Prostate cancer is the second most common type of malignancy for men behind skin cancer in statistics held by the American Cancer Society. Researchers have set out to determine whether some alternative prostate cancer treatments, such as DHEA, lycopene and acupuncture, can be effective. Some preliminary studies are showing that some have potential—others may prevent the disease, but not cure it.

In many cases of prostate cancer treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy and surgery are very effective, but they offer up nasty side effects such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, incontinence, bowel problems and impotence. Alternative prostate cancer treatments would, in some cases, alleviate some of these side effects caused by mainstream approaches.

But, so far there isn't a wealth of scientific research to prove claims and give much-needed guidance to patients about which alternative prostate cancer treatments are worth trying and which aren't. These are a few that show some promise so far:

Alternative Prostate Cancer Treatment #1: Watchful Waiting

If you develop prostate cancer when you're older or have a slow-growing tumor, your doctor may recommend closely monitoring your condition without additional treatment. You may also be advised to eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet to slow the disease even more. According to one study, this type of diet coupled with exercise can slow prostate cancer cell growth by as much as 30 percent.

Alternative Prostate Cancer Treatment #2: Acupuncture

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) prostate problems are associated with damp heat and kidney deficiencies. As men get older, their vital energy and sexual energy decrease, which affects circulation and function in the prostate area. In China, acupuncture has been used for centuries to improve circulation and energy in the prostate area.

Some studies suggest that acupuncture can control pain and nausea associated with prostate cancer. Furthermore, the American Society for Clinical Oncology reports that acupuncture may also relieve hot flashes, which are common adverse reactions to androgen suppression therapy for prostate cancer.

Alternative Prostate Cancer Treatment #3: Lycopene

Lycopene is a potent carotenoid found in tomatoes and watermelon. In studies men with prostate cancer have lower levels of lycopene. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, men who received lycopene supplements twice a day for three weeks before prostate surgery had less aggressive cancer cell growth than men who received a placebo. A similar effect was also observed on prostate cancer cells grown in a culture in a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

Alternative Prostate Cancer Treatment #4: Green Tea

Revered for its rich antioxidant content, green tea may also have prostate cancer-fighting abilities. A study released in June in the journal Cancer Prevention Research showed that men who had prostate cancer and consumed the active compounds in green tea had significant reduction in serum markers that predict the progression of prostate cancer.

The men were given daily doses of were given daily doses of Polyphenon E, which contained 800 mg of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and other tea polyphenols up to the time of their prostatectomy. The results were a significant reduction in serum levels of PSA, HGF, and VEGF with no liver toxicity.


Source: UniSci news item, "Diet, Exercise Slow Prostate Cancer As Much As 30%"


Journal: Journal of Medicinal Food, Volume: 5 Issue 4

Date: July 7, 2004

Study: Effect of Lycopene on Prostate LNCaP Cancer Cells in Culture


Authors: Linda Kim, A. Venket Rao, Leticia G. Rao.

Journal: Cancer Prevention Research,

Date: First published online June 19, 2009

Study: Tea Polyphenols Decrease Serum Levels of Prostate-Specific Antigen, Hepatocyte Growth Factor, and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in Prostate Cancer Patients and Inhibit Production of Hepatocyte Growth Factor and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor In vitro


Authors: Jerry McLarty, Rebecca L.H. Bigelow, Mylinh Smith, Don Elmajian, Murali Ankem and James A. Cardelli