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Prostate cancer

Men can slash risk of highly lethal prostate cancer naturally

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Tags: prostate cancer, risk, health news

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(NaturalNews) As NaturalNews previously reported, low level prostate cancer is often over-diagnosed, over-treated and non-lethal (http://www.naturalnews.com/027193_cancer_Pro...). However, there's no denying that high-grade prostate cancer, although relatively rare, is dangerous and can kill. This form of prostate cancer is extraordinarily aggressive, growing very fast and spreading into surrounding areas such as lymph nodes and bones. High-grade prostate cancer is hard to treat successfully -- even when radical surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are used -- and recurs frequently, too.

So what's the best way to beat this type of cancer? Don't get it in the first place. And new research suggests how you can do just that. Johns Hopkins researchers say they've found a way to slash men's risk of high-grade prostate cancer by an amazing 60 percent. The key is lowering artery-clogging high levels of cholesterol.

"For many reasons, we know that it's good to have a cholesterol level within the normal range," said Elizabeth Platz, Sc.D., M.P.H., associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and co-director of the cancer prevention and control program at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, in a statement to the media. "Now, we have more evidence that among the benefits of low cholesterol may be a lower risk for potentially deadly prostate cancers."

Dr. Platz, members of the Southwest Oncology Group, and other colleagues analyzed data from 5,586 men 55 years old and older who were enrolled in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial from 1993 to 1996. In all, 1,251 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer during the study period. The results of the study showed that the men whose cholesterol levels were less than 200 mg/dL had an almost 60 percent lower risk of developing high-grade prostate cancers, which are identified by a pathological ranking called the Gleason score.

Results of the current study were published in the November 3rd online edition of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. In addition, another paper in the same journal by researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) showed that lower cholesterol in men conferred a 15 percent decrease in all cancer cases.

"Cholesterol may affect cancer cells at a level where it influences key signaling pathways controlling cell survival," Dr. Platz explained in the media statement. "Cancer cells use these survival pathways to evade the normal cycle of cell life and death."

In previous research, Dr. Platz and other scientists found the use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs appeared to lower the risk of advanced stage prostate cancer. So these studies, coupled with the new findings linking cholesterol to high-grade prostate cancer, can be expected to encourage the mainstream medical establishment and Big Pharma to push even more of these prescription drugs onto men.

But does that make sense? First of all, statins have been linked to a host of potentially serious side effects, including liver and muscle damage. What's more, as reported in NaturalNews (http://www.naturalnews.com/025218.html), these drugs have actually been shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer in overweight men. But what's most important is that men can safely and effectively lower cholesterol levels -- and their risk of high-grade prostate cancer -- naturally.

Regular exercise, weight loss, and a diet high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains have all been shown to help reduce cholesterol. In fact, almonds, plant phenols and cereal fiber have specifically been shown by researchers to lower cholesterol levels, especially LDL (the so-called a "bad" cholesterol), as effectively or even better than statin drugs (http://www.naturalnews.com/008310.html). Recent research reported in NaturalNews showed that strawberries have powerful cholesterol-lowering properties (http://www.naturalnews.com/027288_strawberri...), too.

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