Masters of Health Magazine December 2020 | Page 50

In North America, prostate cancer has become the #1 killer among men, even now above lung cancer (1). Prostate cancer is considered mainly a disease of aging, consuming unhealthy foods, consuming unhealthy foods, and exposure to environmental pollutants. Most cases occur in men over the age of 55, increasing with a higher rate for men over 65-70 years, although we have seen on several occasions prostate cancer with men 45 years and even younger.

Most prostate cancers are asymptomatic and slow-growing. However, a third of the cases are more aggressive and fast developing. Prostate metastasis spreads relatively quickly to other parts of the body, particularly to the lymph nodes, bones, and brain, ultimately leading to death. Current treatment of prostate cancer includes a classical combination of surgery, hormonotherapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy that may be effective for the cure of localized disease. However, this is subject to dormant metastasis and disease recurrence. Plus, the standard treatment regimen has serious limitations, including incomplete elimination of cancer while inducing toxicity to normal cells along with side effects (2).

The stage of the disease, detection of metastasis at the first diagnostic, and its aggressivity is mostly associated with the activation of certain oncogenes, activated cytokines such as the Transforming Growth Factors Beta, Pten, C-Myc; inactivation of tumor suppressor genes, along with immune failure. The failure of cell-to-cell adhesion, braking of the basement membrane, activation of angiogenesis factors is responsible for metastasis invasion to other target organs, which require as mentioned the loss or activation of certain genes and protein regulation. For this reason, we need a molecular approach to cancer includes a holistic view of the disease. During the past 2 decades, a myriad of studies have demonstrated that oxidative stress may be one causal factor associated with the dysfunction or mutation of several genes such the P53 tumor suppressor gene. Today, it is recognized that accumulated oxidative stress triggers inflammation in the prostate, contributing to the growth of the tumor (3). Evasion from apoptosis is critical for tumor growth, cancer progression, and resistance to therapy. Hence, it is considered as a main hallmark in cancer therapy (4). If damaged cells do not die from apoptosis they keep dividing unchecked, accumulating mutations until they turn into cancer cells. When cancer cells are not destroyed through the apoptosis pathway (a natural genetically programmed cell death), they accumulate mutation, and become more resistant, and start to proliferate

Environment and Lifestyle are Associated with the Increasing Risk of Prostate Cancer

Of course, environment, lifestyle, and diet are highly associated with breast and prostate cancer risk especially excess of processed meat, intake of damaged fats/oils, little intake of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in phytochemical agents, deficiency of vitamins, minerals, and oligo elements (e.g. chromium, selenium, zinc, vitamins E and D from sunshine), and an imbalance between omega 6 and omega 3 EFAs. Zinc is critical for the prostate; a normal prostate has the highest levels of zinc in the body, while malignant prostate tissues have significantly less zinc. Zinc is important for the activation of T-cells in our immune defense. When elderly patients took 30 mg of zinc a day for 3 months, the number of T-cells in their blood increased 30 percent. It can also restore NK cell activity. Deficiency in vitamin D (from sunshine) is also associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer. Vitamin D, which is actually a hormone, increases NK cell activity and inhibits suppressive cell types such Treg cells that inhibit immune cell activity, for example, from NK cells that are supposed to attack cancer cells.