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Prostate Cancer



Prostate cancer is a malignant cell growth in the prostate gland. Prostate cancer typically is a slow-growing cancer, but less commonly it may spread to other parts of the body.

 
  • Overview
  • Action Plan
  • Ask The Doctor
  • Related Info

Overview


Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and it is estimated that 1 in 6 (16.2%) will be diagnosed with the disease and approximately 1 in 33 (3%) will die of it.1 Prostate cancer mainly affects older men, and because most prostate cancers grow slowly, most men with prostate cancer end up dying of something else. A small percentage of prostate cancers are fast-growing, however, so ignoring the risks is not the right approach. Symptoms of prostate cancer may mimic an enlarged prostate and may also include the following signs or symptoms:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Problems with urinating (weak stream, frequent urination)
  • Trouble getting an erection
  • Weakness in legs or feet
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Pain in back, hips, chest or other areas

It is thought that prostate cancer risk may start very early in life such as from toxic exposures and/or dietary factors. Trends from population studies have shown associations that suggest various lifestyle factors may influence risk of prostate cancer including:

  • Eating dairy-based foods
  • Eating too many animal products in general
  • Not eating enough protective plant nutrients

Eating too many animal products raise IGF-1 and cadmium levels in our bodies as well as can affect other factors such as excess hormones, all of which have been associated with cancers, specifically prostate cancer. Foods high in lycopene (and other carotenoids), plant sterols, selenium, and other nutrients (such as in tomatoes, seeds, other vegetables, etc.) lower risk. A Nutritarian lifestyle takes advantage of these and many other cancer protective nutrients, while minimizing foods that raise risk.

 
References
  1. Brawley OW. Trends in prostate cancer in the United States. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 2012, 2012:152-156.

Action Plan


Diet

  • For those trying to prevent or those with prostate cancer, a Nutritarian lifestyle is helpful and lifespan promoting.
  • Reducing animal products in general is protective. Specifically avoiding milk and other dairy products is most important as dairy foods are directly associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.1, 2
  • Many plant foods have been found to contain cancer-fighting nutrients for prevention or part of a treatment regimen for prostate cancer. Of the foods studied, the following have shown the most convincing evidence for protection.
    • Foods high in carotenoids—Tomatoes, pomegranate, green vegetables, watermelon, pink grapefruit, red peppers, berries, figs, and many others.
    • In clinical studies, patients with prostate cancer who took pomegranate extract or pomegranate juice daily slowed their PSA doubling time, suggesting that pomegranate could help to prevent recurrence of the disease.3, 4
    • Seeds and nuts—Seeds and nuts are high in lignans, selenium, plant sterols, and other protective nutrients and are a force against prostate cancer.
    • Green vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and collards)—Cruciferous vegetables contain high amounts of special sulphur-containing compounds that fight cancer.
    • Beans—Beans, including soy, are high in phytosterols and isoflavones which are healthy for the prostate and have been shown to lower PSA levels.5
    • Garlic and onions—Similar to cruciferous vegetables, garlic and onions have special sulfur-containing compounds that fight cancer.
    • Mushrooms—Mushrooms can be helpful at reducing prostate cancer risk as they contain various compounds that fight cancer.
    • Berries—Eating berries (strawberries, blackberries, cranberries, blueberries, etc.) have been shown to help fight cancer.

Supplements

  • Dr. Fuhrman’s general supplement protocol for adults (see Vitamin Advisor for details) includes:
  • Additional supplements:
    • Green tea has anti-cancer effects in vitro, drinking green tea regularly is associated with a lower risk of cancer, and studies suggest that green tea supplements may help to reduce cancer-related biomarkers.6
    • Turmeric/curcumin: Curcuminoids, the widely studied bioactive components of turmeric, have anti-cancer effects in vitro, and human studies suggest beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.7, 8
    • Grape seed extract has anti-cancer effect in vitro, such as inhibiting inflammation, proliferation, angiogenesis, and aromatase activity.9 Clinical trials are being conducted to find out whether grape seed extract is helpful for people with cancer or at high risk of cancer. 
    • Mushroom extracts: Studies suggest that concentrated mushroom extracts may be a useful addition to cancer treatment, to decrease the immunosuppressive effects of chemotherapy.10
    • Read more: Do you have a supplement formulated to enhance protection against cancer?

Exercise

Increased physical activity in general is associated with lower prostate cancer risk, however, it appears not protective enough alone, without implementing dietary prevention strategies.

Read

Super Immunity

Other Considerations

  • Health screening: ONCOblot®. This blood test can only be ordered by a physician and detects the presence of cancerous cells at a very early stage. This test can be used by anyone who is feels they might be at risk of developing cancer, to confirm the results of other cancer screening tests, or for tracking progress after treatment for cancer.
  • The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test has been evaluated and found to not significantly reduce risk of death from prostate cancer and may even lead to harm11 related to the follow-up testing and procedures. Although each individual case is different, it is clear that the best method for fighting prostate cancer is to live a cancer protective lifestyle with excellent nutrition and regular exercise to reduce the risk of developing it in the first place.
  • Weight loss: Obesity increases the risk of several cancers, including aggressive prostate cancer.12 If you are overweight or obese, a Nutritarian diet style will help you reach your ideal weight.
  • In my 25 years of nutritional practice I have cared for hundreds of men with early stage prostate cancer that were able to lower their PSA and either reverse or halt the progression of their prostate cancer with nutritional excellence.

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References
  1. Aune D, Navarro Rosenblatt DA, Chan DS, et al. Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2015, 101:87-117.
  2. Lu W, Chen H, Niu Y, et al. Dairy products intake and cancer mortality risk: a meta-analysis of 11 population-based cohort studies. Nutr J 2016, 15:91.
  3. Pantuck AJ, Leppert JT, Zomorodian N, et al. Phase II study of pomegranate juice for men with rising prostate-specific antigen following surgery or radiation for prostate cancer. Clin Cancer Res 2006, 12:4018-4026.
  4. Paller CJ, Ye X, Wozniak PJ, et al. A randomized phase II study of pomegranate extract for men with rising PSA following initial therapy for localized prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 2013, 16:50-55.
  5. Joshi M, Agostino NM, Gingrich R, Drabick JJ. Effects of commercially available soy products on PSA in androgen-deprivation-naive and castration-resistant prostate cancer. South Med J 2011, 104:736-740.
  6. Khan N, Mukhtar H. Cancer and metastasis: prevention and treatment by green tea. Cancer Metastasis Rev 2010, 29:435-445.
  7. Park W, Amin AR, Chen ZG, Shin DM. New perspectives of curcumin in cancer prevention. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2013, 6:387-400.
  8. Panahi Y, Hosseini MS, Khalili N, et al. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcuminoid-piperine combination in subjects with metabolic syndrome: A randomized controlled trial and an updated meta-analysis. Clin Nutr 2015, 34:1101-1108.
  9. Katiyar SK, Athar M. Grape seeds: ripe for cancer chemoprevention. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2013, 6:617-621.
  10. Patel S, Goyal A. Recent developments in mushrooms as anti-cancer therapeutics: a review. 3 Biotech 2012, 2:1-15.
  11. Dahm P, Neuberger M, Ilic D. Screening for prostate cancer: shaping the debate on benefits and harms. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013, 9:ED000067.
  12. Allott EH, Masko EM, Freedland SJ. Obesity and prostate cancer: weighing the evidence. Eur Urol 2013, 63:800-809.

Ask The Doctor


The following are sample questions from the Ask the Doctor Community Platinum and higher members can post their health questions directly to Dr. Fuhrman. (All members can browse questions and answers.)

Q.

Do you have a supplement formulated to specifically to enhance protection against cancer?

A.

Dietary supplements by definition do not treat, prevent, or cure a disease and cannot claim to on labels or in advertising. However, plant extracts are continually being studied for their potential to maintain health and affect the disease process.  Clinical trials are being conducted, aiming to figure out whether certain plant extracts could affect cancer-related biomarkers, act as beneficial adjunct treatments to be used with chemotherapy, or help to prevent progression of an early stage cancer or pre-cancerous condition. Read more

 
Q.

Recently, after taking a routine blood test, my doctor informed me that my PSA was 13.4. Does this high PSA mean that I have prostate cancer? If so, does PSA determine what stage I am at? I went to see the urologist who informed me that I should do a biopsy and ultrasound. What would you advise as my next course of action?

A.

On a global scale, testing and treating men with a PSA level like yours has not been shown to extend lifespan. There is no convincing evidence in the scientific literature that evaluating and treating prostate cancer is extending the healthy life expectancy of men. In other words, all the tests and treatments may be a big money-generating medical industry, but they do not prolong lifespan in men.

On an individual level, if I were you, I would follow a Nutritarian diet strictly (with a glass of green juice once a day) and follow up my PSA levels in 6 months to see how low I can get it to go. If it improves and does not keep rising, I would continue to only treat it nutritionally. The standard of care, however, is to get tested and treated if cancer is found, but I am less concerned with whether the biopsy shows prostate cancer or not, as I have even seen those reverse (as has Dr. Ornish). So, you have all the options, but it is still your decision. The option I am recommending here is often called "watchful waiting" by physicians.