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Comprehensive diagnosis of your symptoms

Healthy

  Prostate Cancer  
 
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Conditions that suggest it | Contributing risk factors | Other conditions that may be present | It can lead to... | Recommendations

 

For such a seemingly innocuous organ, the prostate gland can cause a lot of trouble in older men. About the size of a walnut, the prostate is situated at the base of the bladder. It's not high on the list of vital organs, not being essential for life, but its function is to produce the ejaculate fluid in which sperm bathes.

In men over the age of 50, the prostate makes its presence felt because it gets bigger. This enlargement can obstruct the passage of urine, causing problems with urination like difficulty in getting started, dribbling or slowness in passing urine, and sometimes pain, blood or incomplete emptying of the bladder. Prostate cancer can cause these symptoms. Although it is less common than BPH, as cancers go, it is very common.
Not much is known about why cancer develops in the prostate in some men. It's a disease of older men Ė it is rare under the age of 50. But when it does occur in men under 50 it is more likely in a man with a family history of prostate cancer. It has been found to be associated with certain diets, including diets high in animal fats, low in plant food, and possibly low in certain elements, anti-oxidants and vitamins, as well as occupational exposure to certain substances including cadmium and rubber.

If the doctor suspects there could be a problem with the prostate, he or she will do a rectal examination. If its larger, lumpy or harder than normal it could be cancerous. The only certain way of diagnosing prostate cancer is with a biopsy of the prostate. So if the symptoms and a rectal examination and a positive PSA test (discussed below) suggest the possibility of prostate cancer, the GP will send the patient to an urologist for an opinion. If the urologist believes it could be prostate cancer, a prostate biopsy will be arranged. If the biopsy shows cancer is present, then other tests such as a bone scan will be done to determine if and where the cancer has spread.

The PSA test is a blood test that can help detect some prostate cancers. The prostate produces a substance called Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) which is thought to aid sperm movement. This is released into the bloodstream. A prostate cancer usually releases PSA in abnormally high amounts. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in the blood. If it is abnormally high, it may indicate the man has prostate cancer.

PSA level is also abnormally elevated in some other conditions, including infections of prostate and BPH. The ratio of free PSA to total PSA can help distinguish these borderline cases. Only about one in three men with a raised PSA will be found to have prostate cancer, although the higher the level of PSA, the more likely it is due to cancer.

Conventional Treatment
There are various options for treating prostate cancer, depending on the extent of the cancer, in particular whether it is localized to the prostate gland only or has spread into surrounding tissues or to other parts of the body.

Other important considerations are the age and general health of the man, and how aggressive and rapidly growing the cancer cells are. The pathologist can usually give an indication of this from examination of the cancer cells in the biopsy specimen.

If prostate cancer is diagnosed at an early stage and confined to the prostate gland, the prostate with the cancer may be surgically removed. After the operation, known as radical prostatectomy, more than 75% of men will remain free of disease for 10 years or longer, but most men will be left with at least some degree of impotence and about half will have some degree of urinary incontinence.

Radiotherapy can be an effective alternative and is followed by lower rates of impotence and incontinence, but radiation colitis is a common side effect, often leaving the patient with poor bowel control.

An alternative is not to have an operation but to wait and see what happens. This is sometimes called 'watchful waiting'. Prostate cancer is the most common form of internal cancer in men, but it usually grows quite slowly. After diagnosis, the majority of men will survive for at least five years, or even as much as 10 years or more. If the man is elderly, and at the age of diagnosis his life expectancy is not so great anyway, he may die of something else. In other words, he will die not from prostate cancer, but with prostate cancer.

Each person needs to make their own decision regarding what to do, using the help of their doctor, based on their own circumstances and life priorities. If the disease is advanced locally into surrounding tissues or if it has spread to other areas of the body, a cure is difficult and treatment is aimed at slowing the growth of the cancer and improving and maintaining quality of life for as long as possible. Radiotherapy will usually achieve good control of a locally advanced cancer, possibly for several years, and may also be helpful in controlling a painful secondary spread of prostate cancer in a bone; but for more widespread cancer, hormone treatment, or even chemotherapy, may be needed to achieve relief for a greater or lesser period of time.

Prostate cancer, like the normal prostate, is influenced by male hormones (androgens). Treatments aimed at reducing male hormones in the blood will slow the growth of the prostate cancer.
 

 
 

Conditions that suggest Prostate Cancer:
 
 
Uro-Genital  Nocturia
 
 

Risk factors for Prostate Cancer:
 
 
Lab Values - Chemistries  Elevated PSA

Counter-indicators:
  Normal PSA

Nutrients

  Vitamin D Requirement
 Low circulating levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D were associated with an increased risk of subsequent prostate cancer and more aggressive progression of prostate cancer, especially in men before the age of 52, in the Helsinki Heart Study. Ultraviolet radiation exposure has been shown to be protective against prostate cancer.

Men over the age of 30 should have an annual screening for 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, especially those at higher risk such as African American men and indoor workers. Vitamin D nutrition should be maintained not only for bone health but also for the possible reduction in risk of prostate cancer and to reduce metastatic activity should prostate cancer develop. [Trends in Endocrinol Metab November 2003;14(9): pp.423-430]
 
 

Prostate Cancer suggests the following may be present:
 
 
Hormones  Low Testosterone Level
 A low testosterone level has been considered desirable in prostate cancer or in those with an increased risk of prostate cancer. It is often lowered by the use of drugs, and nothing should be done to try and raise it.

However, preliminary research suggests that testosterone replacement therapy for men with low testosterone levels appears to have little effect on the prostate gland, contrary to some reports that this therapy may be harmful, according to a study in the November 15, 2006 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on men's health.


Counter-indicators:
  Low DHEA Level
 The use of DHEA can raise testosterone levels, which is not advised in prostate cancer or in those with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Nutrients

Counter-indicators:
  EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Type 6 Requirement
 Working with human prostate cancer cells in tissue cultures, researchers found omega-6 fatty acids, added to the mix, spur the production of cPLA2, which then causes the production of the enzyme COX2. The introduction of COX2 stimulates the release of PGE2, a hormone-like molecule that promotes cell growth.

Simply put, if you're eating a diet that's high in omega-6 fats, you could be vulnerable not only to prostate cancer, but colorectal and some breast cancers as well.

The incidence of prostate cancer over the past 60 years has risen as dietary ratios of omega-3 and 6 fats have changed. Back at the end of World War II, omega-3 and omega-6 ratios were lopsided (1:2) in favor of omega-3s. Now, that ratio is 25:1 on the omega-6 side.

The scientists who conducted the study were looking at possible new drugs to ward off prostate cancer based on the effect of flurbiprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug commonly prescribed for arthritis. Flurbiprofen blocks the production of cPLA2 and breaks the chain leading to cell growth. [Carcinogenesis May 5, 2005]

Organ Health

Counter-indicators:
  Enlarged Prostate
 
 

Prostate Cancer can lead to:
 
 
Risks  Cancer / Risk - General Measures

Uro-Genital

  Nocturia
 
 

Recommendations for Prostate Cancer:
 
 
Animal-based  Fish Oil / Krill
 Omega-3 fatty acids appear protective against advanced prostate cancer, and this effect may be modified by a genetic variant in the COX-2 gene, according to a report in Clinical Cancer Research, March 2009.

"Previous research has shown protection against prostate cancer, but this is one of the first studies to show protection against advanced prostate cancer and interaction with COX-2," said John S. Witte, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California San Francisco.

For the current study, researchers performed a case-control analysis of 466 men diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer and 478 healthy men. Diet was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire and researchers genotyped nine COX-2 single nucleotide polymorphisms.

Researchers divided omega-3 fatty acid intake into four groups based on quartiles of intake. Men who consumed the highest amount of long chain omega-3 fatty acids had a 63 percent reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer compared to men with the lowest amount of long chain omega-3 fatty acids.

The researchers then assessed the effect of omega-3 fatty acid among men with the variant rs4647310 in COX-2, a known inflammatory gene. Men with low long chain omega-3 fatty acid intake and this variant had a more than five-fold increased risk of advanced prostate cancer. But men with high intake of omega-3 fatty acids had a substantially reduced risk, even if they carried the COX-2 variant.

"The COX-2 increased risk of disease was essentially reversed by increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake by a half a gram per day," said Witte. "If you want to think of the overall inverse association in terms of fish, where omega-3 fatty acids are commonly derived, the strongest effect was seen from eating dark fish such as salmon one or more times per week."

See also the link between Prostate Cancer and Essential Fatty Acids.

Botanical

  Pomegranate
 Drinking an eight-ounce glass of pomegranate juice daily increased by nearly four times the period during which PSA levels in men treated for prostate cancer remained stable, a three-year UCLA study has found.
The study involved 50 men who had undergone surgery or radiation but quickly experienced increases in prostate-specific antigen or PSA, a biomarker that indicates the presence of cancer. UCLA researchers measured "doubling time," how long it takes for PSA levels to double, a signal that the cancer is progressing, said Dr. Allan Pantuck, an associate professor of urology, a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher and lead author of the study.

Doubling time is crucial in prostate cancer, Pantuck said, because patients who have short doubling times are more likely to die from their cancer. The average doubling time is about 15 months. In the UCLA study, Pantuck and his team observed increases in doubling times from 15 months to 54 months, an almost four-fold increase.

"That's a big increase. I was surprised when I saw such an improvement in PSA numbers," Pantuck said. "In older men 65 to 70 who have been treated for prostate cancer, we can give them pomegranate juice and it may be possible for them to outlive their risk of dying from their cancer. We're hoping we may be able to prevent or delay the need for other therapies usually used in this population such as hormone treatment or chemotherapy, both of which bring with them harmful side effects."

[Clinical Cancer Research, July1, 2006]

  Green / Oolong / BlackTea (Camellia sinensis)
 A study has revealed that the once highly praised antioxidants found in red wine, grapes and peanuts were not as effective cancer preventatives as green and black tea, in slowing down the progression of prostate cancer. Participants of the study involved 20 men who had prostate cancer and were pending prostate removal surgery. Each of the men were required to drink five cups of black tea, green tea or soda each day for five days prior to their scheduled surgeries.

The goal of the study was to determine if polyphenols, a substance found in tea, might contribute to slowing down the cell growth of the prostate cancer. One component of the study involved cutting out a piece of each manís prostate for examination. The study revealed a decrease in the growth rate of the cancer cells in the men who had consumed the black or green tea, however there was no change in the men who drank soda. [Free Radical Biology & Medicine April 2004;36(7): pp.829-37]

  Marijuana
 Please see the link between Cancer - General Measures and Marijuana.

  Bayberry (Myrica californica)
 Among the various forms of vitamin E, researchers discovered that one, gamma-tocopherol, may have value as an anti-cancer agent. Gamma-tocopherol occurs naturally in plant seeds such as walnuts, pecans and sesame seeds.

According to a study, gamma-tocopherol inhibited the production of lab-cultured human prostate cancer cells. And although the presence of gamma-tocopherol caused cell death by interrupting the synthesis of sphingolipids (certain fatty molecules, which are important components of cell membranes), it left healthy human prostate cells unaffected. As researchers increased the amount of gamma-tocopherol, cancer cells slowed in growth and healthy cells grew normally.

"This is the first time gamma-tocopherol has been shown to induce death in lab-grown human cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone," said the head researcher of the study.

Since gamma-tocopherol does not appear in most manufactured nutritional supplements, researchers have suggested combining it with another form of vitamin E: Alpha-tocopherol.

Alpha-tocopherol is the major form of vitamin E found in the body and, in contrast to gamma-tocopherol, is found in most manufactured nutritional supplements. It has justifiably earned a good reputation as an antioxidant, which helps fight against damage caused by unwanted free radicals. Thus, it is better to supplement a diet with mixed forms of vitamin E, as together they will enhance the positive effects found in each. [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences December 21, 2004;101(51): pp.17825-17830]

  Turmeric Extract, Curcumin
 Curcumin could be a potentially therapeutic anti-cancer agent, as it significantly inhibits prostate cancer growth, as exemplified by LNCaP in vivo, and has the potential to prevent the progression of this cancer to its hormone refractory state. [Prostate. 2001 Jun 1;47(4): pp.293-303]

Diet

  Juices / Juicing
 In men with recurrent prostate cancer, drinking 8 ounces per day of pomegranate juice significantly increases the time it takes for an increase in levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA), an indicator of prostate cancer. Before the men in the study began consuming pomegranate juice, the average PSA doubling time, a measure of tumor activity, was 15 months. The average time after treatment was 37 months. So, there was almost a 2-year increase in the doubling time.

Pomegranate juice contains a number of antioxidants thought to have anti-cancer effects, Pomegranate juice contains estrogen-like plant substances called phytoestrogens that could be useful in combating prostate cancer. Pomegranate juice therapy was well tolerated and no serious adverse effects were reported. In addition to the beneficial increase in PSA doubling time, in vitro testing showed decreased cancer cell division and proliferation and increased cancer cell death. Urine testing confirmed the presence of pomegranate antioxidants in all men. The study was funded by the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Trust, which own the POM Wonderful pomegranate juice company.

  Soy Isoflavones (genistein, daidzein)
 Soy extracts provide doses of soy isoflavones such as genistein. Cancer cells use the enzyme protein kinase as a growth factor and genistein is a potent inhibitor of protein kinase activity. The effects of protein kinase inhibitors on human prostate cell growth have been extensively investigated.

Genistein may reduce the metastasic capacity of hormone-dependent cancers. Studies have shown that genistein inhibits proliferation and expression of the invasive capacity of prostatic cancer cells with different invasive potentials. In cell cultures, genistein appears to be cytotoxic and inhibitory of prostate cancer cell proliferation.

Populations that have high soy product consumption are have a low incidence of clinical metastatic prostate cancer, in spite of a sustained high incidence of organ-confined prostate cancer. One study examined genistein's effect upon cell adhesion as one possible mechanism by which it could be acting as an anti-metastatic agent. Genistein caused cell flattening in a way that prevented metastatic adhesion of prostate cancer cell lines.

Note: Do not take any soy genistein products 10 days prior to, during, or 3 weeks after any form of radiation therapy. Genistein may protect cancer cells against radiation-induced death.

According to a Professor De Sy large quantities of soy products are necessary to be effective against prostate cancer: one must drink 1.5 liters soya milk or 250 grams of soya burger daily.

Drug

  Conventional Drugs / Information
 "Experts hailed the advance as potentially the biggest in the field of prostate cancer for decades and believe the technique could also be effective on other tumors, such as breast and bowel cancers." (July 2008)

The Daily Mail reports that British researchers at the Royal Marsden Hospital have made a "dramatic breakthrough against a lethal form of prostate cancer" with trials of a new drug in pill form called Abiraterone, showing it can shrink tumors in up to 80% of cases.

According to the report, experts hailed the advance as potentially the biggest in the field of prostate cancer for decades and believe the technique could also be effective on other tumors, such as breast and bowel cancers.

Lead researcher, Dr Johann de Bono, was quoted as saying patients had been able to control the disease with just four pills a day and very few side effects and that the drug works even if the cancer has spread beyond the prostate, such as to the bone.

"These men have very aggressive prostate cancer which is exceptionally difficult to treat and almost always proves to be fatal," said de Bono. "We hope that Abiraterone will eventually offer them real hope of an effective way of managing their condition and prolonging their lives. My vision is to make chemotherapy obsolete."

Research suggests that an ingredient used incough medicines for more than half a century may be an effective treatment for prostate cancer.

Dr Israel Barken, Moshe Rogosnitzky, and Dr Jack Geller tested the cough suppressant noscapine, a non-addictive derivative of opium, on mouse models of prostate cancer. Results showed that noscapine reduced tumor growth by 60% and limited the spread of tumors by 65%, all without causing harmful side effects.

This is not the first time that noscapine has been studied as a treatment for cancer. It has previously been studied as a treatment for breast, ovarian, colon, lung, and brain cancers, and for various lymphomas, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and melanoma. However, because noscapine is a naturally-occurring substance it is non-patentable and thus finding financial backing for clinical trials has proven difficult.

Mosche Rogonsnitzky, of MedInsight Research Institute, a nonprofit organization committed to making doctors aware of commercially unsponsored medications, off-label (secondary) uses for approved medicines, long-lost therapies, and specialized tests that enable treatment to be tailored to the individual, said of the discovery: "Noscapine is effective without the unpleasant side effects associated with other common prostate cancer treatments. Because noscapine has been used as a cough-suppressant for nearly half a century, it already has an extensive safety record. This pre-clinical study shows that the dose used to effectively treat prostate cancer in the animal model was also safe."

News release: New study shows that a cough medicine ingredient could effectively treat prostate cancer MedInsight Research Institute. December 18th 2008.

  LDN - Low Dose Naltrexone
 Dr. Bihari, MD has recently found that the treatment does not seem to work for prostate cancer patients who have received or are receiving some form of hormone manipulation treatment prior to starting the low dose naltrexone. This includes patients who have received Lupron, Casodex, Eulexin, DES, or other drugs designed to reduce testosterone. In addition, patients who have been treated with PC Spes, the herbal preparation with estrogenic effects, also do not seem to respond.

  Hydrazine Sulfate
 See the link between Cancer (General) and Hydrazine Sulfate.

Extract

  Diindolylmethane DIM / Indole 3 Carbinol IC3
 Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that a chemical produced when digesting such greens as broccoli and kale can stifle the growth of human prostate cancer cells.

The findings show that 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM or just diindolylmethane), which is obtained by eating cruciferous vegetables in the Brassica genus, acts as a powerful anti-androgen that inhibits the proliferation of human prostate cancer cells in culture tests. Research shows that a chemical derived from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli could be effective against the growth of prostate cancer cells.

"As far as we know, this is the first plant-derived chemical discovered that acts as an anti-androgen," said Leonard Bjeldanes, professor and chair of nutritional sciences and toxicology at UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources and principal investigator of the study. "This is of considerable interest in the development of therapeutics and preventive agents for prostate cancer."

Vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and cauliflower are rich sources of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which the body converts into DIM during digestion. Over the years, Bjeldanes has been researching the anti-cancer properties of dietary indoles with co-author Gary Firestone, UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology. [Journal of Biological Chemistry June 6, 2003 ]

In two papers published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (Mar 27, 2003) researchers report that DIM (diindolylmethane) significantly halted proliferation of androgen-dependent human prostate cancer cells. In one of the studies, androgen-dependent prostate cancer cells treated with DIM grew 70% less than androgen-dependent untreated cells. DIM also inhibited dihydrotestosterone (DHT) stimulation of DNA synthesis in the androgen-dependent cancer cells. These effects were not seen in androgen-independent prostate cancer cells.

To determine whether men are at risk for prostate cancer, they are usually tested for levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a growth factor for prostate cancer. In prostate cancer cells, DIM (diindolylmethane) reduced intracellular and secreted PSA protein levels caused by DHT. The researchers determined that DIMís molecular structure is similar to Casodex, a synthetic anti-androgen drug.

  Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP)
 MCP appears to slow the PSA doubling time in prostate cancer patients with low levels of PSA. More research involving larger numbers of patients is needed to fully define the role of MCP in prostate cancer treatment. Study responses are additionally compelling, as all study participants are still alive and evaluable for longterm followup almost three years after completion of this study.[International Conference on Diet and Prevention of Cancer May 28 June 2, 1999, Tampere, Finland]

15gm of MCP per day in three divided doses slowed the progression of prostate cancer as monitered by PSA measurements. MCP is thought to bind to galectin-3, preventing the cancer cell from functioning normally and causing it to self-destruct. [The Prostate, Feb 1, 2003]

Better Health Publishing (BHP), announced Sept 14, 2007, the evaluation of five published studies that bolster the current premise by researchers that Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) is beneficial and effective in helping patients manage prostate cancer. The five studies investigated by BHP include: 1) MCP Induces Cell Death of Prostate Cancer Cells in Co-Cultures with Human Endothelial Monolayers; 2) MCP Slows PSA Doubling Time: A Pilot Clinical Trail; 3) MCP Increases the Prostate Doubling Time in Men with Prostate Cancer: a Phase II Clinical Trial; 4) Human Cancer Cell Growth and Metastasis in Nude Mice by Oral intake of MCP; and 5) Inhibition of Spontaneous Metastasis in a Rat Prostate Cancer Model by Oral Administration of MCP.

The American Cancer Society forecasts that there will be about 219,000 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in 2007 and about 27,000 men will die of it.

"If you can slow the rise of PSA in recurrent prostate cancer you are slowing the growth of the cancer," said Isaac Eliaz, M.D. L.Ac., M.S. who specializes in cancer treatment at his clinic in the San Francisco Bay Area. "I have been working with MCP and cancer patients for years and have found that my clinical experience is in alignment with the Better Health Publishing analysis. MCP has a measurable beneficial impact upon the health of my prostate cancer patients."

The research supports the findings that MCP plays a role in the reduction of PSA doubling time. Citrus pectin is a water-soluble polysaccharide found abundantly in the white part of the peel of citrus fruits. MCP is created by a depolymerization process resulting in a lower molecular weight compound for increased absorbability. PSA doubling time and the PSA velocity show how fast the prostate cancer is growing after the initial prostate cancer has been removed.

Hormone

  Progesterone
 Dr. John Lee, M.D., has found that progesterone cream is an effective treatment for prostate cancer. He has had a series of patients who had metastatic prostate cancer and went into complete remission with natural progesterone. A typical dose is 5-6mg of cream on the back of the hands twice per day.

  Melatonin
 Melatonin has been shown to inhibit several types of cancers, especially hormone-related cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer. [Bartsch and Bartsch] This may be due to its ability to reduce the number of cellular estrogen receptors, which reduces the production of cell-multiplication factors. The immune-modulating properties of melatonin seem to convey additional anti-cancer properties. It has been shown to support the use of interleukin-2 in anti-cancer therapy, especially under conditions of controlled lighting. Many animal studies have demonstrated an increase in tumor growth rates in animals whose pineal glands have been removed.

Positive results have been shown with melatonin on its own and in combination with interferon, tumor necrosis factor, and tamoxifen. These preliminary results are quite encouraging because approximately 30 percent of the patients taking anywhere from 10 to 50 milligrams daily (at 8pm) experienced improvements in survival time and quality-of-life assessments. (Lissoni et al, Brit J Cancer 7l(4): pp.854-56, 1995)

  Testosterone
 Men in the early stages of prostate cancer may find that therapy to reduce male hormone levels may be more harmful than beneficial, according to a National Cancer Institute study. Researchers found that men who had the therapy were over twice as likely to become impotent and five times as likely to experience hot flashes and breast swelling - versus men who did not choose this treatment.

Worse than the side effects, this suffering may be in vain since there is no evidence that androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is effective when used alone. The goal of ADT is to lower or eliminate male hormones, which have been thought to promote tumor growth in the prostate. There are several ways to accomplish this, including removing the testicles or having patients take the female hormone estrogen.

There is increasing debate concerning just how beneficial ADT treatment is in terms of survival, but it certainly has a down side in terms of sexual impairment and reduced physical function.

Additional research by doctors at the Harvard Medical School, Division of Urology, found that men with low testosterone levels had the most advanced prostate cancers. As men age, their testosterone levels fall severely and the incidence of prostate disease goes up accordingly. There is increasing evidence that shows that the higher the testosterone the lower the rates of prostate cancer and other problems.

One of doctors' greatest fears about testosterone therapy has been that it may cause prostate cancer. But a new study shows that it doesnít increase a man's risk of prostate cancer - even if he has precancerous prostate cells. The study sheds light on the risks of testosterone therapy, which is used in men with low testosterone levels to help restore a man's sexual function, mood, memory, even aspects of his physique - muscle mass, strength, body fat, bone density.

However, doctors have been concerned that testosterone therapy could trigger growth of prostate cancer - especially if a man already has precancerous cells in his prostate. The study involved 20 men who had precancerous cells in the prostate and 55 men who had no signs of these cells. After one year of testosterone therapy, researchers looked at prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels for all the men. Rising PSA levels are an indication that a man may have prostate cancer. The PSAs were very similar for both groups - both before and after testosterone therapy.

These results indicate that testosterone therapy does not lead to prostate cancer and that men with a history of precancerous prostate cells may be able to safely take testosterone therapy.

However, hormone therapy successfully reduces the size of prostate tumors in 80% of men, but it does not kill cancer cells. For many men, it will be recommended as well as surgery. It is sometimes used before radiotherapy to reduce the size of the tumour.

Lab Tests/Rule-Outs

  Test AMAS (AntiMalignin Antibody Screen)

Mineral

  Boron
 Boric acid (boron) has decreased PSA levels by 87% and reduced tumor size in a prostate cancer mouse model. Mice receiving 1.7 or 9.0 mg/kg/day of boric acid solution orally had decreases in tumor size by 38% and 25%, respectively. [Proc Amer Assoc Cancer Res 2002 (43): p.77] The same groups had drops in PSA (prostate-specific antigen) of 88.6% and 86.4%, respectively. The control group receiving only water had no drop in PSA or decrease in tumor size.

PSA is not only a biomarker of prostate cancer activity but also a functional enzyme produced by prostate cancer cells that acts to promote its very own tumor growth. More study is needed to confirm the use of boron in prostate cancer, although a good study has shown that a higher intake of boron is associatted with a lower risk of prostate cancer in men.

Nutrient

  Essential Fatty Acids
 Prostate cancer patients who added about 3 heaping tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily to their diet had more slowly-dividing tumor cells and a greater rate of tumor cell death than men who did not follow this diet, after about 5 weeks. The investigators found no significant difference in levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA). [Urology July 2001; p.58]

A new study suggests that it may be better to use fish oil than the ALA found in flax or other oils. This study of about 47,000 men has found the ALA omega-3 fatty acids stimulate the growth of prostate tumors in men. Of the men monitored over 14 years, some 3,000 struggled with prostate cancer and about one in seven were suffering from the advanced stages of the disease. Researchers found men who were suffering from advanced prostate cancer had higher quantities of ALA from non-animal as well as meat and dairy sources.

Scientists also found EPA and DHA could reduce the risk of total and advanced prostate cancer too. [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition July 2004 80(1); pp.204-216]

Oxygen / Oxidative Therapies

  Ozone / Oxidative Therapy

Surgery/Invasive

  Surgery
 Cryotherapy (cryoablation) is a proven and effective, minimally invasive treatment for prostate cancer that does not involve the difficulty and complications associated with surgery, nor the harmful properties of radiation.

Cryosurgery works best on prostates 40 grams or less in size as measured by ultrasound. Three to six months prior to the procedure, the patient is placed on hormone therapy to block production of male hormones, which cause prostate cancer to grow. Hormone therapy shrinks the prostate and cancer prior to cryosurgery and improves the chances of freezing the entire prostate.

Conventional surgery has become more refined with the use of robotics. Patients who underwent a robotic radical prostatectomy had significantly better erectile function outcomes than those who received conventional nerve-sparing surgery ó without compromising cancer control, according to a year-long study conducted by doctors at Henry Ford Hospital's Vattikuti Urology Institute. [British Journal of Urology, 2003] Blood loss is much less and recovery much quicker. "There's no question this [DaVinci Robotic system] has revolutionized the surgery."

Vitamins

  Vitamin D
 In patients with advanced hormone refractory prostate cancer with bone metastases, 2000 IU of vitamin D with 500mg of calcium per day for three months was found to reduce bone pain, increase muscle strength, and improve the quality of life. [J. Urology 2000; 163: pp.187-190]

A study showed that combining high doses of the vitamin D analog, calcitriol, with chemotherapy (docetaxel) may improve the response in patients with prostate cancer who no longer are responding to hormonal therapy. [J Clin Oncol 2003;21(1): pp.123-8]

See the link between Vitamin D Deficiency and Prostate Cancer.
 
 


KEY
Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Proven definite or direct link
Strongly counter-indicative
Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended







GLOSSARY

Antigen:  A substance, usually protein or protein-sugar complex in nature, which, being foreign to the bloodstream or tissues of an animal, stimulates the formation of specific blood serum antibodies and white blood cell activity. Re-exposure to similar antigen will reactivate the white blood cells and antibody programmed against this specific antigen.

Anti-inflammatory:  Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms, without directly acting on the cause of inflammation, e.g., glucocorticoids, aspirin.

Arthritis:  Inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain, swelling, and stiffness, and resulting from infection, trauma, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances, or other causes. It occurs in various forms, such as bacterial arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, is characterized by a gradual loss of cartilage and often an overgrowth of bone at the joints.

Biopsy:  Excision of tissue from a living being for diagnosis.

Cancer:  Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

Chemotherapy:  A treatment of disease by any chemicals. Used most often to refer to the chemical treatments used to combat cancer cells.

Colitis:  Inflammation of the colon.

DHEA:  Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid produced by the adrenal glands and is the most abundant one found in humans. DHEA may be transformed into testosterone, estrogen or other steroids. It is found in the body as DHEA or in the sulfated form known as DHEA-S. One form is converted into the other as needed.

Enzymes:  Specific protein catalysts produced by the cells that are crucial in chemical reactions and in building up or synthesizing most compounds in the body. Each enzyme performs a specific function without itself being consumed. For example, the digestive enzyme amylase acts on carbohydrates in foods to break them down.

Fatty Acids:  Chemical chains of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms that are part of a fat (lipid) and are the major component of triglycerides. Depending on the number and arrangement of these atoms, fatty acids are classified as either saturated, polyunsaturated, or monounsaturated. They are nutritional substances found in nature which include cholesterol, prostaglandins, and stearic, palmitic, linoleic, linolenic, eicosapentanoic (EPA), and decohexanoic acids. Important nutritional lipids include lecithin, choline, gamma-linoleic acid, and inositol.

Hormones:  Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.

Prostate:  The prostate gland in men that surrounds the neck of the bladder and the urethra and produces a secretion that liquefies coagulated semen.

Prostatectomy:  Removal of the prostate gland.

Testosterone:  The principal male sex hormone that induces and maintains the changes that take place in males at puberty. In men, the testicles continue to produce testosterone throughout life, though there is some decline with age. A naturally occurring androgenic hormone.

Vitamin D:  A fat-soluble vitamin essential to one's health. Regulates the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood by improving their absorption and utilization. Necessary for normal growth and formation of bones and teeth. For Vitamin D only, 1mcg translates to 40 IU.