Dr. Patterson Stark
Dr. Patterson Stark


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Prostate Cancer - A New Look

by Patterson Stark, DC, ABAAHP, AACNEM


Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men comprising more than 37% of all male cancers.


A review of literature reveals little improvement in the treatment and efficacy of research in this area. I have been fortunate to come across current research by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II, M.D. in their best-selling book, “The China study”.

In my quest for immortality, or at least to live with some certainty of health, I continue to read current research and it is in this vein that these two well-credentialed and respected researchers have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the “Stark Diet” principles are solid … and yet we can improve upon them.

Imagine if there was one therapy that could conquer not only cancer of the prostate, but of the breast and large bowel. These common cancers comprise the majority of deadly diseases that attack adults in latter decades - about 40% of cancers. We have observed at the Stark Health Centre that our patients don’t get cancer, heart disease, stroke or autoimmune disorders. This is not to say they’re immune to these, however statistically we should have had dozens show up over our time in clinical research this last decade, but we have not.  Doctors Campbell have proven that our methods were on the right track and now demonstrate new ways that we can improve upon what were already doing.

The China Study was the most comprehensive survey of population vs. cancer ever performed. It demonstrated, without doubt, the effects of a variety of cancers that each had their own peculiarities and were heavily influenced by nutrition.

In the United States prostate cancer represents about 25% of all tumors diagnosed, and over 50% of the men 70 years of age and older have “latent prostate cancer”. This is considered to be a silent form of the cancer not yet detected. So this is very distressing that its prevalence is high and it is slow growing. Only about 7% of diagnosed prostate cancer patients die within 5 years of diagnosis and this raises questions as to how cancer can best be treated. General screening such as PSA and a digital rectal examination may at best be controversial in their effectiveness as they are last responders to the condition.

The debate gets even wider when we start talking about what methods of treatment to use once cancer is diagnosed. Doctors Campbell allow us to review the research and see the effects of lifestyle and compare that to standard cancer therapy. You will find this very encouraging, as I did.

Firstly, cancer rates vary and prostate cancer varies even more than breast cancer with respect to different countries. It is not uniform in its presentation.

Western societies and diets have the highest prevalence of prostate cancer, and men who move from primitive diets into Western diets suffer more prostate cancer. We can call this a disease of “affluence” and yet it does not discount the genetic component and environmental components that play a role. The primary environmental factor is how close to a plant-based diet a population eats, and it will be inversely proportional to the prevalence of prostate cancer. This means the less meat and animal products you consume and more vegetables, fruits and grains you eat the better the outcome for prevalence of the disease - and treatment also.

One of the most surprising and consistent specific links between diet and prostate cancer has been dairy consumption. This does not bode well for New Zealand with its high dairy intake and equally high prostate cancer rates. A 2001 Harvard review of research could hardly be more convincing; “12 of 14 case controlled studies and 7 of 9 cohort studies observed a positive association for dairy product and prostate cancer”. This is one of the most consistent dietary predictors for prostate cancer in the published literature of Drs Campbell.  In these studies, the highest dairy intake had approximately double the risk of total prostate cancer incidence and up to fourfold increase in the risk of metastatic or fatal prostate cancer relative to the low consumers.

Basically, this says that if you consume high amounts of dairy products you have 2 to 4 times the risk of getting prostate cancer. That is milk, cheese, yogurt and the like. Of note, numerous studies have found association primarily in older men, in whom not all studies reflected a consistent association with just dairy products.  Animal proteins such as meats and eggs all came to similar conclusions on the influence of occurrence of prostate, colon and breast cancer. “Meat and dairy products increase the occurrence of all three cancers”. There is an enormous body of evidence to show that animal-based foods are associated with cancer and in this case prostate cancer. This leaves little room for dissent as the research cited above takes into account dozens of individual studies.

Hormones that affect the prognosis of prostate cancer have been studied as well and growth hormone called “IGF–1” shows 5.1 times higher risk advanced stage prostate cancer. Additionally there is a binding protein “IGF–BP 3” that when abnormally low can increase risk by 9.5 times. Statistics like these are the reasons we at Stark Health do our comprehensive hormone profiles with our intake examinations.

Another factor that is highly related to the occurrence of prostate cancer is vitamin D metabolism. Vitamin D is in fact a hormone and yet in our clinic over 80% of those tested are in the bottom quartile of the normal range. There is much research which supports being in the upper quartile as a determinant of superior resistance to cancer and in particular to prostate cancer.  Vitamin D protects against osteoporosis and autoimmune diseases like diabetes, multiple sclerosis and a complex of others.

What do we know about foods in relationship to growth hormone and    vitamin D?

Animal proteins cause the body to produce more growth hormone, which can stimulate cancer. They also increase the production of estrogen.

Excessive calcium from “processed” dairy products can suppress the supercharged form of vitamin D necessary for protection from cancer, and this creates a very inviting environment.

The researchers are very clear - there is no one single mechanism that fully explains what causes diseases like prostate cancer, breast cancer or colon cancer. What we do find though is a decreased incidence of these cancers when a primarily plant-based diet is followed.

My advice is to drop all dairy products from your diet, or at least only using a teaspoon here and there occasionally.  With respect to animal products, including meat, poultry and fish, the research says keeping low protein, low fat - below about 40 grams per day - drastically reduces the incidence of all three cancers mentioned.  One must remember New Zealand has the highest colon cancer rate in the world with over 350 per 100,000 people. We also eat over 370 grams of animal protein PER DAY on average, which is also the highest in the world... see the relationship?  The quantity of animal products we eat in a day should be what we eat at most in a week. By following the recommendations above, we get the protection of reducing our rate of cancer by up to seven times!

Chew your veggies - soak your beans!