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After diagnosis I decided I would do my due diligence to find out as much as possible about this disease and how to combat it.
I got opinions from numerous doctors on the best treatment for my circumstances.
I bought and read four different books, read countless articles, subscribed to newsletters, support groups, etc.
One of the things I decided to do after reading Dr Meyers book on nutrition was to begin taking Vitamin E and Green Tea extract.
The vitamin E is a supposed to be a powerful antioxidant and my wife insisted that it would help mitigate the hot flashes brought on by Lupron.
Green tea is also an antioxidant known to have anti cancer properties. Dr Meyers even states that there is evidence of substances in green tea that make cancer cells more vulnerable to radiation.
Okay, I'm in. I'll use the vitamin E and green tea in hopes that it will increase the efficacy of the radiation therapy.
Now I stumble across information in a newsletter that says some radiologists advise their patients to avoid antioxidants during radiation as it may compromise the cancer killing effects.
There seems to be considerable debate and no definative studies to rely on, just a lot of theory.
However, the newsletter quotes several doctors as stating that it may me best to avoid these suppliments during radiotherapy, including (guess who) Dr Meyers.
I don't know if I can believe anything anymore.
Far from being an empowered patient, I now feel my fate is being decided at random.
I fear I may have compromised the best and only chance I had to beat this thing.
Tony ... after reading your post I remembered this bit of humor from the "Troop C" section of this site.
FROM TIME TO TIME THE MEDIA IS FILLED WITH THE LATEST 'MIRACLE CURE' - A NATURAL SOURCE OF SOME INCREDIBLE VITAMIN OR SUBSTANCE THAT WILL STOP PCA DEAD IN ITS TRACKS. THERE IS FEVERISH ACTIVITY ON THE INTERNET AS MEN EXCHANGE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BEST DOSAGE, THE CHEAPEST SOURCE, WHAT TO AVOID…….AND THEN ALONG COMES ANOTHER STUDY THAT WARNS OF THE DANGERS OF THIS SUBSTANCE, OFTEN MENTIONING SOMETHING THAT MIGHT TAKE ITS PLACE. WHEN THIS PIECE WAS WRITTEN BY SANDY GOLDMAN, A LONG TERM SURVIVOR AND SOME TIME SCEPTIC, POMEGRANATE JUICE WAS 'THE ONE'……AND SOY WAS OUT.
THE CURE DU JOURE
Oh well. Now soy is out.
When I started on non-radical treatment of PCa seven years ago, soy was big! They don't get prostate cancer in Japan and China very much, so soy must be part of it. Oops!
The next biggee was vitamin C. It cures colds, seems to boost the immune system, and Linus Pauling lived a long time. Take lots of vit. C. Well, now we hear that above 500/day, it can destroy DNA. Some multi-vitamins have that much. Oops again.
For a while curcumin was the hot remedy. People in India don't get PCa very often. Besides turning your pee yellow, it doesn't appear to do anything for the genito-urinary tract, prostate included. Double oops.
Grapefruit juice had a good run for a while until it was discovered that some of the life saving heart drugs stopped saving and stopped the heart instead when mixed with grapefruit juice - especially for those men who drank a gallon a day. If some is good - more must be better. Ooop again!
Of course, there was selenium. I recall some doctor who gulped tens of thousands of units of the stuff before dying of PCa. Now, we hear, anything above 200 is useless, maybe harmful. Oops, oops, and more oops.
And what about those green cruciferous vegetables - your folks were right when they told you to eat your Brussel sprouts and broccoli - real life savers! Why, Johns Hopkins Memorial Hospital even tried to claim copyright for the seeds. Hope they didn't sink too much in the project as these veggies were relegated to where they'd been before - uneaten. Ooopsy!
Let's not even discuss vitamin E which nobody can rigorously attribute anything to, not even helping the heart. And whether its gamma, or alpha, or whatever, is even up for debate.
For a while there was Celebrex; the anti-inflammatories were big. Yikes...associated with heart troubles. How many oop-ses is that?
And in between al of these men started turning a light shade of pink as they swigged and gobbled down tomatoes, rich in lycopene, the latest of the naturals to fight the disease until…whatever happened to lycopene?
Well, now, all of a sudden vitamin D is the Cure du Jour. How long will that last? Probably until someone finds out that in high doses it has some terrible secondary effect. After all, we've been told for years how BAD it was for you due to the effect of sun's rays on your skin. Ah, all those poor oldsters in Miami Beach: If they only knew how bad vitamin D was for them... as they bake in the sun, well into their 90s. Or is it good for them as they bake into their 90s?
Take yer pick - but don't forget your pomegranate juice futures - it could be the next big thing.
Hope it brings a smile to your face as it did mine.
I just started taking Saw Palmetto with Pumpkin Seed ... pumpkin seed? Uh huh, cause somebody, somewhere told me it worked and, who knows, if I don't take it I just might miss the "Cure Du Joure"!
I did not have ebert or hormone only brachytherapy. Prior to it I went on a program set up by a friend who is a well thought of nutitionist in my area (Ft Lauderdale, FL) He recommended CoQ10, IP6 and Inositol (a cancer fighter), a good multiple, Beta Glucan. My energy level was phenomenal, my mood depite the worries about my pc was steady and good. I felt great. Still take the IP6 and inositol. Phred's humor post is right on. You can go on with a number of things that will empty your wallet. My beleif is that a good nutition program with some help from supplements is key. There is a great book I recommend " Beating Cancer with Nutrition" by Patrick Quillin. It is full of facts and recommendations.
I couldn't bump the original post I made about Beta Glucan's in the past, but I assure you I am a 43 year old daughter with a widowed father and am looking out for his best interest as he is experiencing a biochemical return of his prostate cancer after 7 years from EBRT/IMRT therapy. With a bone scan and CT scan not showing involvement of the lymph nodes or bones, knowing his diet has dramatically changed since my mom and his wife of 53 years passed just over a year ago, and knowing his PSA numbers are increasing, not quite at a 12 month doubling rate, but getting close, I'm here just like any loved one trying to help the best I can.
Immediate Lupron shots didn't seem like the answer for dad, although he may need them in the future if metastasis occurs. But 2 doctors said "shots now"... responses from this board said "slow down and research". 2 of his friends who are prostate cancer survivors (one like him with minimal problems after RP at the same time he had the ERBT with re-occurrence a year ago - 5+ years past), said whatever you do, take some time and given where you are with relapse DON'T DO THE SHOTS.
My undergraduate degree is in Risk Management with concentration in Actuarial Science so I can interpret the statistical studies. My "aunt" casually referenced in the prior post on Beta Glucan as an immunomodulator... she was an engineer who worked for a time with NASA.
I stand behind the statement I made in 2011. Should my Dad's cancer come back, I will seriously consider Beta Glucan as a supplement we add.
This was the only other post I could find referencing Beta Glucan as a supplement ... outside of mainstream Cheerio's advertising they contain Beta Glucan.
It will be one of the supplements we consider after doing full research as suggested before. Since my Dad's PSA levels picked up after his diet dramatically changed after my mom passed (think green smoothies once a week, broccoli 3 times a week, lentils once a week, salmon once a week... she was on it!). I will be glad to share if dietary changes slow down the PSA progression, as they definitely seem to have picked the PSA progression up.
Terry always looked out for this board, and he has my utmost respect. Every story and protocol and situation posted here I appreciate and cherish for what it is... another man, wife, daughter, son, or family trying to navigate this thing called Prostate Cancer. Prayers and good wishes!
Thanks for the replies.
The "Cure du Joure" is funny and I always get a kick out of it.
However, rest assured that my post wasn't about some magical cure.
I never thought of any dietary supplement as cure but rather something that might help to increase the effectiveness of my treatments.
I thought some of them they may confer some benefit and certainly couldn't hurt.
No this wasn't about imaginary cures.
This was me bemoaning the fact that I can't seem to take anything I read seriously.
I am the type of person that likes to be proactive.
When I am faced with a problem I learn as much as I can and then formulate a strategy to deal with it.
However, my efforts in this regard are complicated by too little documented fact and way too much theory and opinion.
What can you do when the best minds and most respected doctors contradict each other at every turn?
Worse, from time to time they seem to contradict themselves.
I suppose I am going to have to start conducting my own clinical trials.
I may start by investigating whether a quart of Tequila each day will lower your PSA.
My Radiation Oncologist requested during a group information session prior to our treatment regimen that we cease taking antioxidants such as licopene at least 24 hours before each session.
He stated that the licopene works by buffering the cancer cells from the healthy cells. Then it actually interferes with the radiation beam hitting the cancer cells.
Sounds as reasonable an explanation as any other to me.
That would also suggest to me to continue to consume antioxidants as a limitive rather than a preventative or curative. I take licopene caps and keep the green tea growers very busy....
Does anyone have more references for this?
I don't take supplements, but drink a glass of pomegranate juice, eat broccoli sprouts and drink a glass of red wine every day...
Scheduled for ext radiation in another month- would like to be clear on this by then...
I have done some research and questioned my oncologist about this.
It is theoretically possible that antioxydants can interfere with the mechanism that radiation uses to kill cancer.
However, it should be stressed that this is only a theory and there have been no studies to prove or disprove this.
There are plenty of doc lining up on both sides of the argument.
In the absence of any proof one way or another, some doctors advise their patients to stay away from antioxydants during radiation, just to err on the side of caution.
My oncologist says he wouldn't worry about what you get in a normal diet.
However, he would not want me to take mega doses of it.
5 - 8 weeks. Antioxidants to reverse a whole lifetime of exposure to nasty chemicals and your genetics. Not enough time to make any difference. Try and plan your "new life" after the RT. RT doesn't last forever and after RT you can make changes that definitely will affect your well being. Then diet, lifestyle, and eating habits might have some long term effects.
Well... just color me frustrated...
Appreciate your responses.
Diagnosed some 3 months ago, and as the bad results have been coming in, one after another, spent some effort improving my diet. Couldn't stop smoking or eating meat... since I didn't do that before... so started concentrating on adding natural anti-oxidants (don't take supplements either...).
Just started to feel that something was improving (to offset the feeling of something being destroyed by the hormone block)... when I read Tony's post...
Guess I'm not built to sit by passively while being attacked.
Maybe I can be healthy by the time radition starts...