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Posted May 8, 2014: by Bill Sardi
In all the years of saying most men die with but not of prostate cancer, no one comes to the fore to explain why 30,000 men DO succumb to this disease annually. While the most common type of prostate cancer is slow growing and not life threatening [Group Health], men live in fear they will be among the 30,000.
There are an estimated 2.5 million men in the U.S. living with diagnosed prostate cancer, whatever that means. About 233,000 new cases will be diagnosed and ~30,000 will die of the disease annually according to the American Cancer Society. [American Cancer Society]
The problem with the diagnosis of prostate cancer, or any cancer for that matter, is the discovery of pre-cancerous cells is loosely diagnosed as cancer. Consider these facts about prostate cancer [Group Health]:
Researchers working with the National Cancer Institute have launched an effort to halt the use of the word cancer when only pre-cancer has been detected. A diagnosis of cancer provokes fear and needless treatment. [New York Times July 29, 2013] Over-diagnosis ranges from 25-60% of cancers found. [New Scientist Aug. 12, 2013]
Still, there are those 30,000 freshly carved tombstones every year.
A recent report indicates high circulating blood levels of vitamin D are associated with better survival and even remission from prostate cancer. [Journal Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism April 29, 2014; Medscape May 1, 2014] Another recently published report says men with life-threatening prostate cancer are far more likely to be severely vitamin D deficient, particularly African American males whose dark skin pigmentation inhibits the natural formation of vitamin D from sunlight exposure. [Clinical Cancer Research May 1, 2014]
In 2008 researchers even reported on the mechanism behind vitamin D’s ability to inhibit the spread (metastasis) and therefore prostate cancer mortality. Vitamin D inhibits a gene called STAT3 that blocks the spread of cancer. [American Journal Pathology Nov. 2008]
The problem is, modern medicine won’t recommend vitamin D supplements until there is a long-term interventional study involving thousands of men. However, the alarm bell linking vitamin D deficiency and prostate cancer was rung over two decades ago [Anticancer Research Sept-Oct 1990]
Researchers even appear to know the blood concentration level of vitamin D (50 nanomole/liter) needed to achieve protection [Cancers Nov. 2013] — which requires about 5000 international units per day if employing a vitamin D supplement. [Vitamin D Wiki May 2013] One study shows 4000 IU/ vitamin D/day is beneficial for men with low-risk prostate cancer. [Journal Steroid Biochemical Molecular Biology July 2013]
Some advice: skip vitamin D blood testing. Just assume your vitamin D levels are like everyone else’s – low. The best available evidence suggests men universally supplement their diet every day with 5000 IU vitamin D. What harm could come of it? It is very economical. If you are living with diagnosed prostate cancer and your doctors have not recommended vitamin D yet (shame on them), don’t wait for them to recommend it. ©2014 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.
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