Eating for Prostate Health

From the July 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Times:

My approach to prostate cancer is dramatically different from the conventional medical approach. It is built on a foundation of preventive nutrition and self-responsibility. Armed with modern science, I have designed a diet that makes it possible for you to virtually cancer-proof yourself by making intelligent choices in your kitchen.

Nutritional excellence, started as early in life as possible, is the only way we will win the war against cancer. As billions of dollars are being wasted on what is called “cancer research,”which would more accurately be called “drug research,” we continue to lose the battle to save lives. The emphasis must be shifted to nutritional education, now.

I advise all men to prevent the occurrence of prostate cancer—and to prevent existing low-grade prostate cancer from becoming aggressive—by adopting my program for nutritional excellence (check out Dr. Fuhrman's Diet Advice for Prostate Health).

If a hard prostate nodule is found during a digital rectal exam (DRE), I recommend that the patient get one year of hormonal treatment for prostate cancer. A hard nodule has a 90 percent chance of being prostate cancer, and there is also an increased likelihood of it being a later stage (higher Gleason score), riskier grade of prostate cancer.

For men who have eaten the Standard American Diet (SAD) for most of their lives, I recommend PSA testing twice yearly after the age of 60 to determine PSA velocity (the rate of increase of PSA over time). If your PSA is increasing at a rate of 2 ng/ml per year (shown to be a sensitive indicator of prostate cancer)1 then short-term hormonal therapy for prostate cancer can be pursued.

If you already have prostate cancer—and a Gleason score of 7 or higher or a palpable nodule identified by DRE—nutritional treatment alone does not offer enough of a guarantee of success. In these cases, a customized hormonal approach makes the most sense and has been shown to be very effective.2 Seek out a doctor well versed and experienced with triple hormonal blockade, who has the willingness and capability to customize a medical regimen for each individual patient. Triple hormonal blockade consists of a LH (luteinizing hormone) agonist, an anti-androgen, and finasteride. This treatment is usually performed for about a year and long-term suppression of cancer growth has been evident in scientific studies.

Quite a few enlightened physicians and urologists agree with the treatment options I describe in this newsletter. They no longer recommend local treatments (such as radiation and prostate surgery) directed at destroying the prostate. Instead, they have become experts in hormonal blockade. However, my approach goes farther than this because I add a nutritional protocol to prevent and treat cancer, which includes most of my general dietary recommendations for excellent health in general.
1. D’Amico AV; Chen MH; Roehl KA; Catalona WJ. Preoperative PSA velocity and the risk of death from prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy. N Engl J Med 2004 Jul 8;351(2):125-135.

2. Labrie F; Cusan L; Gomez J; Luu-The V; Candas B; Belanger A; Labrie C. Major impact of hormonal therapy in localized prostate cancer—death can already be an exception. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2004 Dec;92(5):327-44.
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