I want to share with you a great article from my partner in TeamSizzle forum.
(You can find Joy Ray and Bill's website that specially talks about Prostate here: www.bounties-of-nature.com , feel free to visit it for more details)
After seeing the widely advertised "get a little prick" campaign on TV, we asked our doctor what it was about. He stated that in his opinion the test was not reliable on it's own, and he had tried to find out who was running the campaign, but it was not clear who was doing the advertising. I decided to find out a little more on what PSA means.
PSA - what is it?
PSA or Prostate Specific Antigen is a protein which is secreted into ejaculate fluid by the healthy prostate. One of its functions is to aid sperm movement. Normally, only very low levels of the enzyme are able to enter the blood stream. However, because in cancer the normal structure of the tissue is disrupted, considerably more PSA is able to leak into the blood stream, and for this reason, a raised level of PSA in blood (or serum) can indicate the presence of prostate cancer.
How good is the PSA test?
When we take any test, it is preferable to get a definite answer: "yes, you have the cancer" or "no, you don't".
Unfortunately the PSA test is not that good.
At best, it is an indicator of the probability or risk that you have prostate cancer. This can be very helpful, because it guides the decision about whether you should have further tests. However it does mean that the interpretation of PSA levels is not necessarily straight forward.
What conditions other than cancer cause the PSA level to rise?
The prostate typically enlarges as men grow older, and because small amounts of PSA are produced by the healthy prostate, its blood level tends to rise.
Benign prostate enlargement (a condition which causes urinary symptoms such as poor flow, getting up at night), is a common non-cancer condition causing PSA levels to rise. The percentage Free to Total PSA also gives an indication whether raised PSA is due to benign enlargement.
A temporary rise in the PSA can be caused by a number of conditions ¹.
prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), or a
biopsy of the prostate can cause large rises
while small rises can be caused by ejaculation and even bicycle riding.
Because of these non-cancer causes of PSA rises, it is not surprising that if you have an abnormally high test result, it may not be due to prostate cancer.
The chance that you have prostate cancer is only about one in three.
If, in addition to the PSA test, you have a rectal examination, and it also is abnormal, your chances of having prostate cancer are higher, (one in two).
Other ways of measuring PSA have been developed in an effort to make the test more specific for prostate cancer.
One of these is called the "Free to Total" PSA.
This is a ratio, expressed as a percent.
Much of the PSA in the blood is bound to protein, including that produced by cancer cells
. But men with benign prostate enlargement have higher levels of free (unbound) PSA and so a higher Free to Total ratio.
If the total PSA level is abnormal, the Free to Total PSA ratio will give an idea of whether the rise is due to benign disease or cancer.
Cancer is more likely if the Free to Total percentage is below 10% ².
This test is available and widely used throughout Australia.
What is a normal PSA level?
Most authorities agree that if you have a PSA greater than 4 ng/ml, you should have further investigations.
Some suggest that if your PSA is greater than the 'normal for age' range shown in Table 1, or if it is rising rapidly, it should be investigated.
Depending on your age and family history, your doctor may then refer you directly to a Urologist, or may repeat the test before referring you for further investigation.
If cancer is present, the level of PSA in the blood rises as the tumour grows. This means that small rises in PSA are found in association with small tumours which may be still confined to the prostate gland (localised). PSA levels of 10ng/ml or less have the best chance of being localised ³. The PSA level and the cancerous characteristics of the tumour cells themselves (called "grade") can indicate the risk that a tumour has grown beyond the prostate.
If cancer is present, the rate at which the PSA level increases over a series of tests (called PSA velocity) also gives information about the risk that cancer will recur after treatment 4.
How fast do cancers grow?
Most (but not all) prostate cancers grow slowly. It can take 5 -10 years after the PSA rises above 2.5ng/ml, for it to "appear clinically", that is, cause symptoms. The median survival time (period for which 50% of men survive with treatment) after the PSA starts to rise, is reported to be 17 years 5. For this reason, a PSA which starts to rise in an older man, say 75 - 80 years, is usually not considered to be a threat. In a man just over 50, however, it is significant. These figures are presented as a guide only - the outlook for anyone diagnosed with prostate cancer depends on many clinical factors such as the nature of the tumour cells, or tumour grade, the stage of the disease, other illnesses and so on.
Listed alphabetically the following substances, commonly found in food, have particular benefit for men's health.
If you are a man concerned about your health, or a woman concerned about a man's health, print this list out and stick it on the refrigerator. Try to incorporate more of these foods into your diet.
Allicin, Allylic sulfides: found in chives, garlic, leeks, onions, shallots. Benefit: active sulfur compounds may inhibit development of prostate tumors.
Beta-carotene: found in cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes. Benefit: studies suggest that consuming beta-carotene may be effective in reducing the risk of prostate cancer in men who have low blood levels of beta-carotene.
Beta-sitosterol: found in corn oil, soybeans, wheat germ. Benefit: may decrease symptoms associated with BPH, and may also help to increase urine flow. Studies have linked beta-sitosterol with a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Calcium: found in leafy green vegetables (collard greens, kale), low-fat dairy products. Benefit: helps to protect against osteoporosis, which strikes more than 2 million men in the U.S. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, one in five victims of osteoporosis is male and one in eight men over age 50 will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture.
Catechins: found in chocolate, grapes, green tea, wine. Benefit: studies suggest that a particular catechin found in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), may be good for the prostate by suppressing growth of tumors as well as inhibiting enzymes that are involved in the spread of cancer cells.
Complex carbohydrates: found in beans, breads, cereals, grains, legumes, pastas, potatoes, whole grains. Benefit: promote energy and are particularly good for athletic types because complex carbohydrates are stored in your muscles in the form of glycogen, the storage form of energy that is used when your body requires it.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): found in fish, flaxseed oil, walnuts. Benefit: reduces symptoms of BPH such as painful and frequent urgency to urinate; may also improve blood flow to the penis; possibly may help to prevent prostate cancer.
Fiber-both soluble and insoluble: found in fruit, oatmeal, vegetables, whole grains. Benefit: fiber helps your digestive system to run smoothly and may be helpful in managing diabetes; most men in the U.S. (according to the ADA, 50% of men) do not eat enough fiber.
Flaxseed oil. Benefit: flaxseed oil seems to have cancer-fighting properties and may reduce the risk of prostate cancer; the oil has also shown promise against male infertility and prostate problems. In addition, flaxseed oil protects against heart disease by lowering cholesterol and may prevent angina and high blood pressure.
Folate: found in dried beans, okra, peas, spinach. Benefit: helps to protect against heart disease and stroke.
Genistein: found in soy products (with isoflavones). Benefit: good for prostate health by reducing PSA levels in men; believed to inhibit tumor growth.
Indoles: found in cruciferous vegetables (bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, rutabaga, turnip greens, and turnips). Benefit: good for maintaining prostate health by blocking enzymes that may produce changes in cells that lead to cancer; a recent study found that men who consumed a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables had a significantly lower risk of prostate cancer.
Isothiocyanates: found in cruciferous vegetables (bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, rutabaga, turnip greens, and turnips). Benefit: good for lowering prostate cancer risk because they boost the immune system and deactivate carcinogens.
Lentinan: found in shiitake mushrooms. Benefit: because it may activate and raise cancer-fighting immune cells, lentinan may have an anti-cancer effect against prostate cancer. Clinical studies are assessing its efficacy as a prostate cancer treatment in larger doses.
Lignans: found in berries, cereal bran, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, whole grain cereals, and fibrous vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, squash, whole legumes (including soy). Benefit: by exerting a mild phytoestrogenic effect upon hormone metabolism, lignans may be helpful in combating the onset of hormone dependent prostate cancer.
Lutein: found in collard greens, corn, egg yolks, kale, spinach, yellow corn. Benefit: may be protective against prostate cancer because studies suggest that lutein and zeaxanthin work together as antioxidants, blocking damaging free radicals and carcinogens.
Lycopene: found in apricots, guava, pink grapefruit, red peppers, red watermelon, tomatoes (cooked). Benefit: studies suggest that lycopene may be a helpful dietary agent that protects against prostate cancer.
Magnesium: found in almonds, beans, peas, seafood, spinach, sunflower seeds. Benefit: helps to maintain energy production and muscle activity.
Manganese: found in egg yolks, leafy greens, legumes, nuts, pineapples, pumpkinseeds, whole grains. Benefit: some studies have shown low levels of manganese in men who are impotent.
Omega-3 fatty acids: found in halibut, herring, mackerel, salmon, tuna, walnuts. Benefit: improve cardiovascular health by lowering triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Parsley (leaf, root). Benefit: used traditionally for diseases of the prostate.
Phytoestrogens: found in soy products. Benefit: may reduce risk of prostate cancer by blocking or reducing testosterone levels. Asian men experience lower rates of prostate cancer than do their Western counterparts. Researchers speculate that it may be the protective compounds such as phytoestrogens in soy products that may be responsible for lower prostate cancer rates in Asian countries.
Protein: found in amaranth, egg whites, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, quinoa, skinless chicken, soy products. Benefit: due to their greater muscle mass, men need adequate amounts of protein; the amino acids that form protein are required to form muscles.
Resveratrol: found in peanuts, red grape juice, red grapes, red wine. Benefit: preliminary research suggests that resveratrol may inhibit the cancer causing activities associated with androgen receptors. Resveratrol may reduce androgen-stimulated cell growth and gene expression associated with prostate cancer.
Selenium: found in Brazil nuts, grains, poultry, pumpkinseeds, seafood. Benefit: may protect against benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) as well as heart disease; may prevent oxidative damage to lipids, vitamins, hormones, and enzymes involved in normal prostate functioning; preliminary studies have shown that pumpkinseeds (high in selenium) may reduce hormonal damage to prostate cells, thus possibly reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer; the linolenic acid in pumpkinseeds may help to prevent hardening of the arteries, reducing risk of atherosclerosis. Scientists believe that the phytosterol content of pumpkinseeds improves urine flow among men with enlarged prostate glands. Selenium is also believed to be good for sperm motility and mobility; nearly 50% of the selenium in a man is in the testes and seminal ducts; men lose selenium in their semen.
Silymarin: found in artichokes. Benefit: may protect against prostate cancer because studies suggest silymarin may inhibit tumor formation.
Sulphorophane: found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, turnips. Benefit: boosts the immune system's ability to detoxify carcinogens that may cause cancer; sulforaphane increases synthesis of cancer-fighting enzymes and helps fight tumors; studies are underway to assess its effectiveness against prostate cancer.
Vitamin B6: found in bananas, corn, eggs, lean meat, nuts, peanuts, wheat germ, potatoes, seeds, whole grain cereals and breads. Benefit: helps to metabolize protein and essential fatty acids, important for the maintenance of almost all of the body's functions; recent surveys show that men in the U.S. do not get proper amounts of vitamin B6.
Vitamin C: found in cabbage, citrus fruits, peppers, potatoes. Benefit: may lower blood pressure according to clinical studies; because of its antioxidant and immune-boosting properties, vitamin C may be useful for prostate cancer and prostate problems.
Vitamin E: found in eggs, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, vegetables oils, whole grain breads and cereals. Benefit: recent surveys show that men in the U.S. do not get proper amounts of vitamin E; vitamin E may also protect against prostate cancer.
Zinc: found in lean red meat, legumes, oysters, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, whole grain foods. Benefit: helps to maintain semen volume and adequate levels of testosterone; helps to maintain sex drive and keeps sperm healthy, good for the libido; the prostate gland contains the highest concentration of zinc in the body; foods high in zinc may relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Taken from wholehealthmd.com Nutrition frontier
Cheers, Joy Ray,
What causes PSA levels to increase after prostate removal due to benign prostatic hyperplasia?
Prostate surgery is one treatment for noncancerous prostate gland enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH). The surgery reduces the amount of prostate tissue around your urethra by removing some — but not all — of your prostate. Following surgery, it's possible for the prostate gland to regrow, which can cause an increase in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. You may also experience elevated PSA levels if not enough of your prostate is removed.
In addition, elevated PSA levels can indicate:
* Inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis). Infection or inflammation of the prostate gland can cause your PSA levels to increase. Once prostatitis is treated with antibiotics, PSA levels should return to normal.
* Recurrent BPH. Despite prostate surgery, BPH can recur and cause your PSA levels to increase. Some men may need a second surgery after a number of years.
* Prostate cancer. Prostate cancer cells — in your prostate or in other parts of your body — may be secreting PSA.
* Recent ejaculation. Recent ejaculation can cause a temporary increase in PSA levels. In order to get the most accurate reading, you should avoid ejaculation for two days before undergoing a PSA test.
Sometimes an elevated PSA reading doesn't indicate a problem. It's possible for adult men with healthy prostates to have higher than normal PSA levels. In fact, PSA levels normally increase in all men as they age. It's important that PSA levels be interpreted by a doctor experienced in prostate disease.
There are a lot of natural treatments for prostate cancer offered on the web,and most natural treatment options are based on herbs or antioxidants.
In studies advocating the use of natural methods for treating prostate cancer, saw palmetto is often highlighted. This herb is primarily known for its anabolic properties and is more commonly used in treating benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). The herb operates by inhibiting the synthesis of growth-stimulating dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and promoting DHT elimination through the lowering of estrogen levels.
According to several clinical studies, saw palmetto is actually more effective in treating enlarged prostate than the prescribed drug, Proscar.
These studies also argue that using the herb is better than using Proscar since the latter is more expensive and is associated with several side effects that include erectile dysfunction.
Another popular herbal remedy promoted by a number of studies is pygeum. Pygeum is an indigenous African remedy derived from tree bark.
This herbal remedy contains chemicals that inhibit DHT synthesis and is often used to treat enlarged prostate.
Aside from saw palmetto and pygeum, in some parts of the world, the herb stinging nettle is also used to cure prostate disorders.
This herb is marketed in the Europe under the name Bazoton.
Most herbal remedies or antioxidant-based cures are marketed as supplements since absolute confirmation of their ability to cure cancer has yet to be issued by medical and health authorities.
Sorry this one is so long, but there is a mountain of information out there!
Cheers, Joy Ray