Aleef is a 50-year-old man who was having difficulty urinating. He went to his doctor and was given a PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test, which was a little high. The doctor then sent him to a urologist for a biopsy.
This procedure involves the urologist pushing twelve biopsy needles into a prostate gland the size of a walnut, hoping to hit a cancer cell that may be the size of a grain of sand. The test was positive for cancer and Aleef was recommended to have his prostate removed.
After the surgery, Aleef continues to experience impotence, leaking of urine and difficulty urinating, which are all too common complications after removing the prostate gland.
Should you get the PSA test?
One prostate researcher stated that if men live long enough, then all men will get prostate cancer.
Thus, men are told to have an annual Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test in order to find prostate cancer and perhaps get treatment to prevent an early demise from this disease. What has been found instead is:
- Much more cancer is detected, but the death rate does not go down.
The table below is the WHO (World Health Organization) prostate cancer statistics for 2008, per 1000 men.
- The red lines are the incidence of cancer – or the number of cases of prostate cancer.
- The blue represents the death rate from this cancer.
You will notice that in the “Less developed regions” there are about 10 times fewer prostate cancers found, but the death rate is only about half that of “More developed regions.”
For example, in Eastern Asia they find about 10 prostate cancers per thousand men and about 5 per thousand die of it. However, in North America we find about 85 cancers per thousand men and 10 men die of it. Part of this is because men don’t live as long in Eastern Asia; men die younger due to injuries, infections, and other causes. Where men live longer, they are more likely to develop this cancer.
In fact, the current recommendation (2011) from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) reads:
The “grade D” recommendation indicates that it is a poor test for detecting and treating prostate cancer. This is based on the fact that the test increases the detection of prostate cancer, but not mortality (death rate). As we see in the graph above, PSA screening and treatment causes significant harm to patients through unnecessary biopsies, surgeries and chemotherapy.
The PSA test itself is a harmless blood test. It only becomes dangerous when it leads to biopsies, surgeries and treatment.
You can do the PSA test for another reason, though. It can tell you if you have inflammation in your prostate gland and are therefore more susceptible to prostate enlargement and cancer. You may then treat the inflammation, as we will discuss below, for prevention of future problems. Just don’t get scared and let well-meaning doctors talk you into a biopsy – which leads to complications…and possibly even death.
What can you do if you already have prostate cancer?
Obesity has been associated with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. Those that are obese have a 1.27 times more likely to develop and die from the disease than non-obese men, especially those with greater belly fat.
The same graph above also indicates what has been found in multiple other studies:
- Treatment for prostate cancer doesn’t decrease the death rate.
This is because the treatment is not effective, in part.
The other part is that the large majority of men with prostate cancer will die of something else before the cancer.
It is a rare cause of death. In reality, the “cures” for the surgical, radiation, or chemotherapy treatment of prostate cancer would not have killed the patient anyway. Thus, the first thing to do is… nothing!
Ideally, men should just keep their prostate healthy. With the prostate gland, prevention is the key. Even if you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, your best treatment is prevention.
Keeping your prostate healthy
The graph above also gives us some clues as to keeping a healthy prostate. According to the WHO, those areas of the world that are “Less developed” have a much lower incidence of prostate cancer death rate.
Again, this is partly because they don’t live as long, but also because they eat significantly less process or prepared foods. These foods, such as breakfast cereals, chips, and drinks, are high-calorie and low-nutrient, which causes inflammation in the body.
Did you know that just the color red in a tomato can help you prevent prostate enlargement and cancer? Even the colors of natural foods are important for your health. Artificial colors do not have this benefit.
Moreover, processed grains contain almost no minerals such as magnesium, selenium and zinc, which are essential for the function of the gland. A majority of men in developed countries are deficient in zinc.
A recent study from Japan tells us another way to keep the prostate healthy – exercise! It turns out that testosterone stimulates the growth of the prostate gland – and cancer. Testosterone is made in the testicles, just south of this gland. The veins from the prostate and testicles connect near the prostate gland and if there is “sluggish” flow, then it can backwash into the gland. This blood contains a very high concentration of unbound testosterone and causes prostate enlargement. The researchers then tied off the vein from the testicles (there are others that the gland uses) and the gland went back to normal. As we exercise, we keep a normal flow through all our veins so this may prevent prostate problems.
Prostate Cancer Prevention Recommendations:
- Check a PSA test to see if you have inflammation. (If you do, follow these recommendations more strictly.)
- Eat only foods that aren’t processed or prepared. Eat at restaurants only occasionally.
- Exercise three times per week, or more.
- Take 50 mg of zinc per week. (If you take it every day, you may get a deficiency of copper!)
- Take 1 mg of selenium per week. (If you take it every day, you may get low in Chromium!)
- Take 200-400 mg of magnesium per day.
- Take 5,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day. Many doctors recommend 50,000 IU once per week. Having enough vitamin D lowers the cancer rate by 30%.
- Take 12.5 mg of iodine per week.
Don’t become another WHO statistic. Keeping a healthy prostate is the only way to prevent what so many men, like Aleef, suffer in our modern society.
Follow my doctor-approved recommended supplement program (zinc, selenium, magnesium, D3 and iodine) and don’t forget to exercise! Most importantly, stay way from processed foods and stick to natural foods with color as the best prostate prevention plan!
The surgical, radiation, or chemotherapy treatment of prostate cancer is dangerous! Don’t put yourself at risk and start prostate cancer prevention today! What will be your motivation to take preventative prostate care?
Dr. Scott D. Saunders, M.D. (Ask-an-MD) is a practicing physician, specializing in preventative healthcare, who utilizes eclectic health care for the whole family, including conventional, orthomolecular and natural medicine. He is also the medical director of The Integrative Medical Center of Santa Barbara in Lompoc, CA. He went to UCLA medical school and is board certified in family medicine. View natural remedies with Dr. Saunders at:http://drsaundersmd.com/