Natural Treatments for Prostate Cancer

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Men's Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Statistics show that one in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, but only 3 percent will die from it. Even though prostate cancer isn’t a death sentence, the “C word” is always frightening. Sadly, many oncologists capitalize on this fear and propel patients into aggressive treatment, even when their risk is low.

In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found that 75 percent of men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer either had surgery to remove their prostates or radiation to treat it.

These findings exemplify a lack of awareness and understanding of both patients and physicians. Most appalling, this study highlights conventional medicine’s unwillingness to even consider more conservative treatments for prostate cancer.

Know the Facts About Treatments for Prostate Cancer

When it comes to current treatments for prostate cancer, there’s no sure winner. Studies suggest that for newly diagnosed, localized prostate cancer, there is no evidence that surgery is more effective than radiation, or vice versa—and both have dreadful side effects. And, in terms of life expectancy, particularly for older men with less aggressive cancer, neither therapy has proven to be superior to “watchful waiting,” or simply observing disease progression.

This is why I believe that relying solely on the blunt tools of conventional oncology puts patients in jeopardy, particularly patients with low-risk cancer. This is especially true because natural therapies with a proven track record for treating and preventing prostate cancer do exist. They include:

Slow Progression with Lifestyle Changes

Men who opt for watchful waiting rather than yanking out the prostate or frying it with radiation should be proactive. They need to work on slowing advancement of the disease, and a number of noninvasive, safe approaches have been shown to do just that. First and foremost are lifestyle changes.

In a study of 93 men who elected to forego conventional treatment, one group of men with prostate cancer started on a vegetarian diet, nutritional supplements, moderate aerobic exercise, yoga or meditation and weekly support sessions. The control group did not make any changes.

After one year, the PSAs of the men in the lifestyle group decreased, while those of the control group increased. Furthermore, the men who adopted lifestyle changes had eight times more tumor inhibition activity. Six men in the latter group had to undergo conventional treatment due to disease progression.

Build a Sturdy Supplement Foundation

The supplements used in the study above included vitamins C and E, selenium, fish oil and soy—and with good reason.

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute reported that men with the highest blood levels of vitamin E were nearly half as likely to develop prostate cancer as those with the lowest levels, and significant protection has been found for other antioxidants, as well.

Population studies suggest that diets high in omega-3 fatty acids (which are found in fish oil) and soy reduce cancer incidence, and a study from Japan demonstrated that men who ate the most soy isoflavones (90 mg per day) had a 58 percent reduction in prostate cancer risk.

Suggested daily doses, taken in divided amounts, are:

  • Vitamin E, 600–1,600 IU
  • Vitamin C, 1,000–2,000 mg
  • Selenium, 200 mcg
  • Fish oil, 2–8 g
  • Soy, 2–3 servings a week

MCP Prevents Cancer from Spreading

Cancer that’s confined to the prostate gland is rarely problematic. Only when it metastasizes, or spreads, does it become life threatening. That’s why if I were diagnosed with prostate cancer, I would consider expanding my supplement program. I would start by adding modified citrus pectin (MCP).

Metastasis begins when small colonies of cancer cells clump together, adhere to healthy tissues and release chemicals that form new blood vessels. This process, called angiogenesis, gives cancer cells a supply of oxygen and nutrients that allows them to rapidly replicate and invade other areas of the body.

MCP directly interferes with angiogenesis and metastasis. One recent study looked at a marker called PSA doubling time, or the time it takes for the PSA level to double—the faster the PSA doubling time, the more aggressive the cancer. In this study, 70 percent of men with prostate cancer who took 15 grams of MCP daily for one year had a significant decline in PSA doubling time.

MCP also enhances activity of natural killer cells, which destroy cancerous cells. It can also remove carcinogenic heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, from the body. The brand I recommend is EcoNugenics’ PectaSol-C.

More Natural Treatments for Prostate Cancer

  • Lycopene. This substance, found in tomatoes, other red fruits and vegetables, and in Low Sodium V8 Juice, is very helpful—especially when used in combination with other nutrients. I recommend drinking 8–12 ounces of Low Sodium V8 Juice each day and incorporating cooked tomato products into your diet.
     
  • Pomegranate juice. In a recent study, UCLA researchers discovered that drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice per day extended PSA doubling time from 15 months to 4.5 years.
     
  • Flaxseed. This dietary supplement contains omega-3 fatty acids, as well as compounds called lignans that modulate hormone metabolism, inhibit angiogenesis and fight free radicals. To reap its benefits, consume a quarter cup of freshly ground flax every day.
     
  • Vitamin D. An ever-growing body of research positions vitamin D as one of our most powerful cancer prevention agents. I suggest having your blood level tested and taking enough supplemental vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) to bring it to the optimal range of 50–80 ng/mL.
     
  • Low-dose naltrexone (LDN). Though it isn’t a “natural” solution, LDN is a safe and inexpensive prescription drug that results in often-dramatic improvements. If I had cancer of any kind, I’d immediately start taking LDN. The suggested dose is 3–4.5 mg per day, taken at bedtime. It works best in men who have not undergone hormone treatment.

Treatments for Advanced Prostate Cancer

If you have advanced prostate cancer, more intensive therapy may be required. An excellent source of information on alternative cancer clinics is the Cancer Control Society.

A Condition You Can Live With

For most men, prostate cancer is a chronic, slow-growing condition that can be managed and lived with. If you’re diagnosed with this disease, weigh your options, don’t rush into anything and consider trying these natural treatments for prostate cancer. Remember, you’re much more likely to die with prostate cancer, not because of it.

Enjoy What You've Just Read?

Get it delivered to your inbox! Signup for E-News and you'll get great content like you've just read along with other great tips and guides from Dr. Whitaker!