In 2008, the United States Services Task Force (USSTF) recommended discontinuing routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood testing to evaluate prostate health for men. (PSA is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland and the PSA test measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood.)
The thinking was that what happens in the prostate stays in the prostate, and over-screening can subject men to over-diagnosis and over-treatment, such as painful biopsies and treatments with significant side effects.1
New research overwhelmingly changes the recommendation not to get regular PSA screenings. 1 in 7 men get prostate cancer in America, and it is the second leading cause of malignancy in men.4 Regular screening with the PSA test reduced metastatic disease by 30% and prostate cancer-specific mortality by up 21%.1
In 2013, a group of prostate experts gathered in Melbourne, Australia and created a new set of guidelines called the Melbourne Consensus, which has reinstated the need for regular prostate screening.
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Since 2008, there have been great strides in prostate cancer treatments, such as the revolutionary focal laser ablation therapy pioneered by Dr. Gary Onik. Focal laser ablation locates the precise location of the cancer, and then those cells are frozen. With these new therapies, early detection using tools like the PSA test makes a difference.
Supplements to PSA Screening
The PSA test, however, is not the only tool for a comprehensive prostate screening. Your medical doctor should be evaluating numerous factors, such as:
- A Digital Exam
- Prostate volume
- Family history
- New tests, such as the Prostate Health Index (PHI) test
- Risk calculators, such as:
Great Prostate News
In 2005, healthy lifestyle changes were evaluated in relation to PSA levels and prostate health. The group that made lifestyle changes such as: a low-fat diet, a diet high in fruits and veggies, and regular exercise saw a staggering benefit. When blood serum from the lifestyle-change group was evaluated, tumor growth was inhibited by a whopping 70%. Serum from the control group who did not make any lifestyle changes showed inhibited tumor growth by only 9%.2
In another study, the diets of 926 men with prostate cancer were followed over a 10-year period. Their diets were classified as either:
• Western, which included processed foods, red meats, high-fat dairy, and refined grains
• Prudent, which included higher intakes of fruits, veggies, fish, legumes, and whole grains
The Western group had a 2.53-fold increase in prostate-related death compared to the Prudent diet group.3
For prostate health, consider a Mediterranean-based diet high in green vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruit, and fiber (think beans) and low in sugar and refined foods. Aim for a diet that is only 10% animal protein. For sure, reduce the intake of red meat and replace it with low-risk mercury fish like sardines and salmon.
Further evaluation suggests that men who consume more than 3 servings of high-fat dairy per day have a 141% increased risk of prostate-specific death.<sup>5</sup>
Note: The dairy used in this study was most likely ultra-pasteurized, non-organic, and homogenized, which is completely different than vat-pasteurized (or raw), non-homogenized, organic dairy. Ayurveda also does not suggest drinking such processed milk. The dairy consumed as part of an Ayurvedic diet is cultured milk in the form of buttermilk, yogurt, soft cheeses, and ghee (also cultured). Read more on how to choose the best dairy here.
Foods that Promote Prostate Health6
- Flax seeds
- Cruciferous veggies
- Cooked tomatoes and tomato sauce
- Cold water fish (omega-3 fatty acids)
- Coffee: more than four cups per day
Foods to Avoid for Prostate Health6
- Processed and refined foods
- Overcooked foods
- High-fat, pasteurized, homogenized milk
- Ground beef and grilled red meat