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The four-step holistic treatment protocol for prostate cancer.

Current research has markedly increased our understanding of prostate cancer. Scientists are continually learning more about the possible causes of prostate cancer and are searching for new ways to detect, diagnose, prevent, and treat this disease. As a result of this research, men with prostate cancer now have a lower risk of dying from the disease.

All About the Prostate

The prostate is a gland that is the size of a walnut, and is part of a man's reproductive system. It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate surrounds the upper part of the urethra, the tube that drains the bladder. If the prostate swells due to infection or inflammation, it can impair or stop the flow of urine. Its function is to make and store seminal fluid, which is a milky substance that nourishes sperm. In order to produce seminal fluid and function properly, the prostate requires specific male hormones that are produced by the testicles and to a lesser extent, the adrenal glands. Enlargement of the prostate is common with age. Called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), this condition can produce some of the following symptoms: frequent and! or painful urination, pain during ejaculation, blood in semen or urine, and frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thigh. BPH may require medical intervention or may remain untreated without any loss of quality of l ife.

The prostate is divided into three areas -- the peripheral zone, the transition zone, and the central zone -- with a layer of tissue surrounding all three. Most prostate tumors form in the peripheral zone, the larger, glandular portion of the organ. Prostate cancer can also form in the tissue of the central zone. BPH most often occurs in the transition zone, which surrounds the urethra. Surrounding the prostate is the prostate capsule, a tissue that separates the prostate from the rest of the body. When prostate cancer remains inside the prostate capsule, it is considered localized and treatable with surgery. Once the cancer punctures the capsule and spreads outside, treatment options are more limited.

Facts and Statistics

Statistically, one out of every six men is at risk for prostate cancer. (1) While the disease touches the lives of millions of men and their families, myths and misunderstandings are common.

Diagnosis

* In 2002, an estimated 189,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. This represents one new case every three minutes. (2)

* Prostate cancer continues to be the second leading cause of cancer death in men. (1)

* Prostate cancer can run in families. A man with one close relative with prostate cancer has twice the risk of developing it. With two close relatives, a man's risk increases fivefold, and with three close relatives, a man's risk of prostate cancer is 97%. (2)

* African-American men have the highest prostate cancer incidence rates in the world. They are 35-50% more likely to be diagnosed than Caucasian men and are twice as likely to die of the disease. (2)

* Prostate cancer is common in North America and Northwestern Europe, but is rare in South America, Africa, and Asia. (2)

* A high fat diet is believed to be associated with an increase in prostate cancer. (3)

Survival

* 83% of all prostate cancers are discovered in the local and regional stages. (2)

* The 5-year relative survival rate for patients whose tumors are diagnosed at these stages is 100%. (2)

* Over the past 20 years, the 5-year survival rate for all stages combined has increased from 67% to 96%. (2)

Mortality

* A life is lost to prostate cancer in this country every 17 minutes. (2)

* In 2002, an estimated 30,200 men are expected to die of prostate cancer. (2)

* In spite of an aging population, the death rate from prostate cancer in the US has declined 30% since 1993. In 1993, 43,000 Americans died from prostate cancer.

* By comparison, breast cancer will claim an estimated 40,000 lives in 2002. (2)

Costs of Cancer

The National Institutes of Health estimate overall costs for cancer in the year 2001 at $156.7 billion: $56.4 billion for all health expenditures, $15.6 billion for cost of lost productivity due to illness, and $84.7 billion for cost of lost productivity due to premature death. (2)

Recognizing Symptoms

Early prostate cancer often does not cause symptoms, but prostate cancer can cause any of the following problems:

* A need to urinate frequently, especially at night

* Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine

* Inability to urinate

* Weak or interrupted flow of urine

* Painful or burning urination

* Difficulty in having an erection

* Painful ejaculation

* Blood in urine or semen

* Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

Any of these symptoms may be caused by cancer or by other, less serious health problems, such as BPH or an infection. A man who has these symptoms should see his doctor or a urologist.

Guidelines for Early Detection (4)

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests and the digital rectal examination should be offered annually, beginning at age 50, to men with a life expectancy of at least 10 years, and to younger men who are in high-risk groups: those with a strong familial predisposition (two or more affected first-degree relatives) or African Americans. Because PSA testing remains controversial, men should decide for themselves, in consultation with their physician, whether the test is right for them or not. In some cases, the doctor may also check the level of prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) in the blood, especially if the results of the PSA test are outside the accepted range.

Other examinations a physician could order include the following based on symptomatology:

Transrectal ultrasonography -- ultrasound waves are sent out by a probe inserted into the rectum. The waves bounce off the prostate, and a computer uses the echoes to create a sonogram.

Intravenous pyelogram -- a series of x-rays of the organs of the urinary tract.

Cystoscopy -- a procedure in which the urethra and bladder are examined through a thin, lighted tube.

Other tests, which are effective after the cancer has been detected and used to help establish and maintain a baseline, are as follows:

CT scan -- a radiological procedure where a patient lays on a table and enters into the machine's space. Small amounts of x-rays are projected at the part of the body being studied. The machine uses a sophisticated computer system to create detailed images of the body.

MRI -- a machine that uses computer-controlled radio waves and large magnets to create a magnetic field roughly 25,000 times stronger than the earth's magnetic field. After the machine creates a magnetic field, it sends radio waves into the body and then measures the response of the cells (how much energy they release) with a computer. From these responses, the computer is able to create a three-dimensional picture of the inside of the body. MRI makes use of the fact that all living cells have a certain magnetic quality to them; because of this, MRI can provide a look at the biochemistry of living cells.

Endorectal MRI -- an MRI of the prostate gland with the endorectal surface coil system provides images of the prostatic and periprostatic tissues that are significantly more detailed than body coil MRI or transrectal ultrasound. This allows for improved visualization of the seminal vesicles, prostatic capsule, and neurovascular bundles. Although clinical experience with use of endorectal MRI is still somewhat limited, it appears to be more accurate in identifying advanced disease.

Power Doppler Angiography -- It is well known that tumors are highly vascularized tissues. The Power Doppler Angiography allows the detection of increased blood flow and changes in the velocity of the blood in the surrounding tissues and growing cancers.

RT-PCR-PSA -- This test detects prostatic cancer cells circulating in the blood. These cells should not be outside the prostatic capsule. If detected, it is an indication that the prostate cancer has gotten into the lymphatic system.

ProstaScint Scan -- This test uses an isotope of Iridium 111 to detect the growth of prosate cancer cells outside the prostate, locally to the prostate, and throughout the body.

PET Scan -- In a Positron Emission Tomography (PET), a substance, such as a modified glucose (18F-FDG) or modified acetate (11C-acetate), is used as a tracer to detect the growth of cancer cells. PET scans using various tracer elements have been increasingly recognized as a vital tool in the diagnosis of many cancers, including melanoma, lymphoma, lung, colorectal, and breast cancer. Patients undergoing PET scans are injected with the tracer element, which is then taken up by the body tissues. Areas of higher metabolic activity, such as 'cancer cells, tend to absorb more of the tracer element, enabling physicians to distinguish between normal and cancerous cells. Thus, PET can often detect a tumor before it becomes visible by conventional CT or MRI, which primarily image anatomical changes. PET can also be used to evaluate the efficacy of a treatment.

Treatment Options

Treatment choice depends on a number of factors: the size and aggressiveness of the tumor, the extent to which the cancer has spread throughout the body, the patient's PSA level, and overall medical condition and age. Current conventional methods include:

* Surgery, radiation, or careful observation without immediate active treatment (watchful waiting) are commonly used to treat localized prostate cancer.

* Radiation, hormonal treatment, chemotherapy, investigational therapies, or combinations of these options are used to treat more advanced disease.

* Patients should thoroughly discuss each option, its effectiveness and its side effects, with their physicians before deciding on a treatment.

Alternative Treatment Options

Over the years many alternative and holistic medical practitioners have researched and developed various treatment modalities to combat the growth and effects of prostate cancer. While the success of some of these methods is anecdotal, others are supported by valid scientific research. A comprehensive protocol for prostate cancer sufferers should include a cleansing diet along with detoxification, followed by hormonal therapy and herbs to promote healing and maintenance of a healthy prostate gland.

Step 1: Cleansing Diet and Detoxification

Cleansing Diet: Diet and nutrition are important steps in the treatment and prevention of all cancers, including prostate cancer. A cleansing diet program will provide the necessary components to promote detoxification and to enhance the immune system. Juicing twice a day will supply the body with a wide range of phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Fresh juices made from raw fruits and vegetables preserve the nutrients, whereas cooking and heating can damage and destroy vitamins and enzymes. By juicing, nutrients are more easily digested and assimilated. Juices should be consumed immediately after preparation, as nutrients will begin to oxidize. Buy and use organically grown produce to avoid pesticides and other chemical residues contaminating the juice.

In addition to juicing, a cleansing diet consists of foods that aid in the healing of the body. Include brown rice, steamed vegetables, especially leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower, various types of white fish (halibut, cod, red snapper, tilapia), salmon, and legumes. Consume fresh fruits, especially berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries), as they have nutrients that protect against oxidative damage. In addition, a soy protein drink can be included as part of a well-rounded and balanced diet. Soy protein drinks contain isoflavones, which are powerful antioxidants and have antiangiogenic effects. (3) The soy protein drink can be used as a meal replacement by blending in a banana and berries along with blue-green algae/spirulina and one tablespoon of flax oil. Flax oil contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for the optimal functioning of the immune system. Flax oil has been shown to protect against certain types of cancer, particularly hormone sensitive cancer s, such as prostate and breast. Blue-green algae/spirulina contains nutrients such as gamma-linolenic acid, linoleic acid, essential amino acids, and chlorophyll that protect the immune system and supply nutrients that help cleanse and heal. The cleansing diet should be used during the first two weeks of the protocol and then further discussion and evaluation of dietary recommendations should be done.

Detoxification: It is important to remember that when dealing with cancer of any kind, all levels of an individual's health, including nutritional, mental/emotional, and spiritual health, should be incorporated into a treatment protocol. One of the major factors that causes the dysfunction and imbalance of our immune systems, and as a consequence, impedes our ability to protect ourselves from disease, is the buildup of toxins in our body. Toxic buildup comes from the food and water we ingest, and the environmental exposure to radiation and toxic metals we encounter in our every day lives. Toxic metals, such as lead, aluminum, cadmium, and mercury pervade our environment and are present in pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, fumigants, and fertilizers. Our food supply is contaminated with food preservatives, additives, and artificial colorings. The air that we breathe and the water that we drink are contaminated with toxic chemicals and hazardous wastes. Even within our own homes, we are continua lly inundated with environmental pollutants from hair spray to disinfectants to dust and mold.

One of the most important organs in elimination of toxins is our bowel. The average person can hold between five and 10 pounds of fecal matter and other detritus material in the body. When the bowels become dysfunctional and imbalanced, autointoxication results -- the relentless release of toxins from within the body. When autointoxication takes hold, thinking may become murky, the ability to discriminate and exercise sound judgment may be impaired, and vitality, health and happiness are threatened. Normal bowel function is vital to an overall healthy state. One of the primary functions of the digestive system is to provide digestion and absorption of nutrients, which in turn provides fuel and building blocks necessary for our continued function and survival. Secondly, the bowels are the portal through which we eliminate undigested food, waste products, harmful microorganisms, and toxins. As food moves through the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines, it is transformed, allowing for the absorption of nut rients and elimination of waste. The function of the digestive system includes a series of finely orchestrated processes that are facilitated by digestive enzymes, stomach acid, beneficial bacteria, and peristaltic movement of the intestinal muscles.

Two reasons for the eventual dysfunction and imbalance of the gastrointestinal tract are lifestyle and eating habits. Not eating the right foods, not exercising enough, and not getting enough fresh air and sunshine contributes to the breakdown of this process. Society today consumes an inordinate amount of processed foods. The consumption of "junk food" -- foods high in sugar and fat, but low in fiber -- is pervasive and is, in fact, detrimental to our digestive systems. In addition to certain foods we consume, alcohol, antibiotics, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medications disrupt normal bowel function.

As we age, there is a noticeable decline in the level of digestive enzymes produced in the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine leading to decreased digestion and absorption of nutrients and increased accumulation of fecal matter in the intestinal tract. Undigested food and metabolic waste buildup lead to autointoxication and set the stage for disease. This creates an environment ripe for pathogenic organisms, such as parasites and yeast, to flourish and displace beneficial organisms that inhabit our intestinal tract. The invasion of pathogenic organisms leads to changes in permeability of the intestinal wall and allows for the passage of many toxic chemicals into the bloodstream. The total toxic load of the body is increased, placing additional burden on the liver and kidneys -- the organs of detoxification and elimination. As toxic waste is absorbed into the bloodstream, it becomes deposited in all tissues and organs of our body. The detoxification system becomes overwhelmed, allowing for more waste to b e retained in the body. Toxins accumulate in the tissues, interfering with normal cellular metabolism, causing degenerative changes and even cellular death. As the bowel function continues to deteriorate, more serious problems appear, including cancer.

Although the bowel is a major organ of elimination, the organ of most importance in detoxification is the liver. The liver breaks down harmful substances through a complex series of chemical reactions. The various enzyme activities that occur in the liver allow for the conversion of fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble substances that can be excreted in the urine or bile.

The rate at which the liver can eliminate toxins can determine an individual's susceptibility to toxic overload. When the liver becomes so overloaded with harmful toxins that the enzymes that break them down can no longer cope, the toxic buildup can lead to symptoms of ill health. Without the intervention of correct nutrition and phyto-chemicals, this can become a vicious cycle of chronic toxic overload. Many inflammatory conditions (such as arthritis), cardiovascular problems, headaches, chronic fatigue, and premature aging can be related to a buildup of toxins in the liver.

Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification (5-12): Phase I is carried out by the cytochrome P450 enzyme system and consists of oxidation and reduction reactions. Various nutrients are required in order for the Phase I detoxification system to be carried out efficiently. Cytochrome P450 reactions generate free radicals, and this can cause secondary damage to cells. An adequate supply of key antioxidants and free radical quenchers are essential to prevent tissue damage. Reduced glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and additional nutrients, such as beta-carotene, vitamin E, selenium, and N-acetylcysteine, act as potent antioxidants. Other nutrient cofactors required for cytochrome P450 reactions include riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, iron, and certain phytonutrients, such as indoles from cruciferous vegetables and quercetin, have been shown to support Phase I detoxification.

The metabolites of Phase I detoxification are potentially more harmful than their original toxic compounds. In order to maintain cellular metabolic health, it is important that they are not allowed to accumulate. To counter these toxins, the liver utilizes the Phase II detoxification process.

In Phase II, glutathione conjugation is the primary pathway for these intermediate metabolites. Increased exposure to toxins, as well as a poor dietary supply of glutathione, can soon lead to glutathione depletion and increased damage from these highly reactive intermediates. Oral supplementation with reduced glutathione, N-acetylcysteine, Trifolium, or burdock root may help to increase glutathione levels in living systems. Beta glucuronidase enzymes produced by pathological bacteria can reverse glucuronidation pathways in Phase II, which causes toxins to be reabsorbed thus increasing toxicity. Studies have shown that calcium d-glucurate, a natural ingredient found in certain vegetables and fruits can inhibit beta glucuronidase activity resulting in increased elimination of toxins. Supplements of calcium d-glucurate may also be taken to enhance the glucuronidation pathway. Other nutrients that play vital roles in the Phase II pathway include the amino acids glycine, cysteine, glutamine, methionine, taurine, g lutamic acid, and aspartic acid, as well as ingredients in herbs such as sheep sorrel and Stillingia.

Glutamine plays a chief role in ammonia detoxification and, along with slippery elm and prickly ash bark, aids in maintaining mucosal integrity of the gastrointestinal tract.

In some people the detoxification pathways (Phases I and II) are out of balance. For example, if Phase I is more active than Phase II, a buildup of reactive intermediate metabolites can occur, which in turn can lead to tissue damage and disease.

There is now an extensive body of evidence indicating that diet and its phytochemical nutrients play a crucial role in modifying the body's detoxification pathways. Various phytonutrients have been found to prolong the activity of Phase I enzymes in the system.

In summary, an efficient liver detoxification system is vital to health. In order to support this process, it is essential that many key phytochemical substances are included.

Healing Crisis

Many people choose to follow a detoxification program, which may take many forms. However, it should be noted that a qualified healthcare practitioner should supervise any such program because when toxins are released too quickly this can be extremely uncomfortable and may cause headaches, fatigue, diarrhea, irritability, and lightheadedness. Removal of toxins gives many positive health benefits, including increased energy, clear skin, vitality, and a general sense of well-being. A synergistic blend of herbs available in a liver detoxification herbal beverage can facilitate the achievement of these desired results.

In the 1920s, Rene Caisse, a Canadian nurse, discovered an Indian herbal remedy she later called Essiac. Essiac alleviates many chronic and degenerative conditions because it cleanses the blood, as well as the liver, and strengthens the immune system. The original formulation contained four herbs -- burdock root, Indian rhubarb, slippery elm, and sheep sorrel -- which provide immune-modulation, cleansing, and strengthening through their biochemical constituents. The actions of cleansing and supporting the body have obvious benefits to any individual dealing with cancer. Harry Hoxsey, in the early 1900s, also developed a botanical formula for use with cancer patients. The remedy consisted of two mixtures, one to be used externally and the other to be used internally. The internal mixture contained licorice, red clover, burdock, Stillingia root, and prickly ash bark root, among other botanicals. The mixture is considered to be cathartic, cleansing, and immune boosting.

An herbal drink for liver detoxification will contain an infusion of botanicals in purified water. A formulation using a combination of herbs provides a synergistic blend of botanicals that will assist in the detoxification process. An herbal liver detoxification drink should be taken the first two weeks of the treatment protocol and may be continued through the treatment process for added efficacy.

Herbs Helpful for Liver Detoxification

Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza spp.) stimulates immunity, has antiviral activity, soothes an irritated urinary tract, is an antidepressant, improves hormonal activity, and protects and detoxifies the liver. It is also considered to be a blood purifier and aids in immunological disorders of a debilitating nature.

Red Clover Blossom (Trifolium pratense) promotes cleansing, clears toxins, and resolves toxemia. It also softens deposits and promotes urination, in addition to resolving swelling and dissipating tumors, benefiting the skin, reducing inflammation, promoting tissue repair, and relieving pain. This is useful for the following conditions: chronic gout, heavy metal poisoning, chronic skin conditions, tumors, and cancer (especially of breasts and ovaries).

Burdock Root (Arctium lappa) is used to treat skin diseases, fever, inflammation and fluid retention. Organs affected are the lungs, stomach, kidneys, and liver.

Queen's Delight Root (Stillingia sylvatica) is used as a tonic for the treatment of psoriasis and rheumatism, as well as a laxative. It is a diuretic, anti-venereal, and cathartic and purifies the blood.

Cat's Claw Bark (Una De Gato, Uncaria tomentosa) is used in treating diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, colitis, gastritis, and parasites. Scientific studies in the last decade have led to verification of anticancer and immunostimulant properties. Some of the demand of the bark has been attributed to European reports on its clinical use with AZT in AIDS treatment.

Prickly Ash Bark (Xanthoxylum ramiflorum) supports the Yang, generates warmth, and dispels cold, stimulates the circulation, clears the head, and relieves pain, warms and invigorates the stomach, spleen and intestines, and restrains infection, in addition to stimulating the uterus and promoting menses.

Sheep Sorrel Herb (Rumex acetosa) is used to purify the blood, and strengthen the heart. It is used as a decoction for internal bleeding, and as a compress for external bleeding.

Turkey Rhubarb Root (Rumex officinale) stimulates the colon and abates distension, dredges and calms the liver, provokes bowel movements, restores the stomach and liver, stimulates the liver and gall bladder, and promotes bile flow.

Slippery Elm Bark (Ulmus rubra) fosters the Yin, provides moisture, provides nourishment, and supports strength. It has been known to help with peptic ulcers, throat inflammation, and burns.

Bladderwrack Herb (Fucus vesiculosus) is very similar to kelp in its constituents, functions and uses. It provides nourishment and moisture, replenishes deficiency, enhances immune potential, restores the blood, liver and stomach, harmonizes metabolism, promotes growth, and restores strength.

Step 2: Hormonal Therapy

Due to the fact that the development and function of normal and malignant prostate cells is significantly influenced by androgen receptors, the second phase in the treatment of prostate cancer should include hormonal therapy. Patients with metastatic prostate cancer are most often treated with androgen deprivation therapy. Prostate cancer that progresses in the presence of antiandrogenic blockade is termed hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC). An efficacious chemotherapy for this patient group is not available. Their mean survival time is 6-9 months (13) Hormonal therapy frequently combines luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist to block testosterone production by the testes and an antiandrogen to block androgens at the receptor sites of the prostatic cancer cells. Phase m studies have demonstrated the benefit of utilizing androgen deprivation treatment in combination with radical radiotherapy for localized prostate cancer. (14) It has also been shown that hormone treatment can improve the outcome of intermediate- to high-risk prostate cancer patients treated with brachytherapy. (15) After 1992, a decrease in mortality rates of prostate cancer in southeast Michigan has been attributed to the sharp increase in use of androgen deprivation therapy, which began in 1990. (16) This study also suggests that androgen deprivation therapy in conjunction with radiation or surgery decreases prostate cancer mortality rates. (16) Overall survival in patients has shown to be enhanced when hormone therapy is combined with localized treatment in patients with locally advanced disease.

Early hormonal therapy can slow down the progression of the tumor and can have a significant impact on survival in patients with seminal vesicle invasion and limited lymph node disease who undergo radical prostatectomy. (17) Antiestrogens like toremifene are chemopreventive in prostate cancer. They can decrease tumor incidence and prolong survival rate. Natural alternatives exist in the form of botanicals that have antiandrogenic properties. (18) Phytoestrogenic formulations of specific botanicals that have antiandrogenic effects provide additional benefits to those battling prostate cancer. They aid in balancing hormone levels and may assist in decreasing PSA levels. This second step in the protocol begins on the third week and continues throughout the program.

Phytoestrogenic Herbs

Angelica sinensis (Tang Kuei) has traditionally been used to treat menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes, and conditions, such as painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea), or abnormal menstruation (metrorrhagia). Angelica is beneficial for men suffering from prostate cancer because it enhances the body's production of estrogens.

Recent evidence indicates that royal jelly balances reproductive hormones, increases energy, alleviates anxiety, sleeplessness, moodiness, and memory loss, and bolsters the immune system.

Astragalus membranaceus supports the normal hormonal balance of progesterones and estrogens.

Polygonatum spp. stabilizes the liver to better metabolize estrogens.

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a supportive herb rich in minerals that help the body heal and is a natural plant estrogen.

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza spp.) has the ability to balance hormones and glandular function and is also useful as a diuretic.

Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), which relieves menstrual cramping, is a natural estrogen and is used as an anti-spasmodic for the uterus. It is also used as an effective natural hormone replacement therapy for menopause and treating PMS.

Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus) has been shown to lower the ratio of estrogen to progesterone.

Step 3: Maintaining Prostate Health

In addition to detoxification and hormonal therapy, a synergistic blend of high quality herbal extracts designed specifically to support the prostate will further assist the body in detoxification by aiding in elimination, increasing lymphatic function, boosting immune function, and promoting an antiangiogenic effect (i.e., affecting the blood supply of tumors). Single herbs when used alone, often will not have the same effect as when combined in a synergistic formula. Scientific research confirms the use of herbs in synergistic combination to support body functions. There are many blends of botanical substances that may be useful in treating prostate cancer. Based on current research and clinical experience with prostate cancer sufferers, a formula is being used successfully in clinics in North America and as far away as Australia. Preliminary results have been positive and the formula has been shown to be effective in assisting a majority of individuals to control their PSA.

Traditional Chinese medicine for centuries has used herbs that are known to support and promote healthy prostate function. Some of these herbs include Scutellaria baicalensis, Panax notoginseng, Ganoderma lucidum, and Glycyrrhiza uralensis. In addition to Chinese herbs, studies have shown that Cernitina, a specially prepared rye pollen, has an overall tonic effect on many body areas by promoting a healthy immune system, producing an anti-inflammatory effect, increasing recovery from prostatitis, and diminishing the side effects of chemo- and radiotherapies. The dosage of a prostate supportive formula will be dependent upon whether the cancer is contained within the capsule and upon the levels of PSA found in the blood.

Herbs to Support the Prostate

Cernitina powder provides anti-inflammatory properties, prophylaxis against infectious disease, geriatric uses (treatment of tiredness, weakness, loss of appetite, impaired memory, loss of libido), increased recovery from prostatitis, and diminishes side effects from cancer therapies.

Scutellaria baicalensis removes toxins, is antibacterial and antiviral, and supports the digestive system.

Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) supports prostate health, is antiandrogenic and an anti-inflammatory agent, works as a mild sedative for the nervous system, stimulates appetite, improves digestion and thyroid deficiencies, helps to maintain prostate size, and supports healthy urinary tract performance.

Ganoderma lucidum supports the immune system, enhances circulation, protects liver function, and promotes energy transport and healthy cell function.

Taraxacum mongolicum removes toxins, stimulates flow of bile, increases the flow of urine, and is antibacterial, antiviral, and antitumor.

Isatis indigotica removes toxins, is antibacterial, enhances the action of the white blood cells, and supports circulation and blood flow.

Patrinia villosa supports a healthy functional nervous system, maintains nerve structures, cools liver toxicity, works as a lymphatic decongestant, is helpful in abdominal pain and appendicitis, and encourages blood circulation.

Panax notoginseng supports the nervous and circulatory systems, maintains nerve endings and structures, isantiinflammatory, analgesic, and anti-infective, and promotes blood flow.

Oldenlandia diffusa is antipyretic for fever, antiinflammatory, and a stimulant of the immune system, as well as having antitumor properties.

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis) supports respiration, improves adrenal function, is an anti-inflammatory and antitoxin, improves air circulation, soothes joints, supports mucus production, and works as a demulcent.

Step 4: Antioxidant Protection

Scientific evidence suggests that free radicals play a major role in the initiation of carcinogenesis. (19) Free radicals may instigate carcinogenesis through direct damage to DNA. By-products of lipid peroxidation can also contribute to mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. Lipid peroxidation disrupts cellular membranes, which in turn affect the activity of membrane-bound enzymes. Many of these enzymes are involved in the detoxification of carcinogens. Free radicals and lipid peroxidation may also play a significant role in the promotion and/or progression of tumors. In addition, the production of oxygen radicals may be a mechanism that contributes to the process of apoptosis (programmed cell death). Protection from free radical damage in humans is through an elaborate and intricate antioxidant defense system. Nutrients provide critical components of this defense system.

There are numerous antioxidant sources that could potentially assist in the treatment and prevention of cancer. Tomatoes, a primary dietary source of lycopenes (among the most potent of the carotenoids), have been shown in epidemiological studies to lower the incidence of prostate cancer. (20,21) Curcumin, a polyphenol derived from Curcuma longa L., or turmeric, inhibits carcinogenesis in several cancer models and has also been shown to possess anti-inflammatory activity, which is linked to tumor promotion. (22-27) Other dietary phytochemicals have exhibited chemoprotective effects through anti-inflammatory properties and suppression of tumor growth, including the green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) (28-33) and resveratrol from grapes (Vitis vinifera). (34-38) Quercitin, in addition to resveratrol, induces apoptosis in several varieties of cancer cells. (39) The green tea polyphenol EGCG shows evidence of decreasing the drug resistance phenotype in certain cancer cells and inhibiting angiogen isis. (31,32,33) The dietary botanical rosemary increases the intracellular accumulation of commonly used chemotherapeutic agents, and therefore may be useful as an adjunct in chemotherapy. Extract of rosemary exhibits a protective effect against oxidative damage to DNA as a consequence of its ability to scavenge free radicals and singlet oxygen, which, while not itself a free radical, it is a powerful oxidizing agent. (40,41,42) At least two mechanisms are involved in the anticarcinogenic effects of rosemary extract. The extract inhibits the metabolic activation of carcinogens catalysed by the liver detoxification phase I cytochrome P450 enzymes and induces the phase II detoxification pathway which is catalyzed by enzymes, such as glutathione S-transferase. (42) It has been shown that the risk of developing prostate cancer is inversely associated with the plasma concentrations of zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-cryptoxanthin. (43)

While antioxidants can be obtained through diet, this may not be sufficient to provide the levels needed for cancer prevention or as a therapeutic dose in the treatment of cancerous malignancies. Maximum protection from free radical damage and regulation of the immune system can be derived from a combination of antioxidants. A super antioxidant formula takes advantage of various antioxidant sources to ensure the highest level of efficacy. Benefits of including these botanicals in such a formula are documented in numerous studies that illustrate their anticarcinogenic and therapeutic properties. Being armed with this information and using the latest in modern nutraceutical technology, it is now possible to create formulas that can be taken daily to reduce the effect on the body of toxic physical stressors that form free radicals. The use of several powerful antioxidants may decrease the risk of developing breast, colon, lung, prostate, ovarian, and uterine cancers. Arming your immune system with the tools to f ight the onslaught of toxins, microorganisms, and stressors is the best defense.

Super Antioxidant Formula

Lycopersicon lycopersicum, commonly known as tomato, is rich in a carotene called lycopene. Studies have shown conclusively that there is a relationship between low blood levels of lycopenes and cancers of the breast, prostate, pancreas, and bladder.

Curcuma longa, also known as turmeric, is a widely used spice that is a major component of curry powder. Recent studies indicate that several of the phytochemicals found in curcuma result in an inhibition of cancer growth. Additionally, it is an antibacterial, antiarthritic, and liver protectant.

Dunelliella salina is an algae and one of the most potent forms of natural beta-carotene. One hundred times more potent than carrots, it contains primarily the 9-cis-beta carotene form, thus giving you the maximum antioxidant protection for your cellular DNA.

Camellia sinensis, commonly known as green tea, has been shown to be a potent antioxidant and cancer preventative agent by decreasing chromosome damage to cells. This is achieved with the phytochemical constituents known as polyphenols and catechins.

Vitis vinifera: Grape skin contains proanthocyanidines, polyphenols, ellagic acid and a compound known as resveratrol. Ellagic acid has been found to counteract carcinogens and keep them from turning healthy cells into cancerous ones. Resveratrol is believed to help keep the circulation to the organs open and strong so they can keep eliminating the cellular toxins and replace them with fresh nutrients and oxygen.

Rosmarinus officinalis, a widely used cooking herb called rosemary, contains quinones and carotenes called zeaxanthines, which inhibit the formation of cancer causing substances in the body.

Lutein, a member of the carotene family, has been tested and shown to be a potent antioxidant which blocks tumor-promoting substances in the body.

Shiitake Concentrate is made from a mushroom that contains a polysaccharide known as lentinan. Lentinan has been found to possess immune enhancing and antitumor activity. Shuitake mushrooms are now commonplace throughout the world and extracts are being used in many immune enhancing products.

Conclusion

A four-pronged approach towards prostate cancer should involve a cleansing diet and detoxification, hormonal therapy, and support of a healthy prostate. These options have been researched and developed so that alternatives to conventional treatments can be offered.

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About the Author

Larisa Alonso, MS, has a BS in biochemistry from Cornell University and a MS in nutrition and immunology from the University of Texas. She has published on the relationship between nutrition and Chagas' disease, a South American parasitic disease. She has also been trained in the theory and practice of Oriental massage therapy.

Dr. Ronald Waling received his Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle. He is the Director of High Life Formulas, Inc., and serves as a board member for BioMagnetics Research Laboratories in Florida. He has developed a variety of health formulas including a formula to aid prostate cancer sufferers, a diabetes formula for Type II diabetics and an immune formula, which has demonstrated effectiveness in assisting AIDS and HIV-related diseases. Dr. Waling also privately formulates for international manufacturers who develop new formulas to meet the needs of today 's practitioner.
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Author:Alonso, Larisa; Waling, Ronald G.
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Date:Dec 1, 2002
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