For a more in-depth look at prostate cancer and natural treatment options, please visit Healing Arts Education Foundation at http://www.haefoundation.org/index.html. Award-winning producer, writer, director, and fellow biker, Peter Starr, interviewed 56 doctors from 8 countries, and compiled a generous amount of information about natural healing treatments for prostate cancer and its associated symptoms. Healing Arts Education Foundation is a 501(c), non-profit organization that focuses on educating others about prostate cancer. All of the proceeds go towards producing media and conducting lectures/presentations at a variety of events including corporate gatherings, health expos, and social clubs. Healing Arts Education Foundation is currently planning a similar educational film on natural treatments for breast cancer.
The following was taken from a research paper written by C. Bing in June 2011.
It is hard to believe that so much time, money, and effort has gone into years of research, yet we are making little progress in the war against cancer. In 2010 the National Cancer Institute provided $300,466,914 for research grants, contract awards, and intramural research projects for prostate cancer research (http://fundedresearch.cancer.gov). The Department of Defense's congressionally directed Medical Research Program will receive $64 million in 2012 for the Prostate Cancer Research Program. Since 2006 the program has received $80 million yearly to research prostate cancer, develop new drugs, and save lives (http://news.yahoo.com). This is only 2 of the countless organizations raising money for prostate cancer research. Cancer research began as early as the mid 1700’s (American Cancer Society [ACS], 2011).
I began to investigate the functions of cells and the characteristics of cancer cells. Normal cells within our bodies divide and form new cells in a controlled fashion. Damaged or old cells die and are destroyed by white blood cells known as macrophages. They are then replaced by new cells. Cancer cells’ DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, the molecules that carry the genetic “fingerprint” that is passed on to new cells) is damaged, which causes mutations. Cancer cells grow and divide quickly, and do not know when to stop growing. These mutated cells do not undergo apoptosis, or programmed cell death, when they should. This causes an excess of abnormal cancer cells that can form tumors. Some cancer cells can avoid being attacked by the body’s immune system. All cells have the ability to signal other cells by secreting proteins which bind to other cells’ receptors, or cilia (tiny hairs on the cells surface). Basically, a cell is really a little pouch of chemical reactions which are made possible by enzymes. Enzymes are made from amino acids; amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.
If you really want to know the details of emerging medicines, you have to know how to navigate the intranet, avoiding the sales pitches and censored material. You also need to have a strong understanding of medical terminology, or a lot of time to research medical words and terms. I do believe there is a cure for cancer; however, I cannot say if it has been discovered as of yet. In 2001 Dr. Judah Folkman, who is a professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School, stated that cancer will be treatable within the next 10 years (DeNoon, 2011).
MILESTONES IN CANCER RESEARCH
Over the past 55 years, there have been pivotal developments in cancer therapies. According to WebMD (http://www.webmd.com), some of these include:
• In 1955 researchers find that the hormones testosterone and estrogen fuel growth of prostate and breast cancers, respectively. Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1966.
• In 1961 Dr. Judah Folkman of Harvard University found that tumors generate their own oxygen supply by creating a network of blood vessels allowing them to flourish.
• In 1971 President Richard Nixon signs the National Cancer Act, establishing a national program to search for a cancer cure.
• In 1975 researchers develop a monoclonal antibody that can enhance the immune system. Because of this, several promising cancer drugs have been developed in the late 1990s and continue presently. In 1984 these 3 men received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
• In 1981 the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test for screening and early detection of prostate cancer is developed.
• In 1995 Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, showed a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil and tomato sauce may help prevent prostate cancer.
• In 1996 American Cancer Society Guidelines on Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer affirm that one-third of all cancer deaths can be prevented through healthy eating and physical activity (DeNoon, 2004).
PROSTATE CANCER TREATMENT OPTIONS
Treatments for prostate cancer vary depending on the stage of the cancer. If it is caught before it spreads beyond the prostate there are many treatment options available including watchful waiting, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, and clinical trials. The 5-year relative survival rate for those diagnosed with localized prostate cancer is 100% according to the National Cancer Institute (SEER Stat Fact Sheets, 2011).
The available treatments for advanced metastatic prostate cancer are basically limited to radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and clinical trials. Surgery only provides relief of symptoms if the cancer has spread beyond the prostate. There are also oral medications for all stages of prostate cancer. Radiation therapy is a palliative treatment, which means it increases quality of life by reducing pain, and it “kills cancer cells by destroying the genetic material that controls how cells grow and divide. Healthy cells in the beam's path are also damaged by external beam radiation therapy.” (http://www.mayoclinic.com) The clinical trial, Study of Immunotherapy to Treat Advanced Prostate Cancer, sponsored/directed by Bristol-Myers Squibb involved using radiation therapy to influence increased activity of white blood cells followed by four doses of ipilimumab, a drug recently approved for treatment of unresectable, advanced melanoma.
According to the National Cancer Institute’s website, Yervoy (ipilimumab) is “A monoclonal antibody directed against cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA4), an antigen that is expressed on activated T-cells and exhibits affinity for B7 co-stimulatory molecules. By binding CTLA4, ipilimumab enhances T-cell activation and blocks B7-1 and B7-2 T-cell co-stimulatory pathways.” (http://www.cancer.gov/drugdictionary) In layman’s terms, this means that ipilimumab boosts the immune system by blocking the negative regulator of T-cell activation, thereby boosting anti-tumor responses. So, the tumor cells can no longer evade the attack from the white blood cells.
A NON-MEDICAL APPROACH
In addition to medical treatments, diet plays a considerable role in the development of cancerous cells and progression as do genetics, stress, and lifestyle according to Dr. Eugene Kwon of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. It is widely evident that eating right and exercise are essential for all of us to maintain our health, but which foods are shown to increase one’s risk of cancer?
• When certain foods are deep fried, (especially potatoes) they “form a suspected human carcinogen called acrylamide according to the National Cancer Institute.
• Salt allows cancer-causing Helicobacter pyloric bacteria to thrive in the stomach.
• Charring, or burning, meat creates carcinogens called heterocyclic aromatic amines.”
• Trans fats, saturated fats, and artificial sweeteners can increase one’s risk of developing cancer. “Researchers from the University of Texas found that men who had undergone surgery for prostate cancer and had diets high in saturated fats (including steaks, burgers, and cheese) were almost twice as likely to see their cancer progress.
• Carcinogens called nitrosamines are found in cured meats, such as lunch meats, bacon, and sausage” (Hubbard, 2010).
Soy has been shown to slow the growth of cancer cells. Lycopene (from tomato-based foods) may be linked to a lowered risk of prostate cancer. Some studies have found no link between lycopene and prostate cancer (CDC, 2011). Our diet is now comprised of far less red meat, less sugar, more soy, tomato products, fresh fruits and vegetables. The American Institute for Cancer Research and the Mayo Clinic websites have wonderful recipes.
As I search for information about prostate cancer, I come across copious amounts of controversial information. I do read these articles and try to keep an open mind. But, I also go over all of the statements and claims very carefully, researching each and every one even further. Some have turned out to be completely without merit. For example, a friend of ours sent us a book written by a physician stating that extremely high doses of vitamin C, given intravenously and monitored by medical doctors, could cure cancer. We read the entire book and then researched its claims. This search brought me to the Mayo Clinic website where I found that there have been multiple clinical trials, at least one within the last 10 years at Mayo, involving this therapy. There were no benefits to any of the cancer patients in any of the arms of these clinical trials. We have also come across claims that an alkaline diet would neutralize cancer cells, causing them to die. This sparked my interest as I know that cancerous tumors are very acidic. Others claim that the main ingredient in baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, would neutralize the acid in the tumors, but only when applied directly to or as close as possible to the tumor.
Finally, I read that food-grade hydrogen peroxide would supply the body’s cells with increased oxygen, thereby wiping out the cancer cells, which thrive in low-oxygen environments. I then read an article on the Science Daily website which stated that Dolores Takemoto, a Kansas State University professor of biochemistry, discovered that Coonexin46 (Cx46) appears in the body during levels of low oxygen. Cx46 is also found in cancer cells because these cells isolate themselves from the oxygen carried by the blood vessels, thus creating a hypoxic environment (http://www.sciencedaily.com). As appealing as oxygen therapy may sound, consuming hydrogen peroxide can burn the throat and stomach. High levels of hydrogen peroxide in the blood caused by injection can result in oxygen bubbles in the blood, which block blood flow according to the American Cancer Society.
MY TRUSTED SOURCES
Some of the sources I trust are government-sponsored websites such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), Web MD., NCI (National Cancer Institute), the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), National Library of Medicine, DailyMed.gov, and Cancer.gov. I like to read publications written by physicians, such as white papers and journals. One of the most comprehensive collections of journals is found at JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association). I also look for information from medical institutions such as Harvard, Duke, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and Cancer Centers of America. Fierce Biotech has a website packed with the FDA’s newly-approved therapies and breakthroughs in cancer research from around the world. The non-profit organizations who post breaking news regarding prostate cancer are UsToo.org, PCF (Prostate Cancer Foundation), AICR (American Institute for Cancer Research), and Zero-The Project to End Prostate Cancer. And finally, since I am a medical transcriptionist I use resources approved by AHDI (the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity) to research medical terms. These include Dorland’s (a division of Elsevier, a company started in 1880), Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body (1918), and Stedman’s and LWW (Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins) which are divisions of Wolters Kluwer. Wolters Kluwer was founded over 175 years ago and has continually provided education and reference materials for the medical field.
While I have compiled a wealth of information, my quest continues. I have learned that changing our diet, reducing stress, and exercise can be beneficial to my husband in his battle. Having a positive attitude is essential. While this can be difficult at times, I have found that having a support system really helps. It is comforting to be able to confide in others who understand the hardships and stress caused by a diagnosis of cancer. Obviously there is no cure for cancer yet, but I do believe there is one. Until there is a proven cure for cancer, I will do whatever I can to help my husband, and together we will continue to raise awareness of prostate cancer and educate as many people as we can.
***The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical care or medical advice, and is not a replacement for medical care given by physicians or trained medical personnel. Bikers Against Prostate Cancer does not directly or indirectly practice medicine, nor do we dispense medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or any other medical service as part of this free web site. Always talk to your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider(s) when experiencing symptoms or health problems, or before starting any new treatment. Bikers Against Prostate Cancer is not to be held responsible for any inaccuracies, omissions, or editorial errors, or for any consequences resulting from the information provided. By continuing to view this site, visitors indicate acceptance of these terms. Visitors who do not accept these terms should not access, use, interact with or view these web pages.
You should evaluate the information together with your physician or another qualified health care professional.***
American Cancer Society. (2011). Estimated New Cancer Cases and Deaths by Sex for All Sites, US, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2011, from http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/ @epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-029817.pdf
American Cancer Society. (2011). The History of Cancer: Renaissance period. Retrieved
June 19, 2011, from http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerBasics/TheHistoryofCancer/ the-history-of-cancer-renaissance-period
American Cancer Society. (2011). Oxygen therapy. Retrieved June 6, 2011, from http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/PharmacologicalandBiologicalTreatment/oxygen-therapy
Brain, M. (2011). How cells work. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/cellular-microscopic/cell2.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Cancer Statistics by Cancer Type. Retrieved June 19, 2011, from http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/data/types.htm
Center for Disease Control. (2011). Lycopene. Retrieved 2011, May 3, from http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/
Congress Moves to Drastically Cut Prostate Cancer Funding. (2011, June 14). Yahoo News. Retrieved June 19, 2011, from http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20110614/ pl_usnw/DC19957
DeNoon, D. J, (2004). 50 years of milestones in the fight against cancer. WebMD Feature. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/features/fifty-years-of-milestones-in-cancer-research
DeNoon, D. (2011). Expert: Cancer treatable in 10 years: Doctor shows optimism over tumor-starving treatments. WebMD Health News. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20030716/expert-cancer-treatable-in-10-years
Hubbard, S., (2010, August 19). Avoid these 9 cancer-causing foods. Retrieved 2011, June 5, from http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/headline_health/foods_cancer_risk/
Kansas State University. (2010, March 10). Low oxygen levels in body linked to cancer-aiding protein. Science Daily. Retrieved June 8, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/03/100309113644.htm
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2011, February 26). External beam radiation for prostate cancer. Retrieved June 6, 2011, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/external-beam-radiation-for-prostate-cancer/MY01632
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2009). NHLBI Fact Book, Fiscal Year 2008.
NCI Funded Research Portfolio. (2010). Research funding by cancer type. Retrieved
June 19, 2011, from http://fundedresearch.cancer.gov/search/ funded;jsessionid=D6DF30FAFC9A45DCFB345545C66CB67A?action=full&fy=PUB2010&type=site
Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results. (2011, April 15) SEER Stat fact sheets: prostate stage distribution and 5-year relative survival by stage at diagnosis for 2001-2007, all races, males. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/ prost.html