Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men after skin cancer. Estimates are that 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with it during their lifetime. And according to the American Cancer Society, there are close to 270,000 new cases every year.1
Beyond prostate cancer, millions more men struggle with prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) and benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) — aka enlarged prostate), both of which seriously impact quality of life.
The statistics may seem grim, but researchers continue to make strides against prostate cancer, prostatitis, and BPH. New findings are expanding our understanding of the many risk factors, and importantly, solutions that can help prevent and treat prostate problems.
Do not wait to take care of your prostate: The sooner you address any minor prostate problems or symptoms — even seemingly unrelated issues— the better your chances of staying healthy over the long term. That is why new research into emerging risk factors is important, because these findings can give you the upper hand against serious prostate problems that could easily develop later.
Here are five ways to protect your prostate, resolve issues, and support your body if you do have prostate cancer:
1. Belly Fat Raises Prostate Cancer Risk Considerably
A recent study shows that increased abdominal fat is linked to a higher risk of death from prostate cancer. Conducted at the Cancer Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, and presented at the European and International Conference on Obesity (ECOICO), this analysis involved more than 200,000 men from the UK.
Results found that increased visceral belly fat (aka “the spare tire”) in men significantly raises the risk of dying from prostate cancer.
The researchers found that while there was not a clear link between the risk of prostate cancer and total body fat percentage (Body Mass Index or BMI), there was a significant link between the amount of central fat around the waist, and the risk of prostate cancer death.
Specifically, men who measured in the top 25% for waist circumference had a 34% higher risk of death from prostate cancer, compared to men in the lowest range. While the data sampled a large population size, the authors state that additional population-based studies are needed to confirm these results.2
These findings reflect other data specifically linking the risk of prostate cancer with lifestyle, body weight, diet, and physical activity. Research shows that an anti-inflammatory diet low in saturated fats and animal proteins may help reduce the risks of prostate cancer. Likewise, regular exercise, especially regular walking, is shown to lower prostate cancer risk and aggressiveness.3
2. Soda Is Especially Bad for Prostate Health
One important new population study showed that a diet high in refined sugars and grains, including pasta, pizza, desserts, and sugary carbonated beverages, significantly increased the risk of prostate cancer. On the other hand, a diet high in vegetables, fruits, and plant-based protein was associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Interestingly, Western diets high in salty foods and alcoholic beverages like beer and wine, did not show clear links to prostate cancer risk.4
3. Modified Citrus Pectin Fights Aggressive Prostate Cancer
Healthy lifestyle adjustments combined with targeted therapies can make a significant difference in patients with prostate cancer — even aggressive forms of it. The goal is to design a holistic treatment program that addresses prostate cancer, while actively supporting the health and vitality of the individual — using research-based, synergistic approaches.
One of the fundamental cornerstones of this strategy is the use of Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP), because of its powerful, proven ability to actively control prostate cancer growth and metastasis, while supporting other key areas of health in the process.
Dozens of peer-reviewed, published studies, including peer-reviewed human clinical trials, show how the original and only positively researched form of Modified Citrus Pectin can slow and reverse tumor growth, and reduce metastasis. These results make MCP one of the most important recommendations in any integrative cancer protocol.
The most recent double-blind clinical study, published in European Urology Open Science, showed that this MCP effectively slowed PSA doubling time and cancer progression in patients with biochemical relapse of prostate cancer.5
These results are from a multi-center Phase IIb clinical trial conducted in Israel in a group of prostate cancer patients who received localized treatment for their cancer but experienced a non-metastatic relapse of the tumor. Data from 18 months (about 1 and a half years) of treatment using 15 grams per day of MCP, showed ongoing benefit from the use of MCP and specifically, significant improvement against prostate cancer. Results showed that 65% of subjects had no disease progression, and 50% of subjects had a lower PSA, or PSADT lengthening time, compared to their baseline 18 months prior. PSADT is an important indicator of prostate cancer aggressiveness.
This study confirmed results seen in two previous, smaller clinical studies on MCP in prostate cancer. Together with additional pre-clinical laboratory studies, the body of published data showing MCP’s benefits in prostate cancer continues to expand.
Modified Citrus Pectin also protects against obesity: MCP is being extensively researched in cardiovascular health, because of its ability to block Galectin-3 (Gal-3), a protein that drives cardiovascular disease as well numerous other inflammatory conditions, including cancer.
Two important animal studies show that by blocking Gal-3, MCP supports healthy body weight, blood glucose levels, and protects against the inflammatory effects of a high-fat diet. These results underscore the importance of taking MCP if you have prostate cancer — this unique remedy not only actively fights prostate cancer itself, but it also helps to mitigate and protect against other risk factors, like diet and physical fitness.6,7
4. PSA Testing Is not Failsafe
A Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSA) is a blood test that screens for prostate cancer. For many years, PSA testing was considered the ‘gold standard’ of prostate risk assessment. Prostate specific antigen is a protein produced by the prostate gland, normally in lesser amounts. When PSA rises beyond the normal range, it can indicate a potential problem in the prostate, like the development of cancer. However, PSA can also rise due to chronic inflammation and infection.
Newer research suggests that widespread PSA testing as a screening measure does not necessarily improve prostate cancer outcomes. One of the reasons for this is that a PSA test alone does not measure prostate cancer aggressiveness. Many prostate cancers grow slowly and may never pose a threat to life or health. A benign cancer can pose little threat to your health, but it can also mutate into a more aggressive form over time, particularly if you have been exposed to toxins, free radicals, and oxidative stress. In this case, a test may be helpful, but it is not a complete picture.8
A PSA test may also have trouble identifying aggressive cancers early. In other words, the test may be too quick to detect slow-moving cancers (leading to potentially invasive interventions) and too slow to detect aggressive ones (allowing a deadly, fast-growing cancer to gain a foothold). The level of PSA may not actually reflect the extent of disease and can sometimes be misleadingly low.
Having said that, the PSA test is still a valuable tool when combined with other prostate diagnostic methods. It is also important to repeat a PSA test at the same time of day and with the same laboratory, as methods vary from one lab to another.
5. PSA Tests Are Affected by Certain Factors
Keep in mind that PSA levels can be influenced by the following:
- Change of season
- Time of day
- Sexual activity
- Intense exercise like bicycle riding
- The size of the prostate (BPH can result in a higher reading)
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. As we learn more about this condition, we continue to add life-saving strategies to our prostate health toolbox. The truth is, while prostate cancer is common, it does not have to be devastating. In Dr. Eliaz’s decades of experience treating thousands of men with prostate health concerns, he has discovered powerful approaches backed by peer-reviewed evidence and clinical use. These can give you the upper advantage — while supporting greater health and vitality.