Question: Prostate cancer runs in my family. Is there anything I can do to help prevent it?
Answer: There are some things I would recommend because they have shown promise and are safe.
Zinc supplementation may help as it is very unrealistic for most men to get adequate amounts from diet.
Zinc as an amino acid chelate has the best absorption. Zinc reduces the conversion of testosterone to its more potent form, dihydrotestosterone, which promotes cancer growth in hormone-based prostate cancers, benign prostatic hypertrophy and male pattern baldness.
Some studies show that Lycopene, which is found in tomato products and supplement form, may be protective against prostate cancer.
A pollen extract by the name of prostaphill was shown in vitro to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells by inhibiting the enzyme that makes DHT.
Highly purified forms of maitake mushroom show much promise in causing cancer cell death and its effect is due to its beta glucan content.
Men exposed to pesticides are at higher risk for prostate cancer. The amino acid NAC, vitamin C, E and selenium work together to speed the elimination of the majority of toxins from the body.
For screening, palpation of the prostate gives a lot of information since cancer tends to feel bumpy on the outside and symptoms such as urinary changes will only be present in five per cent of prostate cancers so don’t assume there are symptoms.
Pain could be a sign of advanced cancer or prostatitis. Men may dread the physical exam, but it is nowhere near as invasive as metastasized cancer.
Question: Almost every fall I am hospitalized with prostatitis and it takes months to feel better.
I am wondering if there is anything I can do to prevent this from happening ideally or at least ways to recover faster?
Answer: I would be curious about your alcohol and sugar consumption in the month or two preceding your attack of prostatitis since these things can increase yeast growth in the large bowel disrupting the microbial balance where the prostate lies, which can allow the overgrowth of bacteria that can cause prostatitis.
So if this sounds like you, try limiting alcohol and sugar and supplement with a 12-strain probiotic and the beneficial bacteria Bacillus laterosporous to help keep pathogenic bacteria in check and these same two supplements taken during and after antibiotic use to avoid the yeast overgrowth that can result in diarrhea, itchy anus and skin irritations.
At the onset of symptoms, if this does not keep it at bay then goldenseal and allimax garlic for two to three days may help you avoid antibiotic treatment and more serious illness.
However, goldenseal should not be used while taking antibiotics since it interferes with their action.
Kali Simmonds, ND, is a doctor of naturopathic medicine who practises in Charlottetown. The information provided is not intended to diagnose or substitute the advice of your health-care professional. Please consult with a health-care provider before making any changes. She welcomes questions for this column, which is published every second Tuesday in The Guardian. She can be reached by mail at 34 Queen St., Charlottetown, C1A 4A3 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.