What happens when you get a popular cancer screening because “you’re supposed to”… it shows you have cancer… you’re sent in for treatment… and you end up with erectile dysfunction and incontinence?
Surely you would have thought twice, if you’d known what could happen. Unfortunately, many men don’t find out till it’s too late.
And now, a ten-year study shows those side effects can persist for a very long time. I’ll explain why you want to avoid conventional prostate cancer treatments — and how you can. . .
Toxic chemical condemned 8 men to die of prostate cancer
. . .but one of them escaped. Here’s how he did it!
John S. watched helplessly as 7 of his Vietnam platoon buddies died of prostate cancer, one by one. They were exposed to chemicals during the war that caused them to get cancer when they reached middle age. Then, in 2002, John found out it was his turn. He got opinions from three different doctors and they all told him the same thing: he’d need a miracle to survive.
John found the miracle he needed. Four years after his diagnosis, he told us, “I am healthy and happy with no symptoms of the disease.” He actually wishes he’d gotten the disease sooner so he could have told his Army buddies this secret. It might have saved their lives.
We’re ALL exposed every day to chemicals similar to the ones that killed these veterans. A man is just about certain to get prostate cancer if he lives long enough. That means John’s life-saving secret is big news for men everywhere. Click here and keep reading. . .
A recent report out of Georgetown University shows that men treated for prostate cancer can still suffer from miserable side effects up to a full ten years later. And maybe longer, but no study has looked beyond the ten-year mark so far.
Researchers compared 269 men with prostate cancer to 260 men without cancer. After taking into account their age, overall health, and other factors, the cancer-treated group had worse sexual and urinary function a decade later.
Previous studies have also discovered the same nagging effects. But those studies had only followed patients through a 5-year time period.
In addition, earlier studies left unresolved questions about whether these problems were just a result of aging, instead of the prostate cancer treatment. This latest study, reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that the treatment was to blame, not aging.
Says Kathryn L. Taylor, of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., “The bottom line is that the prostate cancer group was worse off.”
My opinion is that she’s putting it mildly.
Even the 5-year study revealed drastic problems
The 5-year study, presented at the American Urological Association annual meeting in 2005, included 1,288 men with prostate cancer whose cancer was still localized. All the participants had undergone surgery.
Before having surgery, 87 percent indicated they had had no urinary control problems, and 81 percent said they had firm enough erections for intercourse. Those numbers plummeted after surgery.
Here’s a recap of just how severe the challenges became — and remained — after surgery.
Difference in Urinary Control and Erections Before and After Surgery
|Before Surgery||6 Months Later||5 Years Later|
|Men with Total Urinary Control||85%||25%||35%|
|Men with Erections Firm Enough for Intercourse||81%||11%||29%|
It should be noted that this five-year study differs a bit from the Georgetown study — which found that ten years later, a whopping 95 percent of treated men still suffered some degree of sexual dysfunction. That’s a pretty staggering percentage. It’s nearly everyone in the study. I think most men would look at their other options if they knew all the facts.
Five years later, a shocking 71 percent still had erections that were too soft for intercourse, the researchers reported.1 This study included David F. Penson, MD, MPH, assistant professor of urology at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Is radiation any better than surgery?
Another study took a different approach. The researchers compared prostate surgery to radiation, following a sample of 137 men for two years.
Men receiving either treatment suffered sexual setbacks. Immediately after treatment, men getting radiation fared better. But the surgery group improved with time… whereas time made sexual function worse for the men who were treated with radiation.
However, the surgery group suffered far more problems with urinary function than did their radiation counterparts. Two years after surgery 10 percent of men undergoing surgery were incontinent, while only 3 percent of the radiation group suffered the same fate.
There’s one more factor to consider, though… bowel function. Two years later, 27% of the radiation group had bowel dysfunction, compared to “only” 6 percent of the surgery group.
Is “early detection” worth these risks?
As I’ve said before (Issue #197, for example), early-stage prostate cancer is rarely a threat to life and men are being treated for it without need. For most men, close monitoring of the situation is all that’s needed, with surgery and radiation coming into play only if the tumor is clearly growing.
The National Cancer Institute says that half of all U.S. men diagnosed with prostate cancer are considered “low risk” (unlikely to progress). Studies of men with early-stage prostate cancer indicate that only one case out of ten is aggressive. The NCI sample included men with late-stage AND early-stage cancer; that’s why they came up with a figure of one-half.
It does appear, from the best information I have, that increases in a man’s PSA level are a pretty good indicator of deteriorating prostate health even though one test by itself doesn’t signify much. It’s the trend that’s significant.
And of course, readers of this newsletter know I advocate a variety of natural treatments to get early stage prostate cancer under control while you watch your PSA numbers. It’s likely that with the right diet and supplements the PSA numbers will trend down instead of up, and the conventional cut-burn-poison treatments can be avoided. I don’t say “keep an eye on things but don’t’ seek treatment.” I say treat with alternatives while you keep an eye on things.
But in my experience, few men follow this advice. Confronted with a high PSA number or a positive biopsy, most men allow themselves to be panicked or hustled into radiation or surgery with all the risks of sexual and urinary dysfunction — plus possible injury to nearby organs, infections, damaging UV rays, and a lot more.
As we’ve stated before in this newsletter, never subject yourself to surgery or radiation without getting a second and possibly even a third opinion — and learning about alternatives. EARLY-STAGE PROSTATE CANCER IS NOT A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. You’ve got time to think things over.
If you haven’t yet crossed that bridge of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, there are some things you can do to hedge your bets so you don’t develop cancer…
The best way to avoid surgery and radiation
is to prevent cancer in the first place
Readers of this newsletter know there are nearly always lifestyle issues at the root of a cancer diagnosis. Studies on risk factors for prostate cancer help identify what to do and what to avoid.
First off, get up and get moving at least a half hour a day, five or more days per week. You’ll see the difference in your energy and probably in your waistline too.
When it comes to diet, prostate cancer studies suggest the number one food to avoid is red meat. However, this may not be as “black and white” as it’s portrayed.
It’s been known for decades that there’s a statistical relationship between meat consumption and prostate cancer. But there are many aspects to the question of meat…
What causes the damage — the saturated fat, the hormones, the added nitrates and nitrites, the cooking methods…?
Here’s a quick recap of some of these studies2:
- American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) concluded that eating beef, lamb, and pork possibly increased cancer risk for the prostate, breast, pancreas and kidney (1997).
- A Harvard study of nearly 15,000 male physicians (part of the Physicians’ Health Study) found that men who ate red meat at least five times a week had a 2.5 times greater risk for prostate cancer, compared to men who ate red meat less than once per week (Gann 1994).
- A later study of 175,000 men from 1995 through 2003 by the National Cancer Institute, determined that men who ate the most meat were 12 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer and 33 percent more likely to develop advanced cancer than those who ate the least red meat. This was based on the 10,313 men who developed prostate cancer during the course of the study, and the 419 of these who died.
Some question this cancer link, however. A study published in Nutrition Journal found no association between high versus low meat consumption, and cancer or advanced cancer. This study was partially funded by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. (Alexander 2012), so we can’t take it as the last word.
Let’s suppose it’s the hormones, antibiotics, and additives that increase the risk of prostate cancer? It’s possible. Will we ever know? It would be hard to assemble a large sample of men who have consumed only organic beef for a couple of decades, so we could see how their prostate health compares to men who eat conventionally grown beef.
Dangers in processed and cured meats
The National Cancer Institute found that processed meats are linked to prostate cancer. And red processed meats such as bacon, bologna and hot dogs posed a greater risk than white processed meats like processed turkey slices. Processed and cured meats both contain nitrates — a preservative thought to be linked to a higher risk of prostate cancer.
The vast majority of the meat on the market of any type is raised with the use of hormones, antibiotics and steroids. Beyond that, the animals are fed a diet they aren’t meant to eat. Grass is the natural food of cattle. But in today’s industrial agriculture they’re mostly fed corn and soybeans to fatten them up fast for slaughter.
Whenever you eat meat, you’re eating what that animal has eaten. So what are you feeding yourself? A diet of pharmaceuticals and grains? If so, expect it to have a negative effect on your prostate.
Buying grass-fed organic meats helps you avoid hormones, antibiotics, grains, and other damaging “ingredients”. But we can’t answer the question of whether ALL red meat — even organic — contributes to prostate cancer.
Cooking the wrong way makes meat more carcinogenic
If you eat organic grass-fed meats, even once in a while, you’ll want to take heed of the emerging evidence about how to cook it.
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) scientists found that prostate cancer risk skyrockets when you grill or barbeque, especially if the meat is cooked till well-done. Researchers compared 470 men with aggressive prostate cancer to 512 matched controls without prostate cancer.
Each man completed questionnaires assessing his meat intake during the previous 12 months — and how it was prepared, with special emphasis on “doneness” from rare to well-done.
They used carcinogen levels from National Cancer Institute’s CHARRED database, which rates carcinogens such as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). at various levels of doneness.
What they found…
- Greater consumption of ground beef and processed meats was linked to more aggressive prostate cancer. Ground beef showed the greatest association.
- Grilled, barbecued, and more well-done meat led to higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer.
- The real shocker… Men who ate high levels of well or very-well done ground beef had twice the odds of developing aggressive prostate cancer compared to men who ate none.
It’s hard to dodge the facts. If you’re going to eat red meat, then don’t do it often. And on the rare occasions when you do eat it, select high quality grass-fed organic meat, and never over-cook it.
If you want a healthy prostate, here are some more tips. . .
Take a look at the 10 worst and 10 best foods to eat if you want to keep a healthy prostate. First, the worst. . .
- Red Meat (based on the above)
- Any non-organic meat
- High-calcium and dairy foods — may also contain hormones. Another controversial finding.
- Canned tomatoes and tomato products in BPA-lined cans (look for BPA-free cans and glass jars, or buy fresh tomatoes and cook them yourself).
- Microwave Popcorn — the bag lining contains chemicals, including PFOAs linked to cancer in animals.
- Non-organic potatoes — they’re exposed to multiple poisons and are very absorbent. You can’t wash off chemicals that are absorbed in the potato’s flesh. The only safe option is organic.
- French fries and potato chips — Very popular in the U.S., and two of the worst foods you can eat. Besides saturated fat, they contain an amino acid called asparagines, which under high heat forms acrylamide, a possible human carcinogen. Also found in donuts and other baked and fried foods.
- Artificial Sweeteners — linked to cancer in animals, and can cause potentially life-threatening allergic reactions.
- Farmed Salmon — Crammed into pens, fed soy and highly contaminated fishmeal, dosed with antibiotics (like factory-farmed land animals), and colored with artificial dyes.
- Sugar — fuels cancer growth. If you want something sweet, eat nature’s natural sugar — fruit.
And finally, the 10 best foods for prostate health
There’s strong evidence that certain foods may substantially cut your risk of prostate cancer. Check out these powerful prostate protectors:
- Cruciferous Vegetables — cauliflower, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts — 3 or more servings per week.
- Dark-green leafy vegetables — spinach, kale, dark lettuce…
- Pomegranate Juice — slows prostate growth in mice
- Turmeric — prevents prostate cancer or slow its progress, especially when eaten with cauliflower
- Flaxseeds — mice studies show flaxseed may prevent and slow prostate cancer growth
- Green Tea — shown to reduce prostate cancer risk
- Brazil nuts — powerful source of selenium, strongly preventive against prostate cancer. Experts say 200mcg of selenium daily reduces risk by 50 percent. That’s just a handful of Brazil nuts every day. But don’t combine a selenium supplement with a diet high in Brazil nuts. Too much selenium is not a good thing, and alternative health fans may be overdoing it.
- Garlic — may cut prostate cancer risk by up to 53 percent. Also contains selenium.
- Scallions — A tenth of an ounce per day cut men’s risk of prostate cancer by up to 70 percent, according to one study.
- Tomatoes — terrific source of lycopene, shown to protect against prostate cancer. This finding has become controversial, but the National Prostate Cancer Foundation still stands by earlier studies saying it’s protective. As mentioned earlier, be sure to avoid BPA-laced cans of tomato products.
Tell us your story. . .
Got a success story that happened because you ate large amounts of cancer-protective foods? Share them with our Facebook community at http://www.facebook.com/CancerDefeated. Here one success can become many successes. We’re here to learn from and support each other. So let your voice be heard.
Lee Euler Publisher