According to the American Cancer Society, one in six men in the United States will develop prostate cancer. Also, the risk of developing prostate cancer goes up dramatically with age. Until the age of 39, a man living in the United States has a 1-in-7,964 (0.01 percent) chance of developing prostate cancer. By the time the same man turns 70, his chances are 1-in-8 (16.5 percent). That’s almost a 1,650 percent increase in risk.
What happens in those 31 years to make a man more than 1,000 times more likely to develop prostate cancer? Obviously, that’s the $64 billion dollar question that urologists all over the country are asking. At Choices in Health, we have some pretty good answers.
The good news is, thanks to PSA testing, early detection has brought prostate cancer death rates in the United States down from their peak in the early 1990s (about 40 deaths per 100,000 men). As of 2013, that number has been cut almost in half (about 22 deaths per 100,000 men).
The bad news is that prostate cancer still represents 28 percent of all new cancer cases in men in the United States (an estimated 238,590 new cases in in 2013) and 10 percent of all cancer deaths in men (an estimated 29,720 in 2013). In fact, prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer among men (skin cancer is the first), and the second leading cause of cancer-related death among men (lung cancer is the first, colon cancer is third).
Prostate Cancer Prevention
Take a little advice from the hundreds of thousands of men who have been treated for prostate cancer: A little prevention goes a long way. Studies show that the following lifestyle changes significantly reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Activity/Exercise — Get outside, oxygenate your body, fell the sun on your skin and face, crank up your body’s natural Vitamin D making machinery. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking, six days a week can make a tremendous difference. If you can’t exercise outdoors (during the winter or maybe you live in an unsafe neighborhood), buy a mini-trampoline and jog on it while watching your favorite TV show, join a gym, take a salsa or tango dancing class, move your body, work up a sweat — it feels good.
- Move Your Pelvis — A healthy pelvis is the key to a happy prostate. Activities like yoga and Pilates activate all the muscles, tendons, ligaments, organs, and lymphatic system in and around the pelvis. When your pelvis is open and balanced, the lymph fluid (plasma) moves easily, which boots your immune system, brings in more platelet-derived growth factors, and allows the interstitial fluid to circulate freely.
- Diet — A plant-based, whole food diet like the Paleo Diet is the key to a health body. The Paleo Diet is based on how humans ate in their native state 15,000 years ago — before the agricultural revolution shifted us from hunter/gathers to grain eaters. The Paleo Diet is comprised of approximately 65-80 percent vegetables and fruits, (which tend to alkalinize your body) and the rest is lean animal protein. We can’t say enough about selecting animal products that are free of all the chemicals and junk associated with conventional agriculture. We recommend that all your meat is grass fed, hormone-free, antibiotic free — preferably wild (fish) or organic if you can afford it. Also, we strongly suggest that you avoid eating soy in any form: soymilk, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and so on.
- Digestive Enzymes — If you haven’t already, start taking digestive enzymes such as Bromeline (from pineapples). Pancreatic enzymes also help with digestion. Once these enzymes are done breaking down the protein you ate for lunch or dinner, they go to work on cancer in your body.
- Community Heals — Connecting with your community (family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, people who share your interests and values) is vital to feeling alive. If you tend towards isolation (TV and books) and social media (Facebook and Twitter), then it’s time to reach out to real live people and invite them to join you for a cup of coffee or tea, a movie, go to a local museum, or an athletic activity like hiking, running, cycling, and so on. Whatever you do, do it with a friend. Being part of something outside yourself promotes friendship and a feeling of belonging. Community heals. Disease festers in isolation.
- Help Others — Nothing snaps you out of a funk faster than helping people who are less fortunate than you. Volunteering is an excellent way to feel better about yourself. Do you enjoy spending time with seniors, children, pets, veterans, people with disabilities, or people in recovery? Do you have a special skill or talent that you could offer a local nonprofit or religious organization (medical, carpentry, accounting, taxes, organizing, marketing, manual labor, you name it)? Just a couple of hours per week of helping other people will take the emphasis off your own worries and concerns — and boost your immune system and overall health.
- Environmental Estrogen — Avoid estrogenic compounds in food (soy), water (most plastic water bottles leach estrogen into the water), and personal products (lotions and shampoos). Maintaining a healthy testosterone-to-estrogen ratio (balance) is critical to prostate health, especially as a man ages.
- Limit Alcohol consumption — The World Health Organization has classified alcohol as a Group 1 carcinogen since 1988. Regular heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk for high-grade prostate cancer. Limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day.
- Quit Smoking — Men with prostate cancer who are cigarette smokers at their time of diagnosis are much more likely to die of the disease or experience a recurrence than nonsmokers, including former smokers who kicked the habit at least 10 years before diagnosis. Smoking while you drink is a lethal combination that amplifies the worst aspects of both habits.
- Biofeedback/Stress reduction — Stress is associated with every major disease, including prostate cancer. Lowering your stress level is perhaps the most important thing a man can do to avoid prostate cancer and other major diseases.
- Meditation — The power of meditation is greatly underplayed in healing. Australian author, Ian Gawler, healed himself of bone cancer through meditation. All it takes is 20 minutes twice a day.
- Resolve past traumas — The mind-body link between unresolved emotional stress and illness is well documented. For example, feelings of helplessness generate an inflammatory response that facilitates the growth and spread of tumors. If you know you’re dragging around some demons from your past, there are lots of different kinds of therapy that can help.
- Have Fun —Life is short, even if you live to be 100. If you delay happiness by saying, “I’ll let myself (go for a bike ride, visit Italy, learn to play the bass, spend more time with my family) when (I get a new job, the kids move out, we buy a house, pay for the house … and so on), it might never happen. Instead of waiting, we recommend that you give yourself a little dose of happiness every day. Take 20 minutes out of every day to play with your kids, finish that novel you started last year (or start a new one), work on a project … you get the idea.
Diagnostic Tools for Prostate Cancer
The key to catching any disease before it spreads, especially cancer, is early detection. That’s why our team of expert urologists is at the forefront of the latest advances in prostate cancer detection.
- Digital rectal exam (DRE)
- PSA (prostate specific antigen)
- Transrectal ultrasound
- Prostate biopsy
- CT/CAT scan
Prostate Cancer Treatments
Choices in Health is on the leading edge of prostate cancer treatment.
Our medical director, Dr. Emilia Ripoll M.D. is a urologist and a urologic oncologist. Dr. Ripoll did her post-doctoral fellowship in prostate cancer. She was also an AFUD scholar, studying the role of early oncogenes in prostate cancer and the genetic predisposition to prostate cancer.
For the past seven years, Dr. Ripoll has been a brachytherapy proctor who teaches prostate brachytherapy, both nationally and internationally, to urologists and radiation oncologists.
At Choices in Health, we offer the following state-of-the-art treatments for prostate cancer:
- Cryotherapy (both salvage & focal)
- HIFU (high-frequency ultrasound)
- Hormone Therapy
- Supervised active surveillance with lifestyle modifications (We are huge proponents of active surveillance. If you take part in the Choices in Health active surveillance protocol, please be prepared to make lots of lifestyle changes – and see exceptional results.)
As Dr. Jesse Stoff M.D. writes in his book “The Prostate Miracle, “a healthy prostate cannot exist in an unhealthy body.” In other words, regardless of which treatment path patients choose, if it is going to be successful, it has to be part of a whole-body approach.
At Choices in Health, our individualized and integrated approach to treating prostate cancer involves healing the whole person. All our methods are based on a deep understanding of traditional medicine, which is thoroughly supported by leading-edge techniques.
With more than 60 years of collective experience in treating prostate cancer, we know how to look for the causes beneath the condition. The treatment plan we develop for each man is based upon the answers to two simple questions:
1. What is the best (highest rate of success, lowest risk, least invasive) way to cure your prostate cancer?
2. How can we reverse the disease processes that brought you to us in the first place?
Please contact the Choices in Health office at 303-444-0840 to find out how we cure prostate cancer.