do not have any personal experience of successful treatment
of prostate cancer by any alternative approaches and the information
given below has been gleaned from various medical sources.
In a nutshell there is no
evidence base to support the use of alternative approaches
for treatment of prostate cancer.
There is good
evidence that dietary factors are important in the development
of many cancers including prostate cancer. However, there
is doubt about the value of changing your diet once a cancer
have gone to centres that offer dietary advice may come away
from their residential courses feeling that they have participated
in a wonderful experience. They may alter their diet
slightly or not at all as a result of this experience, but
what they have benefited from is the experience of sharing
their troubles with people who have time to listen to them,
cancer patients and residential course staff.
The testing of
herbal medicines is much less rigorous than the testing of
conventional medical products. We have found in alternative
medicines toxic compounds that may cause side-effects and
also the natural equivalents of drugs that are used to treat
prostate cancer. Some of these substances include steroids
and female hormones and will by themselves lead to an improvement
in PSA levels, or sometimes in symptoms.
One of the most
popular of recent alternative medicines has been PC Spes.
This product does have significant activity in patients with
prostate cancer. This is because it contains plant equivalents
of diethylstilboestrol, a synthetic female hormone used to
treat prostate cancer. Medical studies have shown that
patients do improve with PC Spes. However, this improvement
comes with a downside. There is toxicity, patients develop
breast swelling and have indigestion. These are symptoms
that are common in patients taking diethylstilboestrol.
Shark fin extract
is sold to patients with prostate cancer and indeed to many
patients with malignancies other than prostate cancer.
The theoretical basis for the use of shark fin is that sharks,
to our knowledge, do not develop cancer. Shark fin extract
is used to treat patients with cancer in the hope that they
will be like sharks and not have any tumours. There is
absolutely no theoretical evidence that this is of benefit.
It is most expensive.
There has been
much interest in the observation that cancer of the prostate
is much less common in people of Asian origin. Although
the reason for this is thought to be purely dietary, there
is a school of thought that the use of herbal teas is part
of the reason for the lower rate of prostate cancer in the
Far East . Green teas have become popular as a
supplement for patients with cancer.
It is possible
that limited vitamins and trace element consumption has contributed
to the development of malignancy. Many patients take
vitamin and trace element supplements. Vitamin C and
B complex are safe to take, as are recommended amounts of
metals such as Zinc, and trace metals, such as Selenium.
Patients should be very careful about taking Vitamins A, D
and E because, in excess amounts, these vitamins will cause
very significant medical problems, and occasionally death.
It is very important to take the dosages recommended in the
of tiny amount of a compound is thought by the homeopaths
to restore balance and contribute to good health. Homeopathic
remedies are prepared by serial dilution of a substance thought
to have some activity which is called the mother. At
each step the solution is shaken and the final dilution is
thought to confer healing properties.
It is very difficult
to establish a rationale for the effect of homeopathic remedies.
Why should it be that a grain of salt diluted 14 billion times
should be a cure for cancer? However, despite this reservation,
there is no doubt that visits to homeopaths are enormously
beneficial for patients and this may be because of the enormous
psychological support that is offered to patients when they
visit a homeopath.
of psychic surgery delve into abdomens and produce what appear
to be tumourous growths. They remove these growths and
miraculously do so without leaving any evidence that the abdomen
has been opened. There is no cut, there are no scars
and the psychic surgeon has cured the patient of his cancer.
The psychic surgeons manage to extract significant amounts
of money from the wallets of poor people desperate for life.
The tumours miraculously removed by the psychic surgeons have
been found to be pieces of chicken and the entrails of pigs.
a nutshell there is no evidence base to support the use of
alternative approaches for treatment of prostate cancer.