A year ago on Halloween I was working late at my office when I saw the MyCharts posting of my pelvic MRI report from the test taken a day previously. I had a 36 PSA, and the Urologist seemed concerned after the DRE, but I did not expect what I read, and I got this before a doctor had the chance to explain: “large mass”. and “ metasteses” jumped out at me. Trick or treat; i had lost the Gleason lottery. I was F’ed.
But life goes on. And a very smart, young, underemployed Urologist told me the next day, “you can live a long time. Get informed and understand that what they call the standard of care in prostate cancer is really the wild, wild West right now.”
There was hope... and I started reading, a lot of reading, and I even found this site in the process. Not discouraged by the conventional belief that my cancer was systemic and incurable, I looked for the most aggressive approaches possible. So I’ve had Docetaxel, Zytiga and 45 days of radiation, all in the hope that my cancer was oligometastatic (a fancy way of saying it has spread but not real far), and that it might be cured. I had the support and guidance of some very sharp doctors at U of Chicago, who pay attention to all the latest stuff including what they are doing at Mayo, MD Anderson and Sloan Kettering, and who, I believe, want to be on the cutting edge of curing this monster. No one has made me any promises, but my scans are clean, my PSA has been below detectable for 6 months, and the guarded plan is to suspend/terminate ADT by April of next year if PSA remains undetectable.
Back to the reading I did. I also learned a lot about nutrition, supplementation and the still controversial metabolic theory of cancer. I’m not a scientist, just an old country lawyer, but what I have gotten good at is weighing evidence. I fully believe that cancer is caused by a combination of environmental, nutritional and genetic factors. Think of it as a slot machine where you need to get the three factors in a line across. I opted for the poison approach to killing the obvious malignancy, chemo and radiation,,where the unstated goal is to kill the disease shortly before you kill the patient. I did so knowing there would be side effects, such as the apparently permanent numbness in my fingertips and such as the highly increased risk of deadly bladder cancer.
So far, so good. Next question is what to do while those “systemic” cancer cells are laying low. Now nutrition and supplementation become important. I think Nalakrats on this site, a rare man of God and science, is looking at these issues, and I am waiting with baited breath. I also think Tall Allen is a brilliant contributor, but answering the wrong question. Metformin, curcumin and other supplements discussed here may not cure advanced prostate cancer, but they certainly are a component in the prevention of same, as indicated not only by Allen’s’s mice (who never die of cancer) but also by the meta data and population studies that demonstrate undeniable trends. The metabolic theory advocates unfortunately overstate their case, and the Ketonic diet advocates do likewise, but there is validity in their end goals, So, for me, low carbs, low sugar, no processed food, minimal red meat, lots of water, sunshine and exercise, and supplementation with anti inflammatories is my best chance to keep the monster asleep. With that approach I’m thinking there is room to go out for craft beer with my friends once a week.
God bless you all, because without that none of the rest of this matters. And good health, my brothers.