A 62-year-old man, appearing to be in good health, came to my office in March 2003 with a six-month history of elevated PSA levels. He was very nervous about his probable prostate cancer.
Almost all men who eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) or something like it will develop prostate cancer. There is no point in screening for it because if you are over 60 you most likely already have some prostate cancer cells in your prostate. If you choose screening, screen for the rise in PSA (PSA velocity) and ignore the total PSA number.
The good news is that even if you already have prostate cancer, it can be induced to grow faster or grow slower based on your diet-style. If you have a slow-growing, less-aggressive cancer, dietary excellence alone can offer tremendous assurance that your cancer never will become aggressive. I have observed numerous patients who have prostate cancer significantly drop and maintain lowered PSA readings through nutritional interventions.
Finding out that you have prostate cancer, and learning how powerful dietary intervention is for inhibiting this cancer, actually may save your life. If the fear of this cancer causes you to change your diet and lifestyle as I recommend, you will lower your risk of dying from heart attack and stroke as well. The prostate cancer can be the wake-up call for you to make the dietary changes you knew you should have made years ago.
If your cancer is aggressive, dietary excellence may cause it to become less so, and hormonal blockade can be very effective in slowing its advance. Prostate cancer predictably responds to dietary excellence, and with the addition of a few testosterone-suppressing drugs, even aggressive cancers can be put to sleep.
In this instance, my patient and I reviewed the four separate PSA tests that had been done during this six-month period, and they were all between 4.5 and 6.0. Some of the higher readings were earlier in this time frame. His internist, and the urologist he had consulted, were pressuring him to have a prostate biopsy.
I explained to him that since his PSA clearly was not going up over time, these tests did not indicate he had cancer. I also explained that PSA velocity--which notes the rate of increase of PSA over time, is a more accurate indicator of prostate cancer than the height of a single PSA test. We also discussed the fact that about 50 to 60 percent of men in their sixties have prostate cancer somewhere in their prostate, even those with normal PSA readings, so it would not be a surprise if his biopsy did show cancer.
Since his PSA did not show a steady increase, but varied up and down erratically, my opinion was that his elevated PSA was the result of benign prostate enlargement. Nevertheless, prostate cancer could be hidden in there.
I informed him that even if the biopsy did find cancer, it wasn't likely he could have an aggressive form of prostate cancer, and since his PSA was not climbing, there was no need to rush to do anything. From my perspective, his PSA readings were reassuring, not alarming.
He followed my nutritional protocol for prostate cancer, and three months later his PSA had dropped down to the 3.5 to 4 range. He was thrilled with the results of this approach, especially when he found his LDL cholesterol had dropped from 189 to 124 as well.
He continues to visit me as a patient two to three times a year. He is doing great, and his health improves with every passing year. His PSA level now runs 3 to 3.5. We still don't know for sure that he doesn't have cancer, but he is no longer worried about it.
This story is from the July 2005 edition of Healthy Times, Dr. Fuhrman's quarterly newsletter. Access to the entire catalog of Healthy Times is part of what you get when you become a member of DrFuhrman.com.