Prostate Cancer and How Treatable Is It?

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in elderly American men and second only to lung cancer in deaths.  According to the American Cancer Society, there would have been an estimated 234,460 new prostate cancer cases and 27,350 associated deaths in 2006 in the U.S. alone.  How prostate cancer is treated is a decision that is made between the individual and his physician.  However, most prostate cancers are slow growing and will not be the cause of death in 97 men out of 100 if it is untreated.  Lifestyle and dietary habits have been identified as major risk factors in prostate cancer growth and progression.  Scientific research has identified and indicated that fruits and vegetables and their micronutrients having chemo-preventative agents could have a protective effect against cancer.  Over the last few years, several novel cancer chemopreventative agents have been identified and show promising chemopreventative and anticancer effects in various cancer cells and animal tumor models.  Three of these anticancer chemopreventative agents are grape seed extract, curcumin, and pomegranate extract.  They are available as health food supplements sold in health food stores and are an inexpensive way to possibly prevent and treat prostate cancer.  Of course, before making a choice of using a supplement, it would be prudent to discuss this with your physician.  These natural supplements have shown that they are able to kill off cancer cells eight times more effectively than drugs.  Much work must still be done to prove these natural supplements are effective in humans.  The majority of studies have been done in-vitro (cell cultures) and in-vivo (animal studies).  It would be difficult to do studies with grape seed extract, pomegranate and curcumin in humans as it would be necessary to disallow the conventional prostate cancer treatments to a group of men with a possible uncertainty of the outcome of using only supplements in a trial.  Most prostate cancers, in my opinion, are too aggressively treated with little or no outcome.  An acquaintance of mine in his mid-80’s, discovering he was suffering from prostate cancer, was directed by his physician to have surgery to remove the prostate and then follow up with radiation.  Without any treatment at his late age, he possibly would live five years or more.  With the surgery and radiation, the treatment has been more horrible than living with the cancer.  The radiation destroyed his bladder and the complications are more aggressive and severe than living with the prostate cancer.  If you would like to learn more about the disastrous medical care we receive in America, read the Men’s Journal, October 2014, on the news stand now.  The article in entitled, “When to Say No to Your Doctor”.