Mainstream approach to prostate cancer misguided
A diagnosis of prostate cancer doesn’t have to mean signing up for aggressive treatment. Two new studies show the Gung ho mainstream may mean men who don’t need treatment are getting it anyway.
You know how the story goes. The slightest abnormality shows up on a test, and it’s time to throw out anything from the arsenal that might have the slightest chance of working.
No matter how harsh the treatment may be, those mainstreamers seem to think it’s always better to put up with the (sometimes deadly) side effects than to deal with the illness.
But a couple of new studies, with the great timing to appear together, are showing that this line of thinking isn’t always the best way. In fact, sometimes the best course of action may be…no action at all.
One study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, reports that the use of PSA testing over the past 23 years has resulted in 1 million additional men being diagnosed and treated—most of whom were likely overdiagnosed.
The authors of the study wrote, “All overdiagnosed patients are needlessly exposed to the hassle factors of obtaining treatment, the financial implications of the diagnosis, and the anxieties associated with becoming a cancer patient…”
Of course, we know it’s far worse than that—the ravaging effects of chemotherapy and radiation amount to more than just “hassle factors.”
And there’s little evidence that these increased screening procedures have saved lives—but the marketing keeps on pushing men to get tested, boosting confidence that we’re Joining The Fight.
But the best way to fight is sometimes to take a step back and keep an eye on things. So says another new study, this one in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The authors concluded that older men and men with low-risk tumors may safely put off treatment for many years with no problems.
Among men with low-risk tumors, those who put off treatment were still doing fine an average of 8 years (and up to 20 years) later. Deaths attributed to prostate cancer were very low among men with low-risk tumors—so aggressive treatment would do far more harm than good.
Just because something shows up on a screening test doesn’t mean we have to jump in with guns blazing. Rather than subjecting your body to the devastating effects of cancer treatment, you can keep an eye on things and feed it the supplements and foods that you know contribute to prostate health (vitamins C and K3, fish, and processed tomato products are just a few).
There’s plenty more on keeping your prostate healthy in our online archive at www.nutritionandhealing.com.
“Overdiagnosis Since Introduction Of Prostate Cancer Screening,” Science Daily (www.sciencedaily.com).
“‘Watchful Waiting’ Is A Viable Option For Prostate Cancer Patients With Low-risk Tumors, Study Finds,” Science Daily (www.sciencedaily.com).