I had my first return visit for review of my prostate cancer, which was to include a review of my PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) numbers, and a DRE (Digital Rectal Exam). Since I have been taking fairly large doses of Saw Palmetto, Selenium, and DRE (Dandelion Root Extract), I was hoping that the PSA would be down around 1.5 or 2.0. Instead, it was up from 4.8 to 5.37. The doctor explained that they would not be concerned unless the PSA doubled within 12 months. Saw Palmetto will do nothing for cancer, I know, but it sure improves the SYMPTOMS of prostate issues. For a 75-yr-old man, my sexual performance is up to at least very much normal, and the doctor had told me that Saw Palmetto would lower the PSA. That rise was therefore disappointing. As he pulled out from the DRE (Digital Rectal Exam), I asked "SO, is that the prostate of a much younger man?" He seemed surprised that I would ask that, and said "Yes. It was very small." (The prostate tends to grow, beginning at puberty or thereabouts, and continues to grow for as long as we live, and when it is large, it creates problems with erections, with urinary tract issues [having to pee altogether too often], and other areas.) For him to remark on how small mine felt was a very good sign. We have now set an appointment for my second prostate biopsy, in six months. I shall increase my intake of DRE (Dandelion Root Extract) from four to six times the normal dose. The doctor assured me that Selenium does nothing for my prostate, which flies in the face of internet wisdom--apparently high levels of Selenium are not associated with people who have prostate cancer, which likely means that high levels of Selenium in the blood deter cancer from forming, but may not be curative where cancer has already formed. Still, it can't hurt, right? Then he said that Dandelion Root Extract, while it anecdotally cures cancer, has not been proven to do so. Well, in Petri dish tests, it has killed 100% of cancer cells, with ZERO damage to normal cells. He dismissed that by saying "that's in a Petri dish." He dismissed the ongoing Canadian test of Dandelion Root Extract (actually tea, and it is made from freeze-dried roots which are then ground into a powder, and said to be 6-10 times more concentrated than what we can buy in the store.) He said that it had not proven anything yet, since it is an ongoing test. Well, I have some confidence, and there is apparently ZERO evidence of any harm from taking these supplements, even in larger doses than normal. I shall up my intake of Dandelion Root Extract, and likely Selenium as well. We shall then see what happens to my Gleason Score next April. It is now at 7. If it, and/or my PSA level, goes down, I will consider it a success for the herbal remedies. Note that while we have decided to observe my cancer with no medical interference, for the time being, if there is any chance that commonly available herbal remedies can be helpful, I would appreciate knowing about it from my doctor! Instead, I had to look it up on the internet. One of my FB Friends has a neighbor who has just been diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer, and basically been told to go home and die. Since Dandelion Root Extract is anecdotally effective against that, I think he should try it, but my FB friend does not want to get his hopes up(?)! I would want to know about anything that offers hope, in his circumstances. My doctor thinks that prostate cancer is caused by our diet of fatty red meats, but I eat very little red meat, really--mostly chicken, and some fish, and I take fish oil supplements in large quantity, since I discovered that they helped with my Sciatic nerve pain (they are a strong anti-inflammatory). I blame my own prostate cancer on a prescription for Metoprolol which they gave me when I showed up one day in A-fib. That drug should be pulled by the FDA. The list of side-effects on the internet is huge, and I had had issues with many of them. The VA had it on record that I had just lost 40 lbs. Unintended weight gain is a listed side effect of that drug. I gained back 30 of those pounds, and now have lost about 20 again. Depression and suicidal thoughts are also among the listed side effects, and the VA has it on record that my doctor once thought I had made suicidal remarks, so he put me on an anti-depressant That would be a DAMNED good reason to not give me that drug. Metoprolol also causes very bad sexual side effects, which can be depressing. And oh yeah, it is associated with prostate cancer as well. As soon as I noticed the sexual side effects, I demanded to be put back on Atenolol, which they did on a reduced dosage. (At one point, they had a problem reading my heart rate, and thought it was too slow, so they instantly cancelled my Atenolol).
At any rate, expect my Prostate Health book to hit the shelves soon after the end of June, 2018. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men, and usually because it is not caught until it jumps to other nearby organs. Men should get regular physical exams certainly by age 50, including PSA screenings, and when they notice sexual side-effects, that is a good sign that there could be prostate problems, either BPH (a non-cancerous enlargement of the organ) or cancer. Men are apparently too private to talk to a doctor about such matters, and that is what leads to prostate cancer being the second largest cause of cancer deaths (behind lung cancer) among older males. When caught early, as mine was, 99% of men live at least ten years, and my estimated lifespan without treatment, was 20 years. This is why my doctor said it could be 20 years before we would know if my herbal treatments were successful! I hope to have a definitive answer by the time my book comes out!