* An Overview of Prostate cancer - symptoms, causes and alternative treatments

* An Overview of Prostate cancer - symptoms, causes and alternative treatments

Prostate cancer - symptoms, causes and alternative treatments

An overview of prostate cancer, including symptoms, causes and orthodox, integrative and alternative prostate cancer treatments, so you can increase your personal odds of survival today, covering hormone therapy, immunotherapy, ablation, HIFU and diet, supplements and CBD.

We suggest you print it off and read it at your leisure.

An overview on Prostate cancer treatment

If you get to the age of 50, congratulations; you now have a 40 per cent chance of developing prostate cancer. And prostate cancer is a disease for which orthodox treatment in the UK is a mess. For example, there are more, and less invasive, options like HIFU, Focal Laser Ablation and Proton Beam Therapy available in the USA, or ablation and cryoablation in Germany, but you've got to know what these are, where to find them, and most people don't, even in America. 

When it comes to prostate cancer treatment, the simple question is, "Is there really any best practice for prostate cancer?" Some men are offered surgery, others drugs, and others radiotherapy or brachytherapy. It all seems to depend on the oncologist you meet and who is in charge of your treatment. All men have heard the horror stories of impotence, incontinence and worse. 

Unfortunately, the treatment offered can even depend upon which country you are in, and whether you are on the State Health Scheme or private. In 2019 the UK's National Institute fore Cancer Excellence (NICE) only talked of two treatments for early stage confined to capsule prostate cancer treatment - there are in fact NINE options!

Go to: Alternative Treatments for early prostate cancer

The applicability of a treatment to you depends on a number of factors, not least whether the cancer has spread outside of the prostate capsule or not. But routine a biopsy may worsen this and there is a strong argument for using MRI scans instead.

Then there's the PSA test - it is a poor measure of prostate cancer - if you are on a blood thinner, or other drugs, anyway, your PSA will be greatly inflated. Lifestyle factors such as cycling and cows' dairy consumption can increase PSA levels.

Then there are issues of infection. Electron-microscopy shows that the prostate membranes can hold a number of microbes. These could be viral (there's a link to Herpes simplex), yeasts, pathogens or even parasitic.

Prostate cancer is a cancer known to be driven by inflammation. It also requires both estrogen and testosterone to be present (the estrogen can be provided by your own body or come from an external chemical). Saturated fat consumption, and higher LDL levels have been shown to help prostate cancer spread. Fat control is crucial in prostate cancer - which means diet and exercise are crucial. We have had several people with Prostate cancer beat it completely because they took up a new activity - for example, badminton, kite-surfing, walking football.

Diet and supplements can be used to reduce estrogen (melatonin, black cumin seed, broccoli, indole 3 carbinol); or to control fats levels in the blood (lycopene), and polyphenols (green tea, pomegranate, curcumin, resveratrol) are excellent.

Go to: High saturated fat consumption promotes prostate cancer

Unfortunately, the treatments don't always help. For example, Zolodex can increase your levels of circulating bad fat LDL. Just what you don't need! 

Worse, there are now four studies which show that standard orthodox prostate cancer treatment delivers no survival benefit - the latest, and largest, study of its kind was completed by Professor Freddy Hamdy of Oxford University in 2016:

Go to: Orthodox Treatment is a waste of time if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer over 50

If current conventional prostate cancer treatment doesn't improve your survival chances or survival times - and it risks serious damage to your body - what are the best alternative prostate cancer treatments? You can't just do nothing; or can you?

"Why not ask Chris Woollams to help you build your Personal Program through this minefield. He can help you understand exactly what your options are"

Go to: Personal Prescriptions with Chris Woollams

If you don't want orthodox treatment, and/or you are on Watch and Wait (Active Surveillance), there are many self-help and self-empowering treatments you might consider:

Tips to fight prostate cancer - here's a few to get you started!

Building the new you, by sorting out the basics, is very, very important in prostate cancer. Addenbrook's Hospital prostate team in the UK showed that a diet rich in broccoli and tomatoes, alongside a daily exercise plan, could postpone the need for surgery by 4 years or so. In our experience, a strong diet, a good exercise program and a reduction in blood LDL cholesterol and triglycerides is an essential start point. For example:

  1. Know which food compounds really make a positive difference: There is clear evidence that bioactive compounds in certain foods can definitely cut levels of bad fats and oestrogen in the body making prostate cancer less aggressive. The Rainbow Diet book is an essential start point.

Within the Rainbow Diet there is one natural compound proven to be linked to a reduction in prostate cancer aggression. 

Go to: Natural compound reduces risk of aggressive and fatal prostate cancer

Then there is research showing that one bioactive compound combined with either of two others kills prostate cancer cells and reduces tumour size.

Go to: Three compounds starve prostate cancer

Finally, we have produced the definitive list of twelve natural compounds all proven in research to help.

Go to: 12 Natural Compounds proven to fight prostate cancer 

  2. Avoid dangerous foods - there is one common ingredient it is imperative that you avoid. What foods is it in? 

Go to: Foods to avoid if you don't want an aggressive prostate cancer

   3. Avoid saturated fat consumption - like cheese, dairy, red meats, animal fats - ensuring you have low LDL and low blood triglycerides is crucial in prostate cancer. High blood fat and triglycerides are linked to more metastases.

Go to: Natural compound reduces blood LDL levels, and cuts aggressive prostate cancer

   4. Take exercise - daily, light to moderate exercise definitely helps; you should try to do at least 45 minutes. Exercise stimulates oxygen levels and builds levels of happy hormones, (endorphins) which can restrict metastases. Exercise will limit blood fats and blood sugar and even strengthen your bones. Exercise has been linked in research to reduction in tumour size and less aggressive cancers.

Go to: Exercise makes tumors less aggressive, improves treatments

   5. Control your oestrogen - this hormone (whether produced in your body, or from external chemical estrogen) converts nice, safe Testosterone into DHT, and that's the driving force in prostate cancer. So cut your estrogen levels. Being overweight or having a high BMI is a big problem, as is being a couch potato. Then there are herbicides and pesticides, and toxins in toiletry and personal care products. Vegetables, pulses, nuts and seeds consumption help, as do supplements like Indole 3 carbinol and melatonin. Good sleep has many benefits, one of which is that it helps release melatonin in the body, which is extremely helpful in restricting growth rates. 

Go to: How to control your estrogen naturally

   6. Heal your gut - a lack of certain gut bacteria, coupled with certain bad bacteria are being shown to control processes causing prostate cancer. To build the new you, it is imperative you fix your gut:

Go to: Heal your Gut, Heal your Body

   7. One vitamin is essential - 76% of men on diagnosis are short of a crucial vitamin that acts like a hormone and can fight cancer. If you have cancer, low plasma levels reduce your survival odds. It is worse for people who live in cities and people in the Western world with dark skins. Chemotherapy can worsen levels.

Go to: Are you getting enough?

Alternative prostate cancer treatments. 

If your cancer is confined to the prostate you simply MUST READ THIS ARTICLE.

Go to: Localised Hyperthermia, or HIFU, as a minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment 

This treatment has been held back in the UK but HIFU is increasingly common practice in America with big centers in Kentucky and Texas. For example, Dr. John Jurige in Louisville has conducted HIFU on over 1000 men to date and claims that it gives no impotency and less than 5% men have incontinence following the treatment. 

In the UK Professor Mark Emberton has only just finished a Clinical Trial, even though Chris Woollams first wrote about HIFU in 2006.

You can go privately in the UK. See - https://www.ablationforcancer.co.uk. They treat small and confined tumours in the prostate, lung, liver, kidney and bone.

In Germany there are clinics, like Klinik St Georg providing ablation. In America you can also have Focal Laser Ablation, which uses an MRI guided laser while you are sedated.

You should beware of the biopsy. There is clear evidence that, apart from a risk of infection, it can cause metastases. However, Doctors like John Jurige in Louisville use HIFU in a wider area that just the prostate and he claims to overcome the localized cancer spread caused by biopsy.

Another option is the Nanoknife, there are centres in the USA, one in London and one in Sydney.

Go to: Nanoknife IRE 

Emberton feels men should always have an MRI rather than a biopsy. We have an exclusive interview with this UK based Professor.

Go to: Interview with Mark Emberton on HIFU and prostate cancer

Proton beam therapy is another option increasingly used in America to treat prostate cancer - you may have to have an anti-androgen drug for a year afterwards though and this is expensive coming in around $70,000.

Go to: Proton Beam Therapy

If you find all the information on the Internet confusing, and/or you understand there is much you can do to help yourself but don't know where to start, look into having a Personal Prescription with Chris Woollams. He can sort it all out for you, tailored to you, your cancer and your lifestyle. You might like to read the comments from terminal patient Mark, now his prostate cancer has gone.

Go to: Comments from people about Personal Prescriptions

Then if the cancer has spread into your bones, you should look at Lutetium 177 therapy; and oncothermia.

For other prostate cancer treatment options such as brachytherapy, surgery and drugs please see below.

Then there is research showing less invasive treatments might be useful - look into IP-6 and inositol; and CBD oil which blocks Id-!, the driver of aggressive cancers.

Phew! Now you see how, if UK orthodox medicine for prostate cancer offers little extra survival benefit, you can still do so much to help yourself.                                                          

* * * * * * * * 

Prostate Cancer Facts

Prostate cancer

The lifetime risk of prostate cancer may be one in thirteen for men (7-8 per cent), but if you reach 50 years of age your chances of being diagnosed with prostate cancer are 40 per cent. 95 per cent of the cancers historically occur in men over 60. But that's all changing. In the last decade there has been a six-fold increase in diagnosis amongst forty-something men. This is very worrying because when prostate cancer occurs in younger men it has tended to be more aggressive - and currently, UK doctors use no tests to show if a prostate cancer is aggressive or not, apart from a Gleason score. In America some experts follow a mans DHT levels - we will cover this more, later.

Prostate cancer, or adenocarcinoma as it is called in most cases, is now the most common male cancer in the UK. At its current rate of growth it could overtake all lung cancer cases, or breast cancer cases within 15 years. Despite this, its correct causes are still rarely acknowledged, its treatment currently imperfect and research into it massively under-funded. Lets look at some of the common myths of prostate cancer:

The Truth about Prostate Cancer

1) If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer (by a PSA test), DO NOT RUSH INTO TREATMENT!  

A study in Los Angeles of men over 50 who had died in car accidents showed that two thirds were driving around without having a clue they had prostate cancer. You are more likely to die with prostate cancer than of it. 

At CANCERactive we have been arguing for over 12 years that men diagnosed over 50 years of age should Watch and wait - its called Active Surveillance, or Active Monitoring. NICE agreed 5 years later. In 2016, 50% on American men waited. 

The fact is that few prostate cancers are fast growing (possibly around 5 per cent of total) but these more usually appear in quite young men. The great majority are slow growing and may be left for ten years or more. So says the US National Cancer Institute. In an analysis of 20 years of data from the Connecticut Cancer Registry, USA, researchers found that men with a low-grade prostate cancer (Gleason grade 2-4) had a small risk of cancer progression, even after 20 years. 20 years on, the risk of death was only 6 per 1000.  The Royal Marsden has now plumped for Active Surveillance saying that at least 50 per cent of cases did not need any other form of action. 

Having said all this, the STAMPEDE trial in the UK looking for drugs that could make a difference showed that using Docetaxel rather than Active Surveillance could increase survival times.

2) Don't just rely on one PSA test - it is notoriously inaccurate, and estimates suggest differing figures of over-diagnosis. From 15-40 per cent! It can be skewed by eating cows dairy or riding a bicycle during the 36 hours before. One patient we were helping was on blood thinners. When he stopped taking them, his PSA fell from 12.9 to 6.7 in just two weeks! UK oncologists claim it is all they have; "better than nothing" they argue. Professor Thomas Stanley of Stanford University Medical School has gone so far as to dub the test Useless adding, The PSA era is over; it indicates nothing more than the size of the prostate. The truth is that measuring your DHT is much more accurate and indicative of the aggression of the cancer. Some people are also turning to a PMSA test.

3) Prostate cancer is caused by aromatisation, which increases oestradiol levels..

Go here: Understand hyper-aromatisation and how to combat it naturally.

Polyphenols are important compounds in this fight. Read Professor Robert Thomas' article on polyphenols and how he developed POMI-T which in clinical trials reduces PSA levels.

Go to: Polyphenols and Pomi-T in prostate cancer

One polyphenol is resveratrol. Professor Gerry Potter (who created Abiraterone to stop prostate cancer 'feeding') thought that nature gave us natural compounds that had the ability to stop cancer 'feeding'.  One is resveratrol which uniquely turns to picetannol in prostate cancer cells. This immediately kills the cell. He found other products in nature and called them Salvestrols. There is research on Salvestrols, although we really need more.

Go to: Salvestrols and prostate cancer

And then oestradiol - oestrogen (estrogen in America) - turns nice safe testosterone (which in men over 50 is usually in decline) into DiHydroTestosterone, or DHT. And DHT is the aggressor, according to Professor David Thompson of MD Anderson. Actually estrogen may be human or chemical. The oestrogen can be made in our fat stores (by the action of aromatase enzymes on fat); or it can come from chemicals we ingest (herbicides and pesticides) or surround ourselves with (perfumed products, plastic bottles, xenoestrogens etc.)

Several centres in the world, for example the Althone Institute of Technology in Ireland, have long told us that chemicals from plastics, toiletries and pesticides could mimic the action of oestrogen and greatly affect the male reproductive system. One study showed some thirteen common chemicals could increase risk of prostate cancer - and all were oestrogen mimics. 

Go to: How to reduce your estrogen naturally

Importantly, two meta-studies prove conclusively that there is no link between testosterone levels and prostate cancer. For your information, higher testosterone and growth hormone plasma levels are actually linked with better health, longevity and greater survival (Steroids, 2012 Jan ; 77 (1-2):52-8). Testosterone makes mean leaner; when it goes into decline we get fatter anyway.

Go to: Recent research on Testosterone levels suggests why current medical treatments don't work

4) Orthodox Medicine does not increase survival times, as we said above: Before the Professor Hamdy work in 2016, research from Sweden in 2011 (Journal of the National Cancer Institute) showed that when comparing low to mid-level prostate patients, who had all the treatment orthodoxy could offer, against a group that had no treatment at all, the life expectancy loss for the no treatment group after 10 years was just 2 per cent compared with men in the general population!! And considering all the side-effects of orthodox cancer treatment, this is research that should be heeded. Next, American research in 2012 covered in Cancer Watch went further, concluding that surgery simply did not improve longevity or outcome!

Then, a third study (in Cancer Watch) concluded that for men over 65 the dangers and rigours of treatment outweighed benefits!  Especially, if you are over 50, read our article on Is orthodox prostate cancer treatment a waste of time. It comes from all these big research studies!

So Watch and wait, Active Surveillance, Active Cancer Management, it is then! And fortunately there's a lot you can do to help yourself. A lot, orthodox medicine shuns.

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4) Supplements can play a big role in fighting prostate cancer - vitamin D, fish oils, lycopene, curcumin, ursolic acid (in Holy Basil and pistachio nuts), black seed oil, pomegranate, resveratrol. It is important to get the levels and exactly how you take them right. In some studies, zinc and selenium can help too, as can anti-estrogen compounds such as indole 3 carbinol (from broccoli) and melatonin. 

5) Several genes have been identified (including BRCA 1 and BRCA 2) which are linked to increased risk of prostate cancer, and sometimes prostate cancer is thought to run in families. The incidence occurs, however, in less than 7 per cent of men and, anyway, there is much you can do to protect yourself.  Now, according to Nature Genetics 10 Feb 2008, scientists have turned up seven new genome sites linked to risk. Cancer Watch covered research that showed some genes seemed more at risk from chemical exposure, and this linked to increased prostate risk. The latest research covered in Cancer Watch concluded that in prostate cancer 5,900 genes could go wrong! You only have 25,000 in total!

6) Men in the Far East (Japan, South East Asia) have the lowest incidence of prostate cancer, but this changes if they move to the West. Black people living in Western capital cities have a higher incidence than whites or Asians. The latter is undoubtedly due to poor sunshine and therefore low plasma vitamin D levels.

7) There was a research study from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden linking the volume of cows dairy consumption to the level of risk of prostate. The study showed a straight line correlation. High dairy consumption increased risk by 50 per cent. There is also a small link to red meat consumption and processed meats like salami and ham. We also ran an article where the expert argued that saturated fat and cows dairy consumption during your teenage, formative years was a major factor. Too late then for most people reading this! Harvard Medical School believe that the linking factor is choline, a B vitamin. 

8) Another report suggested that men with the herpes virus (the version that causes cold sores) have a higher risk. It might just show an immune weakening effect. But generally, men developing prostate cancer have a damaged microbiome in their gut.

Go to: Gut bacteria link to prostate cancer

If you have prostate cancer, sort out your gut! Gut bacteria also control estrogen levels, fat levels and sugar levels in your body; and they can help remove toxic chemicals from the body. 

9) Diet is crucial. Poor diet, high sugar, alcohol and junk food consumption is linked to increased risk of prostate cancer. And to survival rates!

In 2013 research (Cancer Watch: Journal of Nutrition and Cancer) Dr. Lenore Arab and a team from UCLA investigated the WCRF lifestyle recommendations and found that men with prostate cancer can take control of their disease to limit its aggression. Their conclusions recommend eating low-calorie foods (calorie restriction), eating non-starchy vegetables, fruits, unrefined grains, while limiting intake of red meat and salt and maintaining desirable ranges of body mass index (BMI - don't be overweight) and daily physical exercise. Sounds like a section from our Rainbow Diet book and everything we tell you at CANCERactive!!

2014 research showed that the return of prostate cancer was more likely the higher the plasma levels of triglycerides and fats.

Go to: Fat linked to prostate progression 

This may be due to a man's saturated fat consumption, but a poor microbiome (gut bacterial balance) will also play a part. A high soluble fibre diet, in research, is highly beneficial, but the clear overall winner is a Rainbow Diet, employing high good fat consumption, low sugar consumption, low saturated fat consumption, but a high consumption of whole foods, natural fibre, vegetables, seeds and nuts. There have been a number of very clear studies on the benefits of a colourful Mediterranean Diet with prostate cancer. 

Go to: The Rainbow Diet and Prostate Cancer

BUT BEWARE - there is research from Harvard Medical School that shows choline-rich foods can in some cases SPREAD prostate cancer.  Researchers showed that red meat, salamis, ham, eggs and chicken fat all increased choline levels in the body. This is also available in some B complex supplements. Choline like coconut oil, can form TMA with gut bacterial help, and this turns into highly inflammatory TMAO in the liver. Choline also seems to collect in the prostate membrane. Ask your Doctor if you have Choline-Avid prostate cancer.

What is the Prostate?

pros1The prostate is a gland situated between the pubic bone and the rectum and around the urethra, the tube passing from the bladder to the penis. Its function is connected with the whole urine and reproductive system. The tubes of the reproductive system through which the sperm pass, meet the urethra in the prostate. The prostate gland contracts at orgasm to fire out the sperm. In a boy, the gland is the size of a pea, growing at puberty to the size of a small to medium plum. However, in the Western world it seems to grow again in men in their late forties and here lies the problem.

 Many, many men in the Western World have an enlarged prostate

Many, many men in the Western World have an enlarged prostate. Mostly usually it is benign, but in some cases it does become malignant. Even then there may be no further distress for ten or more years. The symptoms of either form are very much the same and are principally the symptoms of the enlargement.An enlarged prostate can give you a high PSA reading.

Prostate cancer Symptoms? 

pros2 The UK charity "The Prostate Cancer Charity" defines them as:

  • Difficulty or pain when passing urine.
  • The need to pass urine more often.
  • Broken sleep due to the need to pass urine.
  • Waiting for long periods before the urine flows.
  • The feeling that the bladder has not completely emptied.


Almost all of these symptoms are shared with the non-malignant prostate growth form (termed Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia).

With prostate cancer you may also suffer from blood in the urine, and/or lower back pain and/or dribbling. Be aware that many of the above symptoms can be caused by other factors e.g. bacterial infection. 

Prostate cancer diagnostic procedure 

1. Digital Rectal Examination: Firstly, your doctor can simply feel if you have an enlarged prostate (a Digital Rectal Examination).

2. PSA test: We have told you the PSA test is unreliable already. Sloan-Kettering in the USA conducted research on men, (average age 62), whose PSA levels were high enough to warrant an immediate operation, and concluded that 50 per cent had PSA readings a month later that would negate this conclusion. If relying on PSA readings, take one every fortnight for three months before planning action. And LOOK AT WHAT OTHER DRUGS YOU ARE TAKING!!

Go to: a high PSA may be due to the drugs you are taking

But there's another problem. Even if the tumour is malignant, to date there is no way of telling how aggressive the growth will be. The problem is that some men with small, yet rapidly growing cancers have not been spotted in time. Others with enlarged and malignant prostates may have had them operated on unnecessarily. New tests, seem to be quite a way off their use amongst the general male population.

Some experts in America believe measuring DHT gives you an estimate of genuine threat - the stage of your cancer and its aggression.

3. Biopsy: If the PSA test proves positive, the specialist may recommend a biopsy to confirm the cancer. This may be done at the same time as an Ultrasound scan where a tube is passed up your rectum in an attempt to see (via an ultrasound image of your prostate) what exactly is going on.  This doesn't always work either!

In a normal biopsy, tissue is taken from ten or more places in the prostate using a fine needle. Ask for evidence of the risks. It leaves many patients in pain for quite a long period, can result in infection (since the needle passes through the rectum which is full of nasty bacteria) and can even result in incontinence and impotency. Finally, in about a fifth of cases even the biopsy may prove unclear, prompting your doctor to want to do more PSA tests and even another biopsy.

So, there is little doubt that a biopsy can cause infections and complications. It may also spread your cancer. Research on this appeared first 20 years ago. It is termed seeding, where cancer cells are picked up and spread. Also, it is almost impossible to conduct a biopsy without breaking the capsule around your prostate - and that encourages spread. Consider this move very carefully

4. A Scan: If the specialist feels that the cancer may have spread, he may also suggest:


  • A Bone Scan if your doctor is worried about spread, he may suggest a bone scan which will either be a normal X-ray, or involve using a radioactive isotope injection and an X-ray of your whole body. Orthodox medical professionals insist there are no side-effects from this radioactivity
  • A CT scan where a number of X-rays are taken to build up a 3D computer picture of whole areas of the body. You will be given an injection and your doctor should discuss allergies, asthma and iodine concerns with you before hand. (NB: Too many CT scans should be avoided where possible. Research from Columbia University (icon Vol 3 Issue 4) calculated that the radiation produced from an annual CT scan increases risks of developing cancer! "The risks of a full body scan are reasonably well quantified", said Dr. David Brenner)
  • An MRI scan - similar to a CT scan, this uses magnetism rather than X-rays. You almost certainly will be given an injection of a dye. No metal objects (necklaces, pacemakers, metal plates from former operations) are allowed. Professor Mark Emberton argues that MRI scans are the only diagnosis tool you should use. 

5. Cystoscopy: This involves (don't wince) a flexible tube with a light and camera on the end being pushed up your penis, and right up into the bladder.

After all this, there is a reasonable chance that your doctor may be able to tell you whether you have cancer or not. If you do have cancer, he will try to assign a grade and a stage.

NB. In some cases where (malignant or not) an enlarged prostate is causing constriction on your tubing and thus discomfort, a rigid cystoscope can be pushed up the penis and a scraping form of surgery on the innermost cells of the prostate can be performed to widen the urethra.

Prostate cancer surgery

By now, you will be shaking your head. Indeed, four men came up to me at a recent speech - all had the same message: If I'd known then what I know now, I would never have let a doctor touch me!  But more of that later.

Before embarking on surgery you should read the article by top surgeon Christopher Eden where he spells out that the more prostate operations the surgeon has conducted, the less the risk of side-effect problems.

When the tumour is malignant, specialists prefer to operate through an area between the scrotum and the rectum, or  through the abdomen often removing the prostate, the seminal vesicles and the pelvic lymph nodes at the same time to see how far the disease has spread and cut accordingly. This is termed Radical Prostectomy (RP) and is major surgery; and as patients tend to be older it is risky, with the chances of complications growing as you age. Nerve damage is possible and after surgery there is a 70 per cent risk of impotence plus a 40 per cent risk of some incontinence one year later. You will be allowed home after about 10 days but there will be a tube to pass urine while the urethra heals for about 3 weeks.

All operations involving anesthetic deplete the immune system, kill beneficial bacteria, weakening the body in its fight to neutralise possible secondaries as they move through the blood and lymph.

We do have an important article on surgery. You should read the article minimise the chances of surgery spreading your prostate cancer before going near a knife! 

Prostate cancer stage and grade

The Stage tells you how far the cancer has progressed to date. Hence:

Stage 1 is where the tumour is confined, and probably cannot be felt using a Digital Rectal Examination
Stage 2 it is still confined, but is large enough to be felt and shows up on ultrasound
Stages 3 and 4 it has spread, probably to local lymph nodes first, then the nearby bones, then on to other organs.

The Grade attempts to tell you how fast this is growing

The Grade tells you how fast this is growing how aggressive is the cancer. This is done using a 10-point scale called the Gleason System. 6-7 is roughly the norm; scores below it are slow growing, scores above it are aggressive. But the scoring is done after looking at the cells under a microscope which one American expert described as "rather like asking how fast a race horse will be when it is still in the womb".

Radiotherapy and prostate cancer

Radiotherapy is usually used if the surgeon doesn't think he removed all the cancer cells.

External radiotherapy requires six weeks of treatment, doesn't directly hurt but kills all rapidly-reproducing cells in its line of fire (before and after the tumour). It is commonly used for men over 70. The side effects may be a problem. Diarrhoea and cystitis are common, there is possible damage to the bladder and rectum, incontinence, and 20-30 per cent of men report impotence.

Go To: how to get the best from your radiotherapy

Remember to keep taking your supplements. UCLA and MD Anderson have shown they improve the success of radiotherapy.

To minimise side-effects and improve outcomes readers should look into the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen when having radiotherapy treatment. It has been shown to improve outcomes and reduce side effects.

With radiotherapy or chemotherapy, readers should look into the research behind Fasting and cancer and how outcomes are improved. 

You should most definitely look at Proton Beam Therapy. We have several patients in America who used this on contained prostate cancers, as their primary treatment, building an integrative program around it. It was 100% successful - no damage before the tumour, or behind it, or to the sides. No erectile disfunction (although they had to take an anti-androgen hormone for 6-12 months). The downside is the expense. You need 4-6 weeks treatment; these machines are not everywhere, so you may have to travel, and the program can cost up to $75,000.

Brachytherapy for prostate cancer

Also called Implant Therapy, or Permanent Seed Brachterapy, this involves implanting tiny "radiation" seeds around the prostate cancer; this 2-day treatment is more localised, and can cause a burning sensation on urination. The seeds are each the size of a grain of sand. It is only used where the cancer is confined to the prostate and the PSA is below 10. Sometimes a PSA of up to 20 will be allowed but evidence of containment is essential. Gleason should be below 7. We have had patients for whom this was 100% successful.

Long-term issues may include urinary, erection or bowel problems. 

In a study from St Lukes Cancer Centre in Guildford, 300 patients were treated with low dose brachytherapy. This showed 93 per cent with early stage prostate cancer had survived 5 years. (Ed: this is where we get awfully confused. According to Royal Marsden 50 per cent of patients don't need any treatment anyway, and US reports say that 90 per cent of people will survive 10 years from first diagnosis?! NICE has passed the treatment for general use, but many PCTs refuse to fund it. Are we surprised?)

Brachytherapy typically involves a 24 hour stay in hospital and a general anaesthetic. A needle inserts roughly 100 radioactive seeds into the prostate gland.

We feel you might enjoy the following non sequitur from the web site of the former CancerBACKUP: All the radioactivity is absorbed within the prostate and so it is completely safe for you to be with other people. However, women who are (or could be) pregnant and children should not stay very close to you for long periods of time. You should not let children sit on your lap, but can hold or cuddle them for a few minutes each day and it is safe for them to be in the same room.

Prostate cancer brachtherapy, like all radiotherapy and proton beam therapy, has no clinical trial data to support it, just usage data.

Hormone Treatment for prostate cancer

This method is frequently used as, of course, prostate cancer is hormonally driven.
There are several options, all designed to reduce that nasty testosterone!

  1. Cutting the production of a pituitary hormone that causes the synthesis of testosterone in the testes. Goserelin (Zoladex), triptorelin, leuprorelin are drugs given at monthly or three monthly intervals)
  2. Blocking testosterone receptor sites on the prostate cells with anti-androgens (e.g.. Flutamide, bicalutamide (Casodex), cyproterone)
  3. A combination of 1 and 2.
  4. The use of a synthetic oestrogen, DES, to flatten production of testosterone

PillsResearch in Cancer Watch 2013 showed the best results were achieved when combining hormone therapy and radiotherapy. The biggest problem is that hormone control cannot be a long-term strategy. It would work providing the body didn't fight back and work harder to make even more of the depleted hormone. Unfortunately, it does. A basic law of animal hormones is homeostasis - put in simple English, if you throw one of them out, the body will try everything it can to restore the norm!

Also, all forms of hormone treatment have side effects. Impotence, loss of sex drive, hot flushes, even breast swelling and osteoporosis.

Worse, men who are treated for prostate cancer with hormone-targeted therapy have a higher risk of developing kidney problems according to research from a team of scientists at the McGill University, Montreal. Team leader Laurent Azoulay and his colleagues found that men taking hormone-targeted therapy were between two and three times more likely to have their kidneys stop working, taking into account other health conditions and medicines.

Zoladex is actually described as being for palliative care in prostate cancer. It can actually increase your PSA, and blood LDL fat levels.

Sometimes steroid hormones such as Dexamethasone are given at the same time. Dexamethasone has an unfortunate side-effect in the treatment of cancer. It raises blood sugar!!

Chemotherapy and Prostate Drugs

You can read an, albeit 8-year old, review of prostate cancer drugs by clicking here: Prostate Cancer Drugs. It will get you started. Our Drug search in the top right hand corner of this page will also be useful. 

27 Drugs are currently listed on the National Cancer Institute Register - from ordinary chemotherapy drugs like Docetaxel, to the latest drugs like ...

Abiraterone which aims to stop the cancer feeding. It was the first new prostate drug for 40 years, and the main reason for the extended life of the infamous Locherbie Bomber! It is now approved for use in the UK by NICE.

The UK STAMPEDE study has shown that, rather than use Abiraterone as a drug of last resort, if it is used at the outset with the likes of Casodex and or Zolodex, it can increase 5-year survival by 40%. At CANCERactive we think Abiraterone is one of the best drugs around for treating cancer.

Trials of Enzalutamide seem to suggest further life extension for men in the final stages of the disease. It is used where there is already metastases to other parts of the body and in a double blind study, reported in 2018, it gives a mean 36.6 month survival time when used with Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) drugs, rather that 14.6 months for the ADT drug on its own.

Prostate cancer immunotherapy results for Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) were reported in June 2018. With 258 men all with advanced prostate cancer, these showed 38% of men surviving for a year, 11% surviving longer and results strongest amongst those men with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. 

Other orthodox prostate treatments

In some cases the surgeons will recommend removing the part of the testes that produces Testosterone. This is called oriechtomy.

There are many new treatments being used - for example cryosurgery (involving tissue being frozen to destroy abnormal cells). This is usually done with a special instrument that contains liquid nitrogen or liquid carbon dioxide.

Cancer Watch has covered several research studies on the use of viruses to kill prostate cancer tumour cells. In particular, building viruses into carriers that attach to the cancer cells and leave the healthy ones alone, are also being developed.

Some patients are offered the new wonder machine the Cybeknife. The theory is that, instead of using radiation from one point in one direction, this moves around the problem giving you a far lesser dose from each of, say, six angels, but a greater dose in the centre. Thus you will have less tissue damage in surrounding areas. Great theory, but no great Clinical Trial to prove the theory correct as yet! 

Using complementary therapies to fight prostate cancer
2017 research on the Diet and Exercise guidelines of The American Cancer Society (very similar to those of CANCERactive), show that people who most closely follow the guidelines have 31% less recurrence and 42% less death during the following 7 years! With Prostate cancer there is a great deal you can do to help yourself.

Diet - What foods help fight prostate cancer?

There is clear evidence that certain foods will help fight the prostate cancer:

Tomatoes (lycopene) - Harvard Medical School state that tomatoes, tomatoes and especially cooked tomatoes help prevent and fight the symptoms of prostate cancer. Professor Robert Thomas made them an important part of his delaying diet at Addenbrooks. 


Lycopene is the crucial ingredient. It is an antioxidant. It has been shown to reduce bad fats like LDL in the blood stream as well as statins; it has research behind it showing it reduces the risks of aggressive and lethal prostate cancers and Harvard Medical School study stated that seven to ten helpings of tomatoes per week reduced prostate risk by 40 per cent; while another suggested that 40 per cent of prostate cancer sufferers eating those quantities showed relief of symptoms. Lycopene can be obtained from all tomato products e.g. sauces, soups and especially cooked tomatoes which release the lycopene more easily. If you take the supplement, take it with a little olive oil.

Polyphenols appear to be extremely helpful. In Cancer Watch, we have carried research on Extra Virgin Olive Oil (please avoid coconut oil which is full of saturated fat, which you do not need!). See - Olive oil vs Coconut Oil 

Green Tea - Several studies, for example from Perth University, that show that EGCG in it has important benefits. It also seems to collect in the prostate.

Indole Eat your greens Indole 3 carbinol, (from broccoli, greens) and its metabolite DIM, have been shown in research to turn nasty estrogen, oestradiol, into its safer sister oestrone.

The study below reports that indole 3 carbinol can increase repair proteins in cells.  

One study recorded in Cancer Watch showed that broccoli and tomatoes in combination were more effective against prostate cancer than one of the leading drugs! This was confirmed by a second paper from Dr. John Erdman at the International Research Conference on Food. This is because they follow different anti-cancer pathways.

While phyto-estrogens in vegetables and pulses seem to be crucial, The British Journal of Cancer (2006) reports on the benefits of one phyto-oestrogen, Genistein. Apparently it can increase the repair proteins in a cell even those in short supply due to the presence of BRCA 1 and BRCA 2. Some women prefer to go this high phyto-oestrogen route than take Tamoxifen. 

Dr. Young S. Kim of the National Cancer Institute included genistein in her list of cancer-fighting natural compounds that tackled cancer stem cells. 

Sprouting seeds - Other foods can make a difference - for example those that contain sulforaphane, like broccoli and Brussels sprouts and particularly in sprouting broccoli seeds, can inhibit the development of oestrogen-driven cancer cells. US Dr. Keith Singletary and his team claim it works as well as the chemotherapy drugs, by causing the release of certain cancer-killing enzymes. 

Pomegranate - a rapidly growing list of studies show pomegranate is useful in both prevention and as a part of your treatment programme. In 2010 researchers showed pomegranate extract could reverse prostate cancer and in 2011 researchers from UCLA, Riverside showed pomegranate could stop metastases. It's all in Cancer Watch! The researchers found that phenylpropanoids, hydrobenzoic acids, flavones and conjugated fatty acids in the fruit had the potential to stop cancer cells developing, to prevent metastases to nearby bone cells and even to kill prostate cancer. Look for a supplement called POMI-T. It has clinical trials behind it and it reduces PSA levels. 

Holy Basil - an ancient plant. Perhaps the most important recent study in cancer watch was for Ursolic acid, found in Holy Basil, which in combination with either curcumin or resveratrol (also found in Salvestrols), could kill prostate cells in vivo and in vitro.

Our book, The Rainbow Diet - and how it can help you beat cancer will tell you about the very latest research on a variety of natural compounds that are effective in fighting cancer.

Other supplements extolled in research are

        * Vitamin D - (4 hours a day in the sunshine or 5,000IUs). Plasma levels are linked to survival times.

        * Curcumin  - Linked to lower levels of metastases in research (mix with olive oil and pipeline (in black pepper) as it does not cross the gut wall easily). 1.5 gms would be a good level.

        * Fish oils - Long-chain omega-3. Linked to lower inflammation, cachexia rates; and higher telomere protection.

        * Flaxseed - crushed flaxseed (short-chain omega-3) helps oxygenate cells, reduce oestrogen and feed your good gut bacteria. 

        * Melatonin (the sleep hormone) - linked to better hormone control; it regulates guman estrogen levels and has 5 ways of attacking cancer cells.

        * Selenium - displaces heavy metals and chemicals. Low blood levels of selenium are linked to higher levels of prostate cancer. Max dose 200 micrograms.

        * Coenzyme Q10 - research shows it can be beneficial against prostate cancer; maximum dose is 100 mg.  

Zinc - Is very important to prostate health. The prostate seems to store zinc and zinc is an active participant in maximising the effect of several antioxidants. 15-20 mgs as a daily supplement should be ample. Levels above 50 mgs are not to be recommended and could be counter-productive. 

Aspirin - Many solid tumour cancers start with inflammation and US research published by the American Medical Association has shown that women who take more than 7 aspirin tablets per week have 29 per cent less risk of breast cancer. Research from Oxford University and the Radcliffe Hospital showed a small aspirin a day (75 mgs) reduces cancer risk, stops new metastases, and increases survival times. Long-chain omega 3 has been shown time and time again since the early 1980s to reduce inflammation at the cellular level. Curcumin, ginger and garlic can also achieve this anti-inflammatory effect; (Aloe Vera might be preferable to synthetic aspirin).

Other compounds that have research studies supporting their use in the reduction of prostate problems and even cancer include Medicinal mushrooms (we have an excellent article, click here), Biobran (click here) and Resveratrol (click here). 
Finally, a combination of rather odd ingredients has been reported to have an effect. Several prostate cancer books recommend that sufferers of enlarged prostates take:

Soya products

* saw palmetto oil (150-400 mgs) 

* panax ginseng (3-5 mgs)

* pygeum bark (1.5-2 mgs daily) 

Saw palmetto is known to interfere with hormone levels (for example, testosterone) and may reduce prostate swelling.

There is a health expert called Ben Ong in the USA who has pulled together many of these active ingredients into a prostate formula or two.

Go to: Twelve bioactive natural compounds each showing benefits against prostate cancer

"If you are already buying supplements and want all natural, quality products where someone knowledgeable has done the brand selection process for you, why not see what Our Natural Selection has to offer?"

Exercise and prostate cancer

There are now a great many studies showing that light to moderate daily exercise can increase life expectancy in prostate cancer.  
Go to: CANCERactive Guidelines on Diet and Exercise
You can also access a world of Complementary Therapies on this website - start with a 
kiddies guide to complementary therapies and choose the best ones for you. 

How Stress Management helps

Above we have covered natural compounds and exercise as preventative measures. But they offer far more. Let's be clear. This is not just our view. In 2012, the American Cancer Society produced a report (now endorsed by Americas top cancer body the NCI). This report stated that since 2006, there has been an explosion in research into Complementary Therapies, and that there is now overwhelming evidence that complementary therapies such as diet, weight control and exercise can increase survival and even prevent a cancer returning.

Next UCLA (Cancer Watch) recorded that people who underwent Stress Management Courses survived Significantly Longer. What's this? They suggested 4 factors were important in fighting stress hormones - a Rainbow Diet; and Fish oils; exercise where yoga was extremely effective at producing endorphins; and meditation. These seem crucial to lowering stress hormone levels.

In drugs, Abiraterone (now approved by NICE since 2012) is the first new prostate drug for almost 40 years. It stops the cancer feeding. Next come the immunotherapy drugs which aim to boost your immune system.

Using repurposed drugs to fight prostate cancer 

One website that was really useful in America was The Prostate Forum of Charles (Snuffy) Myers, who treated prostate patients using a number of old but repurposed drugs. He was one of the USA's top scientists, and when he developed prostate cancer, he beat it using drugs that were not invented for prostate cancer but for other illnesses.

Go to: Charles Myers and prostate cancer

There are UK oncologists and private doctors using Repurposed old drugs to treat prostate cancer. 

For example, 

i) Metformin, the diabetes drug, reduces blood sugar and this can stop the cancer feeding. An alternative would be the herb Berberine which also has an action against cancer cells energy production systems.

Go to: Berberine as a cancer treatment

ii) A small lipophyllic statin - like atorvastatin. Taken in a low dose, it reduces blood LDL and triglyceride levels and reduces metastases. (Lycopene can reduce blood fats just as well).

iii) Mebendazole - a drug that kills threadworms. It has also been shown to be useful in metastatic prostate cancer.

iv) Dutasteride - an anti-oestrogen.  It is proven to reduce prostate cancer risk. And sometimes it is used to reduce estrogen in the equation Estrogen + Testosterone = DHT = Prostate Cancer

v) LDN - a low dose of naltrexone has been shown to greatly enhance immune response. One US Professor described it as Better than any immunotherapy". 

Go to: LDN and cancer

We have more on this very interesting area of well-tolerated repurposed cancer drug in our review:

Go to: Repurposing old drugs to fight cancer

Current 5-year survival rates in England are approximately 60 per cent. Although we have been improving, we are below the European average, and well below the best country Austria (83 per cent) according to the Eurocare studies. Theres plenty of scope for you to improve your personal odds of beating the disease. 

Other Alternative prostate cancer treatments?

1. HIFU: We have told you above about ablation, ablatherm, and HIFU with prostate cancer above. If your prostate cancer is confined to the capsule, you must look into this.

2. VTP: Researchers at UCL talk of ablation - they have used lasers to activate a drug (or active agent) in prostate cancer - it is called Vascular Target Photo Dynamic Therapy or VTP. Its nothing new. We have covered PDT for 15 years on this website. The treatment is only as good as the active agent used.

Go to: Photodynamic Therapy

3. Prostate cancer ablation is growing as a treatment in the UK, but outside of the NHS. You can find more on your options HERE.  Cryoablation is also used. In America there is Focal Laser Ablation as well as experts in HIFU.

4. Where the cancer has spread, a new treatment uses the same radiation as is used in brachytherapy. It is called Lutetium177, and hunts down the prostate cancer cells in the body as it is bound to an agent that attacks Prostate Membrane Specific Antibodies or PMSA. This is much more accurate than PSA. The treatment is in its infancy and currently expensive. 

5. Another treatment that can tackle secondary cancer in the bones was actually brought to us by a Professor with prostate cancer. Ever few years he goes to have oncothermia treatment. It involves lying on a plate, with another moved above the cancer. An electric field is then passed between the plates. He claims it would save the NHS big money, and works. It is approved by the NHS in Canada and there are centres in Germany and now one in the UK.

6. Finally, cancers turn really aggressive when a protein Id-1 takes over. But recent research using CBD showed it could control Id-1 in breast, prostate and lung cancers. You need at least 60% CBD or Hemp oil. 

Apricot Kernels and B-17

I apologise here and now to all the extremely conservative Doctors in Britain but I just have to mention this. I have interviewed Dr. Contreras from the Oasis of Hope. He is Mexican and trained in Chicago. He is the Worlds expert on B-17 and will honestly tell you that it has no effect on brain tumours, sarcomas and liver cancer. But he uses it for other cancers and as I travel the world speaking at various venues, I have been struck by how many men have come up to me and told me that eating apricot kernels has greatly reduced their PSA readings. Far, far more times than I have been accosted by all other cancer patients taking apricot kernels added together!  But to be clear - I do NOT think B-17 is a cure for cancer, and I never have done.

Complementary therapies for prostate cancer; Alternative therapies for prostate cancer 

CANCERactive is Europes Number 1 Integrative Cancer Charity. This website alone has more than 4,000 pages of information on it, either as articles or as news stories. More than 10,000 people visit our websites every day. We know from the feed-back we receive just how much we are valued by people trying to beat cancer. 
We believe you can increase your personal odds of cancer survival by taking simple health-enhancing steps and adding both complementary cancer therapies and alternative cancer therapies into your mix of treatments. 
For example, Hyperbaric Oxygen, curcumin, calorie restriction, melatonin, probiotics and whole body hyperthermia have all been shown in research to make chemotherapy work better. It then kills more cells! The research is covered on this website. Surely it makes a lot of sense to use them in your personal cancer treatment programme?

Go to: How to improve your chemotherapy

We cover how to improve your radiotherapy (and reduce side-effects) too. 

Go to: Improve your Radiotherapy, and reduce side-effects

We have a complete review of Immunotherapy telling you the accurate figures and what to watch out for. We tell you what is working and when two new drugs have been used, rather than one. Its a new, emerging and alternative cancer therapy, but not fully there yet!

Go to: A complete review of Immunotherapy  

Then we have an article on how to improve the success of your radiotherapy (and reduce the potential side-effects) – all by adding complementary therapies. Our Guidelines on Diet and Exercise can be found through this link:

Go to: CANCERactive Guidelines on Diet and exercise 

Our recommended anti-cancer diet is the colourful Mediterranean Diet (with its focus on the French paradox):  

Go to: The Rainbow Diet

Like Hippocrates, we believe all cancer begins in the gut and that gut problems, yeast, viral and parasite infections are common constituents of cancer.

Go to: All cancer begins in the gut

But if you just want to look at the most comprehensive list of Complementary Therapies you can find it here:

Go to: CANCERactive Complementary and Integrative cancer therapies

And if you want alternative cancer therapies start here:

Go to: CANCERactive Alternative cancer therapies 

Finally, if you want all this put together for you in one simple plan, why not look into having a Personal Prescription?

Go to: Personal Prescriptions with Chris Woollams

We don’t take one penny from any Pharmaceutical company, cancer clinic or supplements company. We have no vested interest. We just want to see you beat cancer. 

"If you are already thinking of supplementing with any of the above products, why not take a look at Our Natural Selection by clicking here."

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* Cancer (and its related illnesses) are very serious and very individual diseases.  Readers must always consult directly with experts and specialists in the appropriate medical field before taking, or refraining from taking, any specific action.
This web site is intended to provide research-based information on cancer and its possible causes and therapies, so that you can make more informed decisions in consultation with those experts. Although our information comes from expert sources, and is most usually provided by Professors, scientists and Doctors, our easy-to-understand, jargon-free approach necessitates that journalists, not doctors, write the copy. For this reason, whilst the authors, management and staff of CANCERactive,
icon, and Health Issues have made every effort to ensure its accuracy, we assume no responsibility for any error, any omission or any consequences of an error or omission. Readers must consult directly with their personal specialists and advisors, and we cannot be held responsible for any action, or inaction, taken by readers as a result of information contained on this web site, or in any of our publications.  Any action taken or refrained from by a reader is taken entirely at the readers own instigation and, thus, own risk.


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