Prostate Cancer

Originally published in icon Issue 4 2006

Do you find complementary therapies confusing?

You have cancer, you’re doing what your oncologist tells you but you want to do more.  You want to add treatments that really might make the difference:

· Recent US research (Integrative Cancer Therapies) showed that breast cancer patients who took daily exercise had 50 per cent less mortality
· Some experts believe that building a complementary therapies programme can increase survival rates by 60 per cent.
· Almost everyone contacting the icon offices, who has just been diagnosed with cancer, is nutritionally toxic and/or nutritionally deficient.

‘Personal prescriptions’ is our ‘Help Line’.

Where do you start?  What’s right for you, your age and lifestyle, and your particular cancer?

Supplements, antioxidants, herbs, exercise, yoga, diet, hands on healing?  Then there are treatments you’ve heard of, like acupuncture or Gerson Therapy, metabolic typing or metabolic therapy.

Well, at icon we’ve tried to make it easier for you.  We have a team of experts from virtually every field and you can have your very own ‘Personal Prescription’ pulled together, tailored for you, your circumstances and your cancer.

As regular readers will know, CANCERactive offers a personal information service to people wanting to know more about their cancer and the options available to them around their doctor’s orthodox therapies.  Information is provided on various aspects from possible causes to diet, supplements, exercise and even mental therapies.

Applicants have to fill in a detailed questionnaire before we start and then information may be provided by any of our doctors, nurses or complementary experts.  However, we never give advice, nor will we comment on your existing course of treatment with your professional medical practitioners.  Our information service merely helps you build your own personal programme around the outside of their expertise.

A major aspect of our approach is to try to understand what may have caused the cancer, for this may still be maintaining it.  And, if that is the case, no matter what your doctor might do, there is a fair chance your cancer could return.

Here is an example from last month where someone was keen to learn more about the circumstances surrounding his prostate cancer.  We have obviously changed the name to protect the patient’s anonymity.

Peter’s story:

PPI was diagnosed at the end of 2005 and rushed in for private treatment, ten days later. This involved localised surgery. As a result to date I am impotent, which is causing great stress in my new marriage – I have been married to my second wife for just over 20 months. I am 39. I have no ‘signs’ of prostate cancer now, a low PSA and no secondary spread. Obviously I am worried about the disease returning, but I am much more concerned by my ‘male’ problems. I am a publican in London, weigh just over 16 stone at 5’ 10’’ and have never smoked. I have high cholesterol and find it difficult to exercise. What can your team suggest that might help?

Part of our 16 page Response:

1 You were diagnosed in November 2005. Frankly we are all amazed that you have already had a treatment. I know these first few words are of little help or use to you now, because ‘what is done is done’, but through our magazine we have been telling people for 4 years not to rush in to anything with prostate cancer. (Only about 5 per cent of such cancers are rapidly growing – of course you can have one of these at any age. Most prostate cancers occur after the age of 60, however). The US NCI have stated that 90 per cent of all prostate cancers are slow growing and may be left for ten years. At the end of 2004 both Sloan-Kettering and the Royal Marsden agreed with us – and stated that, in 50% of cases at least, positive surveillance was all that is required.

2 We suggest you first go to this web page,  where you will find our definitive paper on prostate cancer.  It’s an easy read and tells you almost everything that is currently known about the disease.

3 Again it is not much help to you, but it is sad you did not come to us before going to have surgery. If I had prostate cancer and it was confined to my prostate, after waiting and monitoring I would probably opt for HIFU - Ultrasound treatment either in one of the 61 clinics in Europe, where it costs about 3,000 pounds or through the NHS – we gather it is now available in London and Oxford. You go in one day and come out two days later – it is worth reading this article . The problems you are encountering with incontinence and erectile dysfunction are virtually non existent with this therapy, which claims to have an 87 per cent 5 year survival – the Eurocare Study had the UK down below 55 per cent using standard treatments. Again, I appreciate this is rather like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted for you, and pretty useless info, but I pass it on so you can pass it on.

4 So, let’s try to be a bit more helpful. You are 39 years young. 80%+ of cancers occur in the 65 year plus age group. Maybe your doctors feared it was one of the faster growing prostate cancers; they have virtually no way of telling – no diagnostic tests between slow and rapid prostate cancers except the younger you get it, the more likely it is to be fast growing.

5 At only 39 there has got to be something that has ‘caused’ this, and if you don’t cut out these causes (because there are probably several contributory factors), there is a distinct possibility that the same factors are going to maintain this threat to you. I rarely believe there is one single cause of cancer, more a number of possible contributory factors that build up negatively affecting your cells and turning them ‘rogue’ or weakening your immune system preventing it from stopping the ‘rogue’ cells taking hold. In the end something tips you over the edge.

6 In prostate cancer it is slightly different, as you will have read on our web site. Many of us chaps slowly enlarge our prostates through a combination of factors, at the heart of which is the female hormone oestrogen, and in particular a version of it called oestradiol. There is quality research on this from Australia to Texas. It doesn’t just have to be the hormone. Two separate US studies, both of which we covered in icon, showed that some men may have a genetic factor which makes them more susceptible to oestrogen mimics and have a higher risk of cancer.  What are these? Chemicals - in our environments, in pesticides, in the toiletries and household cleaners we use daily – that, once in our bodies, can act like oestradiol and fuel the flame of cancer.

7 Now, and this is where my debate with doctors starts, if you get progression, eventually some treatments involve chucking large doses of the very same hormone into you to arrest the progression. If you read this article  you will find a complete review of prostate cancer drugs by an expert. However, when asked about oestrogen as a cause, he replied that it was impossible to comment because he used oestrogen, successfully, as a treatment. But this isn’t actually the case. For example, in Issue 3 2006, we covered the ‘trial’ of a programme of natural compounds in which the expert at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London stated that in advanced stages the use of hormone therapy (oestrogen) only gave relief for a limited period.

8 The explanation for this apparent dichotomy is simple. As you age, you accumulate more oestradiol, which increasingly acts on your declining testosterone to make something called DHT, which is very nasty and ‘causes’ prostate cancer. You need both testosterone and oestrogen to produce prostate cancer. At the other end of the spectrum, Doctors use very large doses of oestrogen to wipe out all testosterone production so DHT cannot form. However apart from issues with your sex life, the body is clever and in the end it finds a way to make some testosterone and the cancer progresses. It is not a long term ‘success’ – it is a temporary relief. This is simply a case of overclaim.

9 The main ways we enlarge our prostates, leading to prostate cancer, are:
· through oestrogen and its chemical mimics
· through dairy consumption (various studies, principally the Karolinska Institute, UCLA and Tokyo) have shown a direct correlation – the more dairy you consume the more likely you are to get prostate cancer.
· Too much salt – it poisons cells and has the same end effect as oestradiol, making cells more acid, toxic and lowering their oxygen levels
· Smoking – smoking directly causes a whole host of cancers directly through radicals and chemicals, and indirectly through lowered oxygen levels
· Having yeast infections
· Insufficient zinc and long-chain omega 3
· Too much alcohol (see later)
· Insufficient fruit and vegetables
· Some indication in research that too much red meat may contribute

So what can we do about all this?

Firstly cut out the oestrogen and its mimics; and known contributory factors to this cancer.

a. Increasingly, ‘chemicals’ that - once inside the body - can mimic the action of oestrogen are causing alarm. The most dangerous place for these is in and around the home. These can be found in a variety of ordinary household cleaners, make-up products and pesticides. For example:
i. Toluene and DEHP – found in nail polishes and perfumes and perfumed products like soaps and shampoos
ii. Pesticides like DDT and Lindane – still found on certain ‘third world’ imported vegetables
iii. BPA – found in the white inner lining of cans, in plastics, even children’s toys
iv. Phthalates – which leach from plastic bottles into the contents – be they shampoos or ‘healthy’ mineral water.
v. Parabens – found as the preservative in deodorants and anti-perspirants, even in some sun-screens
vi. Others can be volatile – from glues under carpets, in chipboard, under ceiling tiles, from printer ink, to filling the car with petrol.
b. Don’t be overweight – fat makes oestrogen. And stores it from you, the animals you eat, the chemicals you use. You realise this is a problem. At 5’ 10’’ you should be around 12 stone. It’s your call.
c. Do not smoke. Although you didn’t, I bet the pub was not kind to you in terms of secondary smoke – you’ll be saferlater this year when the new laws come in. Limit alcohol consumption to 1 unit per day (OK. I know you’re a publican – it would have been 4 units per week otherwise!). Again – it’s your call.
d. Cut all salt to an absolute minimum – and most of it is hidden in processed and prepared foods. So no sausages/bacon/salted meats/crisps/peanuts/salami/canned food/ Chinese food/TV dinners/packet foods – and cut down on bread and packaged breakfast cereals.
e. Cut pesticides. We strongly suggest you go organic where possible – but some foods actually contain more pesticides than others so not all things need to be organic – For a list, see ‘Tree of Life’ (not everything needs to be expensive!). For example, according to Washington State University:

12 most contaminated – apples red peppers, celery, cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, spinach, strawberries
12 least contaminated – asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, kiwi, mangoes, onions, papaya, pineapples, peas, sweetcorn.

f. Eat lots of greens – especially cabbage and broccoli - Indole 3 Carbinol  can convert nasty oestradiol to less aggressive oestrone. And eat lots of pulses too for phytoestrogens, which are far weaker still and can block cellular receptor sites that oestradiol would otherwise attach to.
g. Sleep properly (regular hours, in the dark, no artificial lights, no TV’s in bedroom, lights either side of bed) and beware EMF’s. Both reduce melatonin levels and melatonin can balance out excess oestrogen levels
h.  Cut dairy and replace with a little rice milk and a little soya milk. (No cow’s products)
i. Cut red meat
j. Control your insulin levels – eat 5-6 small meals across the day not 1 or 2 big ones, which cause insulin rushes and then oestrogen surges. So cut all sugar, refined/white cereals, rice, pasta – go wholefood.

Supplementation and Diet

Apart from the above, we do know from research that certain foods and supplements can have a beneficial effect. For example:
Lycopene – tomatoes, tomatoes and especially cooked tomatoes
Coenzyme Q10
Vitamin D  – sunshine (and a little in oily fish)
An anti-yeast diet or anti-parasite diet (No sugar, no dairy, no alcohol, no fruits or soft vegetables like courgettes during meal) Plus supplements/diet of Caprylic Acid, Garlic, Oregano, Pau D’Arco and wormwood (more on this if you use this link).

The personal prescription went on to review diet in full, plus energy recharging, relaxation methods, mental enhancement and other aspects of the Mind, Body Spirit connection in the ACTIVE8 Programme we suggest people build around their doctor’s orthodox therapy.

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