A Remarkable Reduction in PSA by Natural Means
I would like to document, for the public domain, my recent prostate problems. I am 63 years old and have always been skinny and physically active. My PSA four to eight years ago was fairly flat, varying slightly between 1.1 and 1.3 ng/ml. Six years ago I had some symptoms which a urologist ascribed to BPH and chronic prostatitis. Then four years ago my PSA started to increase, at first slowly and then more rapidly at a rate of 0.8 ng/ml/y until it reached 2.42 ng/ml in December 2006.
A PSA of 2.42 is still relatively low, but the rate of increase was disturbing. Based on a study initially reported in the Journal of Urology, Oct. 1994, "among men with an initial PSA level less than 4.0 ng/ml, the diagnosis of prostate cancer [based on biopsy] was most clearly defined by a PSA rate of change of 0.75 ng/ml/y, with a sensitivity of 79% and a specificity of 66%". What this means is, this rate-of-change test catches 79% of prostate cancers but also gives 34% false positives.
As a result I underwent 8-channel prostate biopsy in May 2007. The biopsy went septic (gram-negative bacteria got into my blood) and I was admitted into hospital the next day. I was in the hospital for nine days. On two occasions I shook uncontrollably, urinated blood, had trouble breathing, and felt I was losing control. My blood pressure was generally very low. And I had a heart attack while in the hospital as a result of all of this!
A month later I went back to hear my biopsy results. Seven cores came out clean, and in the eighth only a "0.2 mm focus... consistent with invasive prostatic adenocarcinoma, estimated Gleason score 3+3=6" was seen. We decided to watch and wait.
By Nov.28/07 my PSA had risen further, to 3.40 ng/ml. At that point I increased my intake of a number of natural products, and subsequently my PSA dropped steeply (at a rate of 2.8 ng/ml/y) to 2.9 ng/ml on Jan.30/08, to 2.7 ng/ml on March 3/08, and finally to 2.02 ng/ml on June 2/08. I wish I could upload the graph to this site, it says it so much better than my words can. The last four datum points line up almost perfectly along a steep decline. It is really quite remarkable.
What did I do to make my PSA drop? The list, below, is ordered as objectively as I can. At the top of the list will be found the product with the greatest percentage increase in dosage, and so on for the rest of the list.
1. Pomegranate juice. BBC News July 1/06 tells of a study (reported in Clinical Cancer Research) of 50 men who had undergone surgery or radiation treatment, but whose cancer was returning. Of these, some were given 240 ml/day of pomegranate juice to drink, and their PSA increased less rapidly than that of the others. The inference from the study was that pomegranate juice can slow prostate cancer growth.
I started on 200 ml/day of pomegranate juice.
2. ImmPower. This is an American supplier of a mushroom extract containing AHCC, pioneered in Japan. It has been used for all types of cancer. The African J. of Biotechnology 2, #12, Dec.2003, pp672-8 quotes the AHCC Research Association (Japan): complete or partial regression, or no change in tumor size, in 19% of cancer patients who were administered AHCC. The International J. of Immunotherapy X1(1), 1995, pp23-28 of a study including 3 patients with advanced prostate cancer showed that, if AHCC works, it acts quickly (within one month) to reduce PSA.
I increased my dosage of ImmPower, from 1000 mg/day (2 caps) to 3000 mg/day (6 caps).
3. Ejaculation. I increased my mean frequency of ejaculation, from 1.5 times to 3 times per week. The prostate squeezes together at orgasm. I thought this might help to clean out any prostatitis and at the same time help to promote the flow of the food supplements or their products into the prostate.
4(a). Lycopene. Some studies support lycopene as a cancer fighter, and others don't. I increased my dosage from 20 mg to 30 mg/day.
4(b). Prostaphil-2. Contains a pollen extract for prostate support. I increased my dosage from 600 mg to 900 mg/day.
5. Prostafx (containing Serenoa Repens 110 mg, Pygeum Africanum 80mg, Urtica Dioca 85 mg, ....). I increased my dosage later, in mid January.
In addition to the above, I also increased my dosages of vitamin D3, selenium, and (until I heard that it promotes cancer growth) zinc. My reducing cholesterol suggests a reduced fat intake, which is another factor in prostate cancer. However, the timing of all of these changes (except for zinc) was such that they are not implicated in the steep reduction in my PSA in 2008.
The question of which one (or which in combination) of the above was responsible for the steep reduction in my PSA is further complicated by the question of what made the PSA go up in the first place. Was it my cancer? Or my "prostatitis" or my "BPH" if I have them? The PSA reading of 2.7 on March 3/08 also gave a free-PSA of 28%. This might suggest that prostatitis and not cancer was responsible for my rising PSA, but this is very uncertain because the interpretation of free-PSA assumes that the PSA is greater than 4 (while mine is not). And I would rather believe that my PSA was reflecting my cancer and not my prostatitis (because then the steep drop in PSA this year would suggest a reduction in my cancer and not just in my prostatitis!). I am inclined to believe that it is the ImmPower that helped me, but maybe that's only because I read more about it (and paid more for it!).
You raise an important question in the last paragraph, and I bet there's no definitive answer at this point.
Best wishes--keep a close eye on that PSA.
Dx Feb 2006, PSA 9 @age 43
RRP Apr 2006 - Gleason 3+4, T2c, NXMX, pos margins
PSA 5/06 <0.1, 8/06 0.2, 12/06 0.6, 1/07 0.7.
Salvage radiation (IMRT) total dose 70.2 Gy, Jan-Mar 2007@ age 44
PSA 6/07 0.1, 9/07 (and thereafter) <0.1
Your results are impressive but the question is.... are all the things you are eating just suppressing the psa artificialy, but the cancer still remains there and continues to grow, or are you really decreasing the cancer. The only way for you to really know, is to have another biopsy.
Biospy 4/2007 - 2/12 <%5 Cancer Gleason 6
RP 9/25/2007 Uni Rochester, NY
Gleason 6, Negative Margins
Another Biopsy !?
Chas, are you kidding? I nearly died from the first biopsy!
Some of the things I have been taking are supposed to decrease PSA a bit (e.g., the Serenoa Repens, also known as Saw Palmetto, in the Prostafx, and perhaps the Lycopene), but nowhere near the degree of reduction that I experienced can be expected from the supplements I have been taking.
I agree with chas036. Without a biopsy, you cannot know what impact this has had of the cancer itself... only that is has caused a reduction in PSA. Although this is a good sign that this treatment is killing of cancer cells, their is always the possibility that in some way it is just suppressing PSA production. I can hear that you are very reluctant to go through all the trauma you experienced previously in a biopsy. But you are a minority case; most men do not experience any significant problems with a biopsy.
Re: A Remarkable Reduction in PSA by Natural Means
Originally Posted by SelfPreserve
1. Pomegranate juice.
Immpower, Prostaphil-2, Prostafx are all brand names. They probably cost quite bit.
I doubt they do anything more than any generic supplement or food.
I doubt they have any science to show they do anything exceptional.
I get all my lycopene via tomato products such as pasta sauce, etc.
Pomegranate juice seems worth the chance. Just don't pay too much for it.
I'm wondering, you mention mostly "supplements" and special foods.
What is your main diet like. Have you altered it greatly?
Did you read the latest article on people with Gleason 6, watchfull waiting, and genetic alterations via lifestyle?
here is the pdf of the original study text... look at the diet and supplements
Now, as to your case. Your psa drop is nice but not remarkable. I had a similar drop over 6 months. I attribute all of mine to a lowering of probable inflammation (prostatitis undiagnosed).
But that is good. Continue doing what you do and perhaps refine it via diet.
Can't help you with those supplements. All I can say is that I don't take them and I would if I thought they had any proof behind them above and beyond what one can get in other ways, at a much cheaper cost.
Keep watching your psa.......... Despite your fear, you may want to get another biopsy in a year or so to see if there has been a dramatic change.
Had your psa always been at 2.0 you'd never have had a biopsy and you wouldn't now think you had prostate cancer.
Your 2.0 may have been almost entirely because of your BHP and prostatitis rather than your PCa... putting you right in line with loads of other men your age who have PCa but are walking around unaware.
So who really has PCa, you or them, or both?
What you have is a "diagnosis" while they just have PCa...
Everyone likes to make this clear distinction or line. On one side you have cancer and on the other side you have health. The reality is the line is much more murky than most believe. Almost everyone diagnosed with PCa had PCa for years and years before. BUT wham! suddenly they get cancer overnight with a diagnosis.
Keep reading. Keep doing what is in your best interest. This area of medicine is not black and white but shades of grey for someone in your dianostic status and at your age. If younger or with a higher Gleason it can be a entirely different matter.
And of course with anyone in your situation is a matter of odds and risk/reward ratios. How much risk are you willing to take to not do further biopsies or treatment? Many logical informed patients will take considerable risk and many will win. But of course a few will not and it is not possible to tell ahead of time. Right now you don't appear to be in great risk. That could change but there is a high probability you could still do treatment of one type or another later.
Keep reading, testing, and evaluating your risks.
Anyway..... see what happens.
OH, one last supplement/food you might want to consider.....curcumin.
Generic and not very expensive. Really a food component which we don't get much of in the USA. Be very careful to understand labels if you purchase it. Some are tricky.
And let us know about your current diet.