic, affect androgen metabolism and have estrogenic effects, said Demark-Wahnefried. Flaxseed is also the richest known source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids which affect the production of cell membranes, the levels of natural killer cells and circulating levels of protein kinase C and tyrosine kinases, which profoundly affect cell activity.
According to the American Cancer Society, one in six American men gets prostate cancer. This year it is estimated that over 200,000 will be diagnosed with the disease and 27,000 will die from it.
- Garlic, onions, shallots, leeks and scallions (allium group vegetables) may cut the risk of prostate cancer. A study surveyed 200 men with prostate cancer and 500 healthy men in Shanghai, China and questioned them on their eating habits. Results were straightforward: men who ate small amounts of onions, garlic, scallions, shallots and leeks each day decreased their risk of prostate cancer by more than 33 percent. Additionally, those who ate 2 grams of garlic per day deceased their risk of prostate cancer by more than 50 percent, but even eating only one clove cut the risk. Scallions, which lowered the risk of prostate cancer by 70 percent, were found to be most beneficial.
- Avoid Red Meat: A Harvard University School of Public Health study indicated that you are 250% more likely to suffer advanced prostate cancer if you eat red meat every day than if you eat red meat only once a week. (USA Weekend, December 3-5, 1993, p 14).
- Vitamin D fights prostate cancer. Harvard researchers advise men to get more sun, supplements, and seafood. All are good sources of vitamin D, and a large, lengthy study suggests the vitamin reduces risk of prostate cancer. About 240,000 men in the United States alone will be told that they have the cancer this year, and around 30,000 of those with the disease will die from it. An 18-year Harvard investigation of 14,916 medical doctors found that 1,066 developed the cancer, and 496 of them suffered a deadly form of it. The researchers say that such tolls can be reduced with the help of vitamin D. Ref. http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2007/03.22/01-vitaminD.html
Soy products appear to have a special benefit against prostate cancer. Japanese men have especially low death rates from prostate cancer, even thought they get the disease as often as American men do. The Japanese eat a lot of tofu, tempeh, miso, soy milk and other soy foods. Even animals fed a lot of soybeans have far less prostate cancer than others. There are at least two specific substances in soybeans that seem to help fight cancer: genistein and isoflavinoids. These natural chemicals are especially effective against the hormone-dependent cancers, which includes prostate cancer. (Soybean products may lower prostate cancer, Lancaster Intelligencer-Journal, January 12, 1994)
- Raw Food: Max Gerson, M.D. Dr. Gerson used a mostly raw food and fresh vegetable juice diet for cancer patients with remarkably good results. He also used substantial quantities of vitamin supplements. His entire program is set forth in a tremendously valuable book entitled The Gerson Therapy, by Charlotte Gerson and Morton Walker (2001) NY: Kensington Publishing Corp. (featured to the right)
- Choose Organic WHOLE Milk & Avoid Fat-Free: Recently the Journal of Epidemiology came out with a study that showed that non-fat milk was related to the progression of advanced prostate cancer. Whole milk contains a number of vitamins, particularly fat soluble vitamins including Vitamins A, D, E and K not found in fat free milk. When you are consuming fat free or low fat products you are also filtering out the fat soluble vitamins in the food. Whole milk should be organic to avoid the growth hormones that is fed to cows, which are linked to the development and progression of prostate cancer. Because of its high fat content, it should be enjoyed in moderation. It is speculated that people generally reduce their risk of cancer by avoiding fat free milk.
- Tea: The National Cancer Center in Tokyo recently found that men who drank five or more cups of green tea a day were half as likely to get advanced prostate cancer (the type that spreads beyond localized disease) as were those who sipped less than a cup per day. Study authors credit compounds called catechins, which may reduce risk by controlling levels of testosterone linked to advaned disease.
- Vitamin K2 supplementation may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 35 percent, according to the results of European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). The potential benefits of K2 were most pronounced for advanced prostate cancer. Vitamin K1 intake did not offer any prostate benefits. The findings were based on data from more than 11,000 men taking part in the EPIC Heidelberg cohort. It adds to a small but ever-growing body of science supporting the potential health benefits of vitamin K for bone, blood, skin, and now prostate health. Sources: NutraIngredients.com April 9, 2008 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition April 2008; 87(4):985-92
- Other Prostate Health Foods:
- Pistachio Nuts & Sunflower Seeds: Researchers discovered that pistachio nuts and sunflower seeds contain unique phytosterols that can block cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream. These phytosterols could also help prevent cancer and heart disease, treat enlarged prostate, and control blood sugar in diabetics.
- Bee Pollen - can be eaten plain or sprinkled over your smoothie, yoghurt or cereal.
- Chili Peppers (prostate cancer) ..... Cranberries (lung, cervical, prostate, breast and leukemia cancer cells)
- Grapes (prostate, lung, liver and breast cancer)
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