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For nearly four decades, October has been recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Just as the air settles into the crisp chill of autumn, October remains saturated in neon pink. Pink ribbons, t-shirts, and cookies advocate breast cancer awareness and fundraising each year.

However, prostate cancer awareness lurks in the September shadows. With National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and National Sickle Cell Awareness Month dominating the headlines in September each year, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is forgotten. Prostate Cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting American men, yet it’s often overlooked. [1] This general lack of awareness, especially about the risk factors, is a serious concern. Prostate cancer is nearly as common as Breast Cancer, affecting 1 out of every 8 men. [2]

The Wellness Way understanding of hormonal and immune-based imbalances like cancer is to look at the traumas, toxins, and thoughts behind the imbalances. While conventional treatments may still be necessary, eliminating these stressors can support healing. 

What is Prostate Cancer?

The prostate gland is located inside a man’s groin below the bladder and next to the rectum. The prostate is a vital sexual organ for a man’s reproductive system. It produces the necessary fluid for semen, which requires testosterone to function. [3] When some prostate cells begin to mutate and divide faster than other cells, the healthy cells die while the mutated (altered) cells form a tumor. [4]

Although theres a correlation between prostate cancer and men over 65, this is merely due to the average age of diagnosis, which is 69 years. [5] Before accepting the ageprostate cancer link, men should first consider that many factors could increase their risk. Here are some of them:

  • Hormone imbalances
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Lifestyle behaviors
  • Racial background and certain genetic mutations
  • Family history

Men of African descent have a high risk of developing prostate cancer, whereas Asian Americans have a low risk of prostate cancer. [6] Family medical history is a strong indicator of risk. A family history of prostate, ovarian, colon, pancreatic, or breast cancer increases a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. [7]

According to the American Cancer Society, the proportion of men with advanced prostate cancer has doubled over the past 10 years. It’s increased from 3.9% to 8.2%. [8] Routine physical exams and prostate health screenings are the best ways to avoid advanced prostate cancer. In fact, if diagnosed early enough, prostate cancer is highly treatable.

Early Detection is Key

When a tumor begins developing within the prostate, it’s often not large enough to cause symptoms that would warrant a doctor’s visit. Clinical trials at Johns Hopkins found that “About 85% of prostate cancers are detected during early screening tests, before the patient develops any symptoms.” [9] In a 2022 study, over half of the men surveyed admitted they hadn’t yearly health screenings or lab tests. In other words, a man could be in the early stages of prostate cancer for years without realizing it. [10] But as prostate cancer advances in severity, patients may experience the following: [11]

  • Difficult and painful urination, including a strong urge to urinate more frequently and/or the inability to empty the bladder.
  • Erectile Dysfunction or painful ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen.
  • Groin and rectum discomfort/pressure as the enlargement of the prostate presses against nerves in the rectum and groin area
  • Back, hip, and pelvic pain
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness

However, some of these symptoms can also overlap with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or other conditions. [12] Either way, it’s important for men to talk to their healthcare practitioner about these symptoms to receive an accurate diagnosis.

How Does Mainstream Medicine Diagnose Prostate Cancer?

Ideally, a man would do routine bloodwork and other health exams to avoid a surprise advanced-stage diagnosis of the disease. These early-detection screenings are conducted by a primary care doctor and/or a referred urologist. They often include the following:
  • Medical History Assessment: The healthcare provider starts by taking a detailed medical history. They’ll ask about pain or discomforts, their duration, and any contributing factors. He or she will also ask about a family history of prostate and other cancers, which would increase risk.
  • Digital Rectal Exam (DRE): Depending on the man’s age and physical symptoms, the medical practitioner may perform a DRE. This is to check for abnormalities in the thickness, consistency, or shape of the prostate gland and determine if further tests are needed. [13] This involves inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to examine the prostate. The DRE is a common procedure but cannot diagnose early stages of prostate cancer on its own. [14]
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test: This test measures proteins in the blood only produced by the prostate gland. It helps the doctor determine any changes to PSA production. [15] Every healthy man will have a small amount of PSA in his bloodstream. However, higher PSA levels could show prostate inflammation or prostate cancer.

Until 2008, health practitioners recommended a yearly prostate cancer screening for men over 50. [16] But recommendation this has become controversial because of the invasiveness. [17] If early detection tests find abnormalities, the following can help confirm the diagnosis: [18]

  • Imaging Studies: Healthcare providers may also recommend an Ultrasound or MRI. These imaging techniques can help them get a more accurate picture of the prostate tissue.
  • Prostate Biopsy and the Gleason Score: If prior imaging and blood tests indicate cancer, the doctor may recommend a biopsy. [19] During a biopsy, the healthcare practitioner will take a small amount of tissue from the prostate. They’ll then analyze the two areas that make up most of the tumor and determine how cells from those two areas differ from normal cells. Then he or she will assign a value between 1-5 to represent this distinction, called “The Gleason Score.”

The Gleason Score ranges from 2 (nonaggressive cancer) to 10 (extremely aggressive cancer). [20] While the Gleason Score is effective in predicting the cancer’s growth, it is not absolute. [21] The Gleason Score is just a tool to assess the severity of the cancer and how quickly the cancer may spread (metastasize). After confirming the cancer and the Gleason Score, the practitioner will proceed with the standard of care treatments.

The Fireman vs. The Carpenter in Healthcare

At The Wellness Way, we talk about the mainstream perspective on healthcare versus our perspective, as the “fireman approach” versus the “carpenter approach.”

Mainstream “fireman” doctors have two tools (treatment options) to take care of people: an axe and a hose. The axe represents cutting things out during a surgical procedure. The hose represents using medications to extinguish the “flames”: inflammation, pain, and other symptoms.

Wellness Way doctors are more like carpenters: They assess the body’s current state with testing and then create a personalized plan to rebuild using nutrients from foods and supplements. Sunshine, rest, and positive relationships are some common natural therapies that support the body in healing.

While these things are considered “complementary medicine” or “alternative medicine,” scientific research backs up their effectiveness in supporting the healing process.

Mainstream Medicine’s Approach to Prostate Cancer

Mainstream healthcare providers determine treatment on a case-by-case basis. They consider the patient’s age and stage of cancer (based on The Gleason Test). [22] Men with early-stage prostate cancer can live full lives without negative effects as long as they closely monitor the cancer. [23]

Generally, healthy older men without symptoms are treated using active surveillance. You may have also heard the phrase, “watchful waiting.” For this approach, doctors carefully track the patient’s condition over time. They’ll use DREs, PSA tests, biopsies, or transrectal ultrasounds to watch for growth. [24] In active surveillance, patients only receive treatment if there are changes in the test results or if symptoms are present. These changes would indicate a growth of the cancer.

Mainstream treatments for prostate cancer usually include a combination of the following: [25]

Medicinal Intervention for Prostate Cancer

  • 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors: These medications are used to reduce prostate cancer risk in patients who are at a higher risk. It may also be used to control prostate gland enlargement in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). [26] Examples include finasteride (Propecia or Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart). These medications manipulate dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to control prostate enlargement. [27]
  • Chemotherapy: This chemical treatment destroys advanced prostate cancer cells. It’s usually combined with hormonal therapy, surgery, and/or radiation. [28] Common chemotherapy drugs for advanced prostate cancer include Docetaxel, Cabazitaxel, or Mitoxantrone. However, the side effects can significantly reduce a patient’s quality of life. [29]
  • Hormone Blockers: Androgen hormones are believed to boost cancer cell growth, specifically testosterone. [30] Hormone blockers block the stimulating effects of testosterone on prostate cancer cells. [31] Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) medications are also used to stop androgen production. Leuprolide, Goserelin, Histrelin, and Triptorelin are examples. [32] Antiandrogen medications like Bicalutamide, Flutamide, and Nilutamide block testosterone’s effects on tumor cells. [33]

Surgical and Radiation-Based Interventions for Prostate Cancer

  • Surgical Removal of Diseased Prostate: If the cancer is confined to the prostate, surgeons may recommend a partial removal. This is called a “radical prostatectomy.” This procedure removes the entire prostate gland and any affected lymph nodes. The most common form of prostatectomy removes the diseased prostate gland along with necessary lymph nodes. But it spares the nerves needed for an erection as long as they’re unaffected by the cancer. (This is a “retropubic prostatectomy”). [34]
  • Surgical Removal of Testicles: Providers may recommend surgical removal of the testicles. They call this procedure an orchiectomy. The idea is to stop the body’s production of testosterone, which may otherwise boost cancer cell growth. [35] This is a less common procedure. It’s typically recommended for patients refusing other treatments like hormone blockers and chemotherapy. [36]
  • Radiation Therapy: Radiation kills cancer cells while maintaining the health of surrounding tissue. It uses photon beams (Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy) and/or radiation-emitting seeds (Brachytherapy). [37]
  • Cryotherapy: Though relatively new for prostate cancer, doctors may recommend cryotherapy. This treatment is for when radiation is not completely effective. It uses argon gas to freeze the tumor through needle injections into the prostate. [38]
These treatments may help by removing the diseased tissue, poisoning the cancer cells, or drastically reducing testosterone. However, they all have side effects that can severely reduce a man’s quality of life. Because of these side effects, many men seek out natural methods to support their bodies in overcoming prostate cancer.

What Causes Prostate Cancer? Traumas, Toxins, and Thoughts

At The Wellness Way, we think differently! The most significant factor contributing to a high risk of prostate cancer is hormone imbalance. Specifically, there’s an imbalance in androgen hormones, like testosterone. When this happens, there are high levels of the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) protein in the blood. Hormone imbalance can come from various combinations of traumas, toxins, and thoughts.

Traumas (Physical Stressors)

Traumas or physical stressors can be acute (like a car accident) or chronic (like being in a physically abusive relationship). Examples of traumas that may contribute to the imbalances behind prostate cancer include:
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual assault/rape
  • Car accidents
  • Chronic illness or infection
  • Military Combat and injury
  • Surgery

These physical traumas may set off chronic stress, causing an adrenal response and suppressing the immune system. [39] Dr. Suzanne Conzen, Chief of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, claims that “It’s not so much the stress itself but the physiological response that can take a toll, and that may hinder our ability to fight cancer.” [40] The physical response to trauma can cause many reactions to occur within the body, suppressing a man’s natural defense against cancer.

Toxins (Biochemical Stressors)

Toxins are biochemical stressors in the body. Toxicity promotes inflammation and damage to cells in the body, which could eventually lead to cancer. At the same time, toxins can suppress the immune system’s ability to fight cancer. Examples of toxins that may contribute to prostate cancer include:
  • Sugar – Excessive fructose can lead to inflammation and hormone imbalance. It can also promote the aggressive growth of prostate cancer cells by giving these cells an alternate energy source. [41] In fact, total sugar intake is correlated with higher overall cancer risk. There are also significant associations between cancer and both sugar substitutes and milk-based desserts. [42]
  • Endocrine-disrupting chemicals – Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are in plastics, personal care products, fragrances, and household items. They disrupt the regulation of several cellular processes, including androgen receptor signals, which can trigger the development of cancer in the prostate. [43]
  • Smoking and Tobacco Use – The toxins in tobacco products can increase a man’s level of prostate-specific antigens (PSAs) and his testosterone. Both factors can directly increase prostate cancer risk. [44]
  • Exposure to Toxic Chemicals – U.S. Military veterans, especially Vietnam War veterans, have been exposed to toxic chemicals such as “Agent Orange,” herbicides, and other chemicals that can increase the risk of prostate cancer. A 2013 study concluded that “Veterans exposed to Agent Orange are not only at higher risk for prostate cancer, but they are more likely to have aggressive forms of the disease.” [45]
  • Excessive Calcium Intake Calcium intake over 2,000 mg per day is correlated with an increase in prostate cancer. [46] However, it should be noted that calcium from non-dairy foods lowers a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. [47]
  • Food allergies – Healthy foods can act like toxins if you’re allergic to them. Continuing to eat foods that cause a histamine response in the body can lead to chronic inflammation and hormonal imbalance. [48]
  • Gut dysbiosis – Intestinal dysbiosis (imbalanced gut bacteria) may also contribute to estrogen dominance and increased prostate cancer risk. In a 2018 study, prostate cancer severity was linked to abundant levels of proteobacteria, clostridium, and blautia bacteria. [49] When these bacteria overgrow, it can impact estrogen metabolism, causing estrogens to recirculate instead of being broken down. The result can be estrogen dominance and the development of prostate cancer cells. [50]

Traumas and toxins are made worse by negative thought patterns and emotional stress.

Thoughts (Emotional Stressors)

Don’t underestimate the power of your thoughts. Emotional stress is just as powerful (or more powerful) than physical and biochemical stressors in triggering inflammation and imbalance. When the stress hormone cortisol rises, the immune system is suppressed by the adrenal gland’s “fight-flight-freeze” response. This natural response to stress can create a disruption in the production of testosterone, allowing prostate cancer cells to thrive. [51]

Emotional stress can come from the following sources:

  • Relationship issues – Relationships can turn toxic, leading to chronic stress. Prolonged stress can lead to dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which can, in turn, affect hormone levels, including androgens like testosterone. Prolonged stress can also cause a rise in Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels in patients with an elevated risk of prostate cancer. [52]
  • Financial stress – Financial struggles can lead to a hormonal imbalance due to the long-term effects of stress and cortisol.
  • Watching the news – The mainstream media rarely focuses on the positive. Regularly exposing yourself to bad news increases fear, worry, and overall stress.
  • Feeling overwhelmed – Stress from significant life changes, like a recent marriage, a new baby, graduation, a divorce, or even moving to a new city, can lead to high cortisol levels and disruption of androgen hormones such as testosterone.
  • Holding a grudge/pent-up anger – Holding a grudge creates stress in the body. Chronic stress may show up as inflammation, weight gain, and hormonal imbalance.
  • A death in the family or a close friend – Grief is another form of stress that may create imbalances in the body.
  • Military combat – PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) or PTSD from other causes. Patients with PTSD experienced a greater risk for suicide after receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis, increasing the need for mental health support and intervention for patients. [53]
  • Witnessing violence or a natural disaster – Being a witness to a mass shooting, murder, accident, or natural disaster is another potential cause of PTSD that may cause lasting imbalances.

The cumulative effect of these traumas, toxins, and thoughts can create inflammation and increase the risk of dis-ease anywhere in the body.

The Wellness Way Understanding of Prostate Cancer

At The Wellness Way, we dig deeper to solve the health challenges others can’t. We don’t just address symptoms; we run tests to find out what’s going on behind the scenes.

Essential Tests for Assessing Your Inflammation Levels and Hormone Health

Your Wellness Way practitioner will order more tests based on what he or she considers most relevant based on your health history.

Dietary Changes for Men with Prostate Cancer

First, focus on lowering inflammation in the body. That means avoiding your food allergies and following a personalized nutrition program. Here are some general dietary guidelines for men with prostate cancer.
  • No sugar or processed foods – Both increase inflammation and cortisol. They can also lead to gut dysbiosis, potentially causing estrogens to go up by increasing beta-glucuronidase.
  • Gluten-free, mostly grain-free – Gluten is known to aggravate the gut lining, contributing to chronic inflammation in the gut and throughout the body.
  • Consume an overall low carbohydrate, non-inflammatory diet of organic whole foods, which supply nutrients, antioxidants, and food for a healthy gut microbiome.
  • A ketogenic diet – Your practitioner may recommend a ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein diet. It’s been studied for its potential benefits in cancer therapy, including prostate cancer. [54]
  • No cow’s milk dairy products – Goat and sheep’s milk products may be better tolerated – and even beneficial for lowering inflammation in the gut, which makes up a large part of the inflammatory response. Dairy products can deliver excessive levels of calcium to a man’s body, increasing his risk of prostate cancer. [55]
  • Eat foods rich in natural Zinc – Zinc is a crucial mineral used in the production of testosterone and all major hormones. [56] Oysters, lamb, beef (steak), pumpkin seeds, crab, cheese, almonds, oats, lobster, muesli, and chickpeas are excellent sources of zinc. Six oysters alone have 52 milligrams of zinc!
  • Avoid Phytic Acid – Phytic Acid prevents minerals from being absorbed by the body and is very common in grains such as rice and pasta. Phytic Acid also depletes zinc, which is crucial to healthy testosterone production and PSA levels. [57]
  • Avoid high omega-6 vegetable oils – Corn, canola, soybean, cottonseed oil, sunflower, grapeseed, and others can alter the omega-6 to omega-3 balance to be more inflammatory. [58]
  • Eat omega-3-rich foods – Wild-caught salmon, herring, sardines, walnuts, and ground flaxseeds provide omega-3s and help lower inflammation. [59]
  • Follow a Personalized Nutrition Program based on your food allergy test results.
  • Add specific nutrient-dense foods – Add Liver/organ meats, sauerkraut, and microgreens for enhanced nutrition. Medicinal mushrooms have also been studied for their powerful immune system benefits when used in conjunction with traditional cancer therapies. Reishi, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, and Shiitake are just a few examples of these formidable fungi.
  • Focus on antioxidants – Including things like turmeric, green tea, berries, dark chocolate, green leafy vegetables, and other foods rich in phytochemicals helps keep inflammation under control. [60][61]

A healthy diet can reduce inflammation and support gut health, but supplements can go further to support hormone balance.

Supplements to Support Men Going Through Prostate Cancer

Herbal supplements and other nutritional supplements can be incredibly beneficial in supporting hormonal balance through prostate cancer treatment. While every man is different, some supplements The Wellness Way uses to support men with prostate cancer may include one or more of the following:

  • Male Glandular The Male Glandular consists of desiccated testes, prostate, heart, and liver from pasture-raised, New Zealand animals to help support male vitality.
  • Immune Glandular Immune Glandular supplies desiccated spleen, thymus, and liver from pasture-raised New Zealand animals. It has constituents of immune-supporting organs and may help the body naturally fight against cancer.
  • Tribulus Tribulus is a seed extract that supports sexual function and serves as an aphrodisiac for men. It works by supporting healthy DHEA conversion in the body. [62]
  • Wellness Greens Sulforaphane, a compound present in cruciferous vegetables like kale and Brussels sprouts, is helpful for supporting the liver and reducing estrogen dominance. Sulforaphane can also support sperm quality, antioxidant levels, and testosterone levels. [63]
  • Dandelion Root – Dandelion root promotes liver detoxification, helping it more efficiently break down estrogen byproducts and remove them from the system. [64]
  • Green Tea Extract Green tea is a rich source of a polyphenol called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which may help the body avoid or overcome prostate cancer. [65]
  • Nettle Root Nettle root may support free testosterone levels by preventing the binding of testosterone, used most often to relieve benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms. [66]
  • Turmeric Turmeric and its active constituent, curcumin, may protect the cells against oxidative stress, inflammation, and damage, reducing prostate cancer risk. [67]
  • Oregon Grape Oregon grape is an excellent source of berberine, a compound known for its positive effects on the cardiovascular system, metabolism, and infections. It also has anti-tumor effects and could enhance other therapies for prostate cancer. [68]
  • Wellness Zinc Zinc is a crucial mineral for many physiological functions and is commonly deficient. [69] Wellness Zinc supplies the best whole food form of zinc, 100% pure oyster powder.
  • DIM (Diindolylmethane) DIM is a compound derived from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. In studies, DIM reduces circulating estrogen, potentially lowering the risk of developing androgen imbalance. [70]
  • Vitamin D Ensuring healthy vitamin D levels can support testosterone levels, especially if it’s difficult to get direct sunlight exposure. [71]
  • Mushroom Immune Medicinal mushrooms, like those included in our Mushroom Immune supplement, may also be supportive. A compound in mushrooms called beta-glucans may inhibit prostate cancer, according to a study from 2000. [72]
  • Relax Magnesium Supplement A magnesium supplement could support adrenal health and androgen hormones, specifically supporting testosterone production. [73]
  • Wellness B Complex The B-complex vitamins, especially vitamin B6, may also support optimal health and functioning of many systems and biochemical reactions in the body, including energy production, brain, liver, and nerve cell function, and muscle tone within the GI tract.
  • Gallbladder Complex – The Wellness Way Gallbladder Complex has ox bile, artichoke, and beet, which help promote bile availability and movement. Optimizing bile production and flow can help the body remove excess estrogens in men with lower testosterone levels and can support fat digestion.
  • Megabiotic Formula – These and other probiotic strains help the body keep infections and inflammation under control in the gut and throughout the body.

Every man is different – herbal remedies that work for one man may not work for another. Part of that is due to body chemistry, including genetics and allergenic responses, and part is due to differences in the contributing causes of each individual case of prostate cancer.

Lifestyle Changes & Complementary Therapies for Men Going Through Prostate Cancer

Other natural therapies for supporting the body in overcoming prostate cancer are lifestyle changes that bring balance to the immune system and hormones, including:

  • Reduce stress – Stress can suppress the immune response, allowing cancer cells to grow. Targeting the emotional health of patients with prostate cancer, specifically, stress, can support a patient’s management of pain. [74] Find what lowers stress for you. It may be music therapy, artistic endeavors, ecotherapy (time spent outside), or even playing with children. In general, people with strong social support from family members and friends tend to live longer, more fulfilling lives.
  • Get Enough Exercise– Regular exercise helps the body in many ways, including oxygenation and improving the immune response. Stanford University confirmed that physical exercise significantly reduced a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. [75]
  • Get Adequate Sleep – Make sure you go to bed by 10 p.m. to reduce blue light exposure at night. In clinical studies, sleep disorders and sleep deprivation are linked with a lowered immune response. Lack of sleep was also a risk factor for several health issues, including cancer. [76]

DISCLAIMER: These things should be a part of your normal daily lifestyle. The Wellness Way is not giving any medical advice. These are simply A Different Perspective on what you can do. You’re more likely to have normal hormone levels when doing these things regularly. These supplements and therapies are not a replacement for any medication. We are carpenter doctors and practitioners, not firemen. If you want medical advice, ask your fireman doctor.

Be a well-informed patient! Here are some resources for learning more about hormone imbalance and prostate cancer.

Educational Resources for Learning About Prostate Cancer

Videos & Webinars Related to Prostate Cancer

Testosterone Decline: A Pandemic in Young Men
Men’s Round Table  |  The DPF Show

Articles to Support Men Going Through Prostate Cancer

Men and Low Testosterone: Aging is Not the Problem
Saw Palmetto: An essential herb for maintaining male vitality
We’re Talking About It: Sperm and Low Fertility
Hidden Hormone Hustler: What’s Stealing Hormonal Balance?

CONNECT WITH US

We invite you to connect with us! Find an event at a clinic near you! Follow us on social media. Tune in to A Different Perspective each Saturday morning LIVE to get cutting-edge training directly from Dr. Patrick Flynn. Set up a no-obligation health consult with one of our doctors today. The best is yet to come! Think differently – and THRIVE. Reach out to a Wellness Way clinic today to get thorough testing and start on your health journey. We are here to help!

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Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Wellness Way clinic or personal physician, especially if currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Pregnant women, in particular, should seek the advice of a physician before trying any herb or supplement listed on this website. Always speak with your individual clinic before adding any medication, herb, or nutritional supplement to your health protocol. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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