Question: What do you recommend in terms of food and natural healing to keep the prostate healthy and PSA in good range? I just recently lost my prescription drug coverage, and I have prostate cancer.
Dr. Hibberd's Answer:
Prostate health is generally ignored by most men until the prostate becomes inflamed, infected, enlarged, or affected by cancerous transformation. Prostate health is actually best maintained by a regular and healthy sex life and prompt attention when disorder becomes apparent.
Try to have any inflammation or discomfort suggestive of infection or obstruction treated promptly and early. Chronic infection of the prostate occurs that may not respond well to treatment, and usually results from an acute infection that has been allowed to linger by delaying treatment.
Disorders are easily detected by symptoms and confirmed by rectal examination, urinalysis, and/or PSA measurement with or without ultrasonic study when gland enlargement is suspected and needs further evaluation.
Prostate symptoms include weak stream, dribbling, urinary retention, pain in perineal area, or other urinary symptoms such as blood in urine, frequency, and urgency. Maintaining prostate function is especially important usually only in males over the age of 25, and becomes increasingly important for men over the age of 35-40.
Married males with regular sexual habits have consistently better prostate scores and prostate health than do their single counterparts, and it is not that they are married that makes the difference. Rather, it seems the regularity of sexual activity may play a large role in prevention of prostate disease. Many research studies continue to emphasize this observation.
Unfortunately, no specific dietary manipulation or supplements have been shown to improve or maintain prostate health despite claims by many supplement manufacturers trying to sell their supplements. You will note that the label on the bottle of food supplement invariably contains a statement to dissuade you from reliance on any health claims despite the advertised headline on the label. Careful reading will reveal a statement that the product has not been tested to prevent or treat any disease or disorder.
Do avoid cigarette smoking. Cigarettes contain carcinogens known to facilitate cancer-cell formation in multiple tissues in our bodies. The prostate and urinary tract in men are not exceptions.
Unfortunately, malignant disease of the prostate has a variable course depending upon each case. Though a healthy diet with daily multivitamin and antioxidant supplements are often recommended to maintain our bodies in good health, there are no special diets that apply to prostate cancer victims specifically.
Treatment of prostate cancer is best pursued under the direction and consultation of your private physician and a urologist. Not all prostate cancer cases are the same. Some are nonaggressive and best observed with minimal intervention, and other cases require very aggressive intervention. This all depends upon the cancer's metastatic or spread potential.
There is much discussion now of treatment that may be too aggressive for all cases, and new guidelines now exist for treatment options that are considerably less aggressive than the old-style radical prostatectomy so often done in the past. It is rarely done now without considerable deliberation.
Prostate health is encouraged by regular and frequent sexual activity and a sensible diet. Preventive health measures designed to pick up early prostate disorder (such as the PSA test) and selected rectal and urinalysis examination are good items to include in your health screening especially if you are male and over the age of 40.