A Promising Prostate Cancer Solution
by Dr. David Williams, Guest Writer
August 2010 – Alternatives
Dr. David Williams
Hardly a week goes by without someone asking me about my recommendations for dealing with prostate problems. I guess I'm at that age where those in my age group are just starting to experience the symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland. For some men the diagnosis is simply BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy) but for many others the news is that they have prostate cancer.
I've written extensively about dealing with prostate problems, primarily because the problem is so widespread. Granted, much of the increase we've seen in prostate cancer diagnosis since the early 1990s is a direct result of PSA testing. If you recall, the PSA test is really an indicator of inflammation rather than of prostate cancer. PSA testing can be a viable tool for tracking the effectiveness of prostate treatment, but research has shown it isn't a valid way of actually detecting prostate cancer early and saving lives. (If you want a more in-depth explanation, please refer to the August 2009 Alternatives, which can be found in my Subscriber Center, www.drdavidwilliams.com.)
Even without the increase in prostate cancer attributed to PSA testing, the number of cases is increasing dramatically. With our lifestyle and diets, it seems prostate cancer has now become a "disease of aging." Current projections are that the number of diagnosed new cases will double by 2030 – and it's already at 192,000 men newly diagnosed annually.
Personally, however, I think there's a causative factor that's largely being ignored.
The Risks Around Us
More and more we are being exposed to hormones and chemical compounds that mimic hormones in our food and our drinking water. Even minute amounts of hormones can have a dramatic effect on the human body, particularly when the exposure occurs on a regular basis. Most cases of prostate or breast cancer are hormone-dependent, and can be triggered by hormone imbalances.
Every day we ingest small amounts of hormones from food products. A good example is milk and milk products. Dairy cattle routinely have high levels of estrogen, either from selective breeding or from the drugs being used to increase milk production.
Soy-based and soy-containing foods (unless they've been fermented) contain phytoestrogens, plant compounds that can function similar to estrogens in the body. (I should add here that supplements derived from soy – lecithin and nattokinase, for example – generally don't present the same hazard.)
Pesticides and plastics also contain estrogen mimics.
Hundreds of studies have documented how these chemicals and drugs have also leached into our drinking water supplies and the food chain. Uncountable gallons of urine laced with hormone-based medications get flushed into sewage systems.
And even the best tap water doesn't get tested for hormones (or for thousands of other chemicals).
When we live, eat, and drink in an environment contaminated with hormones and hormone-like chemicals, it's little wonder we see such an increase in cancer and many other health problems.
Basic Prostate Protection
My primary goal with Alternatives is, and has always been, to help you and your loved ones prevent diseases from occurring in the first place. This is true with BPH and prostate cancer, as well as every other disease. But, just as important, I plan to keep you updated on the best natural techniques you can utilize if you develop a disease.
I've stressed that every adult male should take a quality prostate supplement, and I've outlined several natural products and techniques to prevent, treat, and even reverse prostate problems. Those recommendations are still valid. I'd like to add another natural product to the list, one that has now been shown to be effective against prostate cancer.
Conventional treatment of prostate cancer is generally based on the stage or progression of the disease. If the cancer is confined to the prostate gland itself, radiation or surgery is traditionally the primary therapy. If, however, the cancer has metastasized (spread outside the gland), the situation becomes far more serious. That's traditionally when whole-body therapies are used, such as hormone therapy followed by chemotherapy.
Hormonal therapy works for most patients at first. After about 18 to 24 months, however, prostate cancers become resistant and hormonal therapy quits working, even though the cancer cells still use hormonal pathways to grow and function.
Prostate cancer is often defined as either androgen-dependent or androgen-independent. Androgen refers to the hormones testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) produced mainly by the testicles.
Androgen-dependent prostate cancer "depends" on these male hormones for stimulation and growth. Hormone therapy aims to reduce the amount of male hormones available to cancer cells. This is accomplished by surgical castration, administering hormones that stop testosterone production, or giving the female hormone estrogen to counteract the effects of testosterone. None of these actually cure prostate cancer. They are used to help slow the cancer's progression or as an adjunct to surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
With androgen-dependent prostate cancer, at least these treatments are somewhat effective in the short term. Prostate cancers that are not dependent on hormones (androgen-independent) are more difficult to deal with. They are generally more aggressive and tend to metastasize. And, once cancer has escaped from the original site, treatment therapies are far less effective and the chance of survival decreases dramatically.
A Modified Method of Cancer Protection
Almost 15 years ago I broke the news about modified citrus pectin (MCP). This is an amazing product. It's one that has been under-utilized and overlooked, not just for treating prostate cancer, but for many other problems as well.
Pectin is a soluble fiber found in the rinds and peels of fruits like apples, oranges, grapefruits, etc. It is called soluble because it holds water and forms a gel. Insoluble fiber doesn't mix with water. Both soluble and insoluble fibers are too large to pass through the gut wall and enter the bloodstream, so they simply travel through the intestinal tract. Both also act as roughage and help with timely bowel movements.
The soluble pectin has further benefits. The pectin-liquid gel binds to toxins in the gut and carries them out of the body. It also ferments to a degree in the lower bowel, creating butyric acid which feeds beneficial bacteria and balances the pH.
The breakthrough came when citrus pectin was "modified" – broken down into smaller particles that could be absorbed into the bloodstream. Pectin binds with proteins on the surface of cancer cells, which interrupts three processes the cancer needs to survive and metastasize. By blocking these binding sites, MCP:
- blocks the cancer cells' ability to communicate,
- keeps them from sticking together (which is necessary for them to grow and clump together in new locations), and
- blocks the formation of new blood vessels that feed tumors.
Research has shown that MCP can help fight not only prostate cancer, but cancers of the breast, colon, and skin (melanoma) as well. (For additional information on MCP, and a more technical explanation of how it works, I suggest reading my earlier report in the May 2008 issue. I've placed that issue in my Subscriber Center, www.drdavidwilliams.com.)
For years I've followed the research of Dr. Isaac Eliaz and his undying efforts to find improved ways of modifying citrus pectin. Dr. Eliaz developed the PectaSol brand as the first MCP for human use. About two years ago I wrote about a new form he has developed – one that's even smaller in molecular weight, which makes it more absorbable and thus more effective. New research data shows how this product (PectaSol-C) can and should be an integral part of all cancer treatment programs, even for those advanced cancers that are resistant to other forms of treatment.
One German study involved 49 patients with various solid tumors, all in an advanced stage of progression. Each went through 2 cycles of treatment. (One cycle of treatment was a period of 4 weeks of taking 5 grams three times a day of MCP.)
After the two cycles (eight weeks) of treatment, 11 out of 49 patients (22.5%) showed a stable disease and 6 of the 49 continued to have a stable disease for more than 24 weeks. One patient with metastasized prostate cancer showed a 50% decrease in his PSA level after 16 weeks. In addition, he experienced significant clinical benefits: a reduction in pain and an overall improvement in his quality of life. (Clin Med: Oncol 07;1:73–80)
Patients tolerated the treatment without any severe problems, which is amazing. There seem to be few treatments or supplement programs that advanced cancer patients can undergo without experiencing difficulties.
Keep in mind this study used only Pectasol-C MCP – and all of the patients started with advanced cancers, many of which had already metastasized to other parts of the body. Generally, at this stage conventional treatment has little if anything to offer.
One of the most important new research findings about MCP is that it works in both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent forms of cancer. Few products work on androgen-independent prostate cancer, so I'm constantly on the lookout for substances that can inhibit it.
Researchers at Columbia University have shed additional light on just how this new product works. In addition to its anti-metastatic role and other factors I've mentioned above, researchers discovered it has a direct effect on the cancer itself. This form of MCP directly induces cancer cell apoptosis (cell suicide or cell death) in both types of prostate cancer. It can be used in prevention; in early stage prostate cancer when it is often hormone-sensitive; and in late-stage, advanced prostate cancer, when hormone therapy has often failed. Additionally, since MCP is completely safe and doesn't work through the hormone pathways, it can be used adjunctively with any other therapy.
Women's Breasts Are at Risk, Too
Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in men and the second leading cause of cancer death in men. On the other side of the coin, breast cancer is the number-one cause of cancer-related death among Hispanic women and the second-leading cause of cancer death in non-Hispanic women.
Regardless of the type of cancer, the survival rate drops dramatically when the cancer metastasizes. In another very recent study, Dr. Jun Yan and Dr. Aaron Katz, at Columbia University Medical Center tested the effect PectaSol-C had on stopping the migration of highly invasive prostate cells, and also what would happen when a new product called ProstaCaid was added to the MCP. A similar test was performed on breast cancer cells using another new product called BreastDefend.
The results were remarkable. PectaSol-C alone reduced the migration (or spread) of human prostate and breast cancer cells. This in itself is fantastic news.
When MCP was combined with BreastDefend or ProstaCaid there was a significant synergistic effect. From the raw data I saw, it appeared these products practically doubled the inhibition effect compared to the use of MCP alone. In addition to inhibiting the migration of cancer cells, ProstaCaid and BreastDefend reduced the growth of prostate cancer cells and breast cancer cells, respectively.
The researchers noted that a combination of these products had such a positive impact, particularly clinically and on the quality of life for patients with far advanced solid tumors, that additional studies in both cancer prevention and treatment are already underway.
PectaSol-C dosages vary depending on whether you have an active cancer or if it is being used for maintenance purposes. There have been no adverse effects or toxicity even with long-term use, which isn't surprising. Keep in mind that it is a dietary fiber and you could experience loose or more frequent stools when starting to use the product. And, it could possibly bind with drugs and inhibit their absorption just as it does with heavy metals and other toxins. For this reason it would probably be best to take it either 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking any medications.
PectaSol-C is available in capsules or as a powder and should be taken on an empty stomach (either 30 minutes before a meal or 2 hours afterwards). For someone with an active problem the recommended dose is 6 capsules or 1 scoop (5 grams) of the powder, either taken three times a day. The powder can be mixed in water or juice. If you use the powder, let it sit in the liquid before stirring and this will prevent clumping. Remember the pectin will naturally absorb the liquid.
ProstaCaid is a 33-ingredient product that includes many of the same ingredients I recommend for prostate health, including vitamins C and D3, zinc, selenium, quercitin, diindolylmethane (DIM), and lycopene, plus herbal extracts from turmeric root, saw palmetto berry, grape skin, pumpkin seed, pygeum bark, sarsaparilla root, and green tea. It also contains three different medicinal mushrooms that have been grown on an herbal-enhanced medium, a technique I'm sure we'll be seeing more often. (I've tested numerous mushroom products over the last few years that exhibit some amazing properties when the growing medium contains various herbs.)
The recommended dosage for ProstaCaid varies depending on whether you have an active prostate problem or you're using it for maintenance purposes. Regardless of the dose, there are no known adverse effects or toxicity.
BreastDefend also contains a blend of specific mushrooms grown on immune-enhancing herbs, known to have anti-cancer effects on both prostate and breast cancers. Dr. Eliaz told me that to achieve the maximum benefits, the ratio varies between the two products. Additionally, it contains DIM, quercetin, and extracts of turmeric, astragalus, and skullcap.
The company handling PectaSol-C, ProstaCaid, and BreastDefend is called EcoNugenics. You can contact them at www.econugenics.com or 800-521-0160.
The products I've mentioned above are definitely a godsend and certainly a way to help prevent and even deal with the problem once it manifests. They may be able to help save your life. Preventing the problem in the first place however, may require a little more diligence in the selection of what you eat, the supplements you take and, ensuring that your drinking water is as pure as can be.
Dr. David Williams is a medical pioneer who gives his readers practical tools they can use to heal themselves from practically any condition. To get all the latest health news, you can subscribe to his monthly Alternatives newsletter at www.drdavidwilliams.com or telephone 800-527-3044 or sign up for his free e-mail Health Dispatches.
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Dr. Williams works closely with Mountain Home Nutritionals, a division of Doctors' Preferred, LLC. and subsidiary of Healthy Directions, LLC, developing his unique formulations that supply many of the hard–to–find nutrients he recommends. Dr. Williams is compensated by Doctors' Preferred, LLC. on the sales of these nutritional supplements and health products, which allows him to continue devoting his life to worldwide research and the development of innovative, effective health solutions.
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