Natural treatments for Prostate Cancer
The malignancy of prostate gland is the product of abnormal mitotic division of lining cells; thereby leading to a wide array of sexual and urinary complications. Although, most cases of advanced prostate malignancy are managed by invasive procedures (such as surgical interventions, radiation therapy, cryotherapy, high intensity ultrasound treatment or brachytherapy); the risk of complications or adverse effects can greatly limit the therapeutic efficacy. Fortunately, due to early screening recommendations and periodic prostate examinations, most cases of prostate cancer are identified in the early stages. In other words, with more sophisticated screening guidelines, the need or requirement of invasive therapies have decreased significantly over the past few years.
Are natural treatments effective for the management of prostate cancer?
There are several non-invasive and natural modalities of care that can slow down or stop the progression of a pre-malignant lesion to invasive prostate cancer. The nature and course of treatments is usually decided after identifying the stage and grade of tumor. For example, early changes in the prostate lining tissue are generally managed via natural remedies (such as supplementation and lifestyle modifications).
According to a new research study reported in peer reviewed Contemporary Clinical Trials (2), the investigators explored the potential effects of different supplements (vitamins and minerals) as well as lifestyle modifications on the course of prostate malignancy. The results revealed that the nutrition and supplement intake can indeed help in slowing down the progression of prostate cancer by improving the natural immune defenses.
Based on the extensive research and analysis, several natural ingredients have been known to influence the overall outcomes. For example, most statistically significant nutrients include; vitamin E and C, soy, fish oil and minerals like selenium.
How effective are the natural treatments?
As discussed previously, the response to therapy and type of natural regimen varies according to the patient factors, overall health of patient and staging of cancer. It is imperative to mention that dosing and dosing combination also plays a vital role. For example, it is believed that toxic intake of vitamin E can lead to prostate cancer in the men. Similarly the use of soy which contains essential amounts of isoflavones is also effective in the management of prostate cancer; but excessive soy can aggravate the risk of other complications.
Based on several studies; following combinations and dosing frequencies are usually recommended for the management of prostate cancer.
Benign prostate cancer is usually less of a problem; however, once the cancer cells begin to metastasize to other organs or parts of body via new vascular formation (also referred to as angiogenesis); active interventions usually becomes inevitable. Various research studies indicates that progression of a benign prostate cancer can be prevented by dietary modification and active supplementation.
Other natural remedies include:
- Modified citrus pectin: One dietary agent that has shown proven efficacy in the management of prostate malignancy is modified citrus pectin. Based on latest research, MCP has the ability to directly interrupt the process of angiogenesis in order to restrict the nourishment to the metastatic cancer cells in order to slow down the progression of prostate cancer. According to a new research survey, approximately 70% men who have consumed modified citrus pectin in a dose of 15 grams/day reported a lower rate of PSA doubling; suggesting some degree of restricted progression to invasive prostate cancer. MCP is also known to increase the activity of NK cells (natural killer cells) which are an essential component of human immune system.
- Lycopene: It is commonly found in tomatoes, red colored vegetables and fruits and V8 (low sodium) juice. It is recommended to take 8-12 ounces of V8 juice (low sodium tomato juice that is rich in lycopene) to minimize the risk of developing inflammatory and neoplastic disorders.
- Pomegranate juice: Pomegranate juice exert its antineoplastic activities by reducing the rise in PSA levels. Drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice can delay the doubling rate from one year to approximately 4.5 years
- Flaxseed: It contains generous amounts of omega 3 fatty acids which are known as potential inhibitors of angiogenesis (a process required by the cancer cells to fulfill its nutritional needs).
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D3 (commonly referred to as cholecalciferol) is also known as a potent anti-cancer agent.
- Low dose naltrexone (LDN): 3 to 4.5 mg of naltrexone is recommended for men who are not willing to try hormonal therapy. It is considered as one the inexpensive and safest drug to address the prostate malignancy.
Naturopathic methods for treating cancer
- Anti-oxidant intake: Anti-oxidants are the agents which decrease the concentrations of free radicals in body. Use of plant based diet containing lipoic acid, vitamin C and E can also serve as good source of anti-oxidants.
- Reduction in the rate of inflammatory processes: Inflammation in tissues is known to increase the progression to cancerous cells. Reduction in internal inflammation of cells and tissues can serve as a good measure to treat prostate cancer.
- Detoxification: Removing toxins from the body can help in slowing the progression to cancer as toxic compounds serve as a good source of nutrition source for invasive cancers. Detoxification can be achieved by eating hygienic foods, maintaining regular bowel movements, and ensuring adequate tissue hydration etc.
- Environmental toxins
- Limit the intake of food sprayed or treated with pesticides
- Avoid smoking and alcohol intake
- Reduce red meat intake
- Cancer killing agents: Turmeric which contains curcumin, vitamin D, and modified citrus pectin are the natural agents which are effectively used for killing prostate cancers cells.
It is imperative to mention that not all the cases of prostate malignancy are ideal candidates for natural treatment. Speak to your primary care provider to discuss possible options and recommended solutions.
1. Grimm, P., Billiet, I., Bostwick, D., Dicker, A. P., Frank, S., Immerzeel, J., … & Langley, S. (2012). Comparative analysis of prostate‐specific antigen free survival outcomes for patients with low, intermediate and high risk prostate cancer treatment by radical therapy. Results from the Prostate Cancer Results Study Group. BJU international, 109(s1), 22-29.
2. Manson, J. E., Bassuk, S. S., Lee, I. M., Cook, N. R., Albert, M. A., Gordon, D., … & Buring, J. E. (2012). The VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL): rationale and design of a large randomized controlled trial of vitamin D and marine omega-3 fatty acid supplements for the primary prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Contemporary clinical trials, 33(1), 159-171.
3. Klein, E. A., Thompson, I. M., Tangen, C. M., Crowley, J. J., Lucia, M. S., Goodman, P. J., … & Baker, L. H. (2011). Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). Jama, 306(14), 1549-1556.
4. Glinskii, O. V., Sud, S., Mossine, V. V., Mawhinney, T. P., Anthony, D. C., Glinsky, G. V., … & Glinsky, V. V. (2012). Inhibition of prostate cancer bone metastasis by synthetic TF antigen mimic/galectin-3 inhibitor lactulose-L-leucine. Neoplasia, 14(1), 65-73.
5. Zu, K., Mucci, L., Rosner, B. A., Clinton, S. K., Loda, M., Stampfer, M. J., & Giovannucci, E. (2014). Dietary lycopene, angiogenesis, and prostate cancer: a prospective study in the prostate-specific antigen era. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, djt430.