What’s new in the research about complementary treatments for prostate cancer?
· There have been 17 clinical trials of various herbal formulas from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in treating advanced prostate cancer. There isn’t any one formula in TCM for prostate cancer, because it’s individualized for each patient who receives it. None of the formulas had serious side effects when administered by a physician trained in TCM. While none of the formulas turned out to be a cure, they extended life from 7 to 15 months in the most advanced cases. However, Qingyihuaji (QYHJ), a seven-herb Chinese medicine formula, was found to be useful in stopping invasion of prostate cancer into surrounding tissues in less advanced prostate cancer. This is a formula it’s best to get from a trained practitioner, not over the Internet.
· Prostate inflammation tends to lead to prostate cancer. There isn’t a cold, hard answer from the scientific literature whether inflammation causes precancerous changes in the prostate or the other way around, but at least prostate inflammation is a sign that active surveillance of prostate changes is needed. This also suggests that the other things men do to reduce inflammation, from taking an aspiri a day to eating less trans- fat would also reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
· Sexually transmitted prostate infections, on the other hand, weren’t found to be linked to later prostate cancer in a more recent study.
There have been several studies of diet and prostate cancer:
· A lifetime habit of eating salted or smoked fish increases the risk of eventually developing advanced prostate cancer, about 350 percent higher risk before age 50 and 500 percent higher risk after age 50.
· Fat in the diet isn’t linked to risk of prostate cancer, although obesity is.
· Dairy products don’t cause prostate cancer. However, high calcium levels without adequate magnesium play a role in the development of the disease. Another reason to take magnesium.