In late September 1999 I went for my annual medical check-up. The blood test results showed that my prostate specific antigen(PSA) level had risen from 2.5 fifteen months earlier to 5.1. This concerned my doctor sufficiently that she had me get an ultrasound and a biopsy. The biopsy result were positive. The Gleason rating was 5 on the right side and 2 on the left side of the prostate. This was quite a shock to me. Even though I knew that most men are eventually confronted with this problem, it was hard to accept that it was happening to ME!. Because I have learned a huge amount about the subject from other men's experiences, here is my own--perhaps it will be helpful to someone else.
At diagnosis, my doctor said I had four options:
I then went to see a dear friend of more than twenty-five years who lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is an alternative/cooperative medical practitioner, has an extensive practice, and has a reputation as one of the best alternative practitioners in Atlantic Canada. She suggested that I had a fifth option which wass to strengthen my immune system so that it eliminates the cancer. She tested me for a wide variety of supplements and from that set me up on a daily regimen of herbs, vitamins, supplements and modified citrus pectin--which research has shown retards/prevents metastasis. In order to determine the kind and amounts of supplements which would be most appropriate, she used applied kinesiology which is a muscle testing method which communicates with the body below the level of conscious thought. This approach is regularly used by many chiropractors and naturopaths.
At my doctor's recommendation I got a bone scan and a CAT scan the results of both of which were negative.
Again, at my doctor's request, I went to Dr. Mostwin, one of the leading urologists at Johns Hopkins Urological Clinic. His pathologist read the biopsy slides and concluded that the Gleason rating was 3 on each side of my prostate for a total of 6. Dr. Mostwin recommended a prostatectomy and suggested that I schedule myself at once so that I could have the surgery done by him within the next two months. Because I did not schedule myself right then as he recommended, I received two subsequent calls from the clinic over the next two months asking if I was yet ready to schedule myself for the surgery. I declined.
Simultaneous to this I bought and read more than a dozen books on prostate cancer, (Amazon.com listed 67 different titles) and read several articles on the subject. I also acquired the names of five men who had been diagnosed as having prostate cancer and would be open to my calling and talking to them. My discussion with these men was most helpful. I learned that:
Based on reading the book New Guidelines for Surviving Prostate Cancer by James Lewis, Ph.D. and E. Roy Berger, M.D., I called The Education Center for Prostate Cancer Patients which was founded by James Lewis, one of the authors. I joined the center with a $100 donation and had an immediate telephone consultation with James Lewis. He advised me that the bone and cat scans were not useful in identifying metastasis unless my PSA was at least 10 for the bone and at least 20 for the cat scans. He suggested that I should get an MRSI which he says has only a 3% error rate. It costs about $2000 and is done in San Francisco by a Dr. Kurhanewicz. Lewis maintained that this is the only way to really be sure that the cancer is still localized in the prostate capsule and no metastasis has taken place.
I then read a book entitled Prostate Health in 90 Days Without Drugs or Surgery by Larry Clapp, PhD, JD. This book maintains that if your pH is in good balance then no disease (including cancer) can live in you. The basic recommendation of this book is to find a person certified to do a BTA test, get the test done, and then follow the 90-day Ultimate Clean Out Program recommended and outlined in the book. At the end of 90 days go get retested on the BTA test and see how close you have come to optimum pH balance.
I then called Jim Lewis back at The Education Center for Prostate Cancer Patients and asked him:
I also located a Dr. Hutto in Washington, DC who was certified to give the BTA test., Later in November I went to Dr. Hutto for the BTA test and I now have a copy of those results. He very much wanted to engage me as a patient and see me weekly, but I just opted for the BTA test that I'm using together with my PSA readings as part of my baseline to track the cancer. He also did a Darkfield Microscopy Live Blood Cell Analysis (I have video of that test - should I get that done again, a comparison of the two analyses would apparently indicate any change worth noting). The BTA cost $125. The Live Blood Cell Analysis also cost $125. Total $250.
Meanwhile, in mid November I got another PSA blood test done. Results PSA 2.6
In mid December I went back to my own doctor for a consult. I told her that I had decided to pursue a non-traditional strategy to address the prostate cancer. That strategy was:
She said she was fine if I followed this strategy but wanted me to get the biopsy in six months instead of a year. Her stance is admittedly conservative and she would have preferred that I immediately get radiation or go out to Loma Linda University in California for Proton Radiation Therapy, or at least get radiation seed implant therapy. I told her that if my PSA went up into double figures I would begin to look into those alternatives.
Since that time, now a bit over three years, I had my PSA checked monthly or bimonthly for two years, and then, since it has maintained readings in the 2s, 3s, and 4s, I now have it checked quarterly. Also during that time I have had two ultrasounds which have indicated no additional growth in the size of my prostate. At the last visit, the radiologist recommended against another biopsy because it is a highly invasive test. (The ultrasound is medical sodomy, the biopsy is medical sodomy with weapons.) I have also had annual DREs (digital rectal exams) which have indicated no further prostate swelling or growth. I also talked to an oncologist about my strategy. His response was that he'd recommend a prostatectomy, but had to admit that the PSA readings and the ultrasounds would indicate that I was at least controlling the cancer.
I have visited my alternative/cooperative medical practitioner friend in Halifax annually for retesting and modifications in my supplement formula. On the last visit I tested cancer free. She would like me to take the supplements for another year and then get another biopsy to verify that I am cancer free. (It is interesting to note that when I brought her one of the books I mention below, The Natural Prostate Cure by Roger Mason, we found she already had 16 of the 17 supplements he recommends in my formula, plus 3 he did not mention.)
To date I have been most pleased with the response I've taken to learning that I had prostate cancer. I continue to get my PSA checked quarterly, to get annual ultrasounds, and to do the 8 day clean out fast twice a year. I have not followed up on the BTA test or the Darkfield Microscopy Live Blood Cell Analysis because I am satisfied that my PSA and ultrasound results are sufficiently positive to render the other testing unnecessary. I'm also reluctant to get another biopsy for the same reason.
I have no idea whether such an approach would be helpful to or work for others. I am aware that my 5.1 PSA which prompted the biopsy was not terribly high. Some of the men I talked to who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer had PSAs of 68 and even higher. I have now been asked by many men what I did and what I'd recommend as a strategy to respond to a positive prostate cancer biopsy. I can't recommend what others should do, but based on what I've learned over the last three years, if I had to do it over, here's what I'd do:
I know that there are no statistics on the type of approach I've chosen, although I believe that a research study of alternative treatments for prostate cancer is being done by the National Institute of Health. I don't have statistics on the pros and cons and life expectancy of men who chose surgery or radiation or chemotherapy or hormone therapy, but my guess is I'd be listed among those who chose to do nothing at all. I am not an expert on prostate cancer, nor do I know whether I'll ever have any further trouble with it. I hope my experience may provide information that is helpful to others.
Editor's Note: At the urging of his alternative/cooperative medical practitioner, Bill had another biopsy done at the end of 5 years (September, 2004). The Gleason score was still 7 (3+4), still a "good" 7 according to his urologist, but showing some progression. Bill and his alternative practitioner concluded that the 5-year supplement regimen had held the cancer in check, but some underlying condition persisted to prevent it from going away. Perhaps if he had drastically changed his diet it would have. Nonetheless, they and the urologist concluded that since Bill was otherwise in excellent health it didn't make sense to fool around but rather yank it out while it was still completely localized. The prostatectomy was done without incident in October 2004, with no signs of cancer cells beyond the margin. His PSA now remains virtually undetectable.
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