Prostate cancer is a prime example in which an integrative approach may be incorporated not only for reducing the risk of primary prostate cancer, but in treating and reducing risk of progression or recurrence. Following a healthy lifestyle program during active surveillance of low-risk prostate cancer may favorably change the behavior of the cancer while at the same time improve health and quality of life. Holding the cancer in this low-risk state could mean foregoing invasive treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy—treatments that can significantly reduce quality of life.
In the ProtecT study, for instance, men with localized prostate cancer and favorable prognoses who were followed for 15 years lived comparably long whether they did active surveillance, surgery, or radiation therapy, although the disease was less likely to progress or metastasize in those receiving prostatectomy or radiotherapy. The researchers concluded that “Men with newly diagnosed, localized prostate cancer need to consider the critical trade-off between the short-term and long-term effects of radical treatments on urinary, bowel, and sexual function and the higher risks of disease progression with active monitoring, as well as the effects of each of these options on quality of life.”1Hamdy FC, Donovan JL et al; ProtecT Study Group. Fifteen-year outcomes after monitoring, surgery, or radiotherapy for prostate cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. 2023 Apr 27;388(17):1547-1558; Donovan JL, Hamdy FC et al. Patient-reported outcomes after monitoring, surgery, or radiotherapy for prostate cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. 2016 Oct 13;375(15):1425-1437.
Whatever conventional treatment option turns out to be right for you, there is a role for wisely integrating complementary therapies. In Your Prostate Cancer handbook › we give you information on those therapies that have evidence for benefit: lifestyle practices, natural products, off-label, overlooked or novel cancer approaches (ONCAs), and other complementary therapies. We focus on lifestyle programs for men in active surveillance, including Ornish Lifestyle Medicine created by Dean Ornish, MD, and the Active Holistic Surveillance program of Aaron Katz, MD. We hope in your exploration you find that you have choices in living more healthfully and fully with prostate cancer.
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