Consumer Health News
Magic Mushrooms: AHCC nutraceutical used in prostate cancer fight
By April MacIntyre Sep 5, 2012, 4:04 GMT
Mushrooms may yield answers to cancer EPA/INGO WAGNER
A mushroom just may be the ticket in the prostate cancer fight.
A nine-year study on AHCC, the nutraceutical developed from different species of mushrooms cultivated in Japan, found that it has a positive influence on immune function and that it can improve the prognosis for postoperative hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients.
In vitro experiments have shown that AHCC - Active Hexose Correlated Compound - enhances natural killer cell activity, and might be a potent biological response modifier in the treatment of cancer patients.
The study was published in the Journal of Hepatology, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Liver. AHCC is derived from a highly specialized manufacturing process developed in the mid-1980s that relies on the hybridization of several species of mushrooms cultivated in Japan.
In light of the recent news about PSA testing and its benefits, Dr. Philippa Cheetham – a board-certified urologist in New York - is encouraging women to educate their husbands, boyfriends and partners on the importance of getting screened for prostate cancer – and counseling them on what to do once men have been diagnosed and treated for the disease.
She also notes that in recent times, there’s been a significant shift away from the most extreme ends to prevent prostate cancer – namely, surgery – when an integrative approach that includes diet modification, using supplements such as AHCC, stress reduction and exercise.
Over her 20+ year career in medicine, Dr. Cheetham noticed a trend: when speaking to a male patient and his wife or partner, the man is usually anxious or even depressed, and “only remembers about ten percent of what I’m saying,” while the woman is taking copious notes, paying attention to everything the doctor says.
She believes that female partners becomes the doctor’s surrogate outside of the office, ensuring that their significant other is adhering to doctor’s orders at home.
Dr. Cheetham's advice:
“Get second opinions, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.”
“Take time to fully understand the disease.” And for those who have “low-grade, low-volume” PSA levels should talk to their doctors about “holistic, nutritional approaches” to helping prevent prostate cancer.
“Guys who come in who are in their 50s and 60s have a one in six chance” of getting prostate cancer, but if your father had it, you have a one in three chance. So it’s up to adult children of older men to be aware of their risks and get tested as well, and also take steps like changing diets, reducing stress levels, and increasing intake of supplements proven to support the body’s natural immune system.
“More than 2.3 million men have, or will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year – just part of the five million overall cancer diagnoses among males on an annual basis,” said Dr. Cheetham. “And now more than ever, physicians and patients alike see the importance and effectiveness of an integrative approach both toward preventing and treating these cancers – that is, not opting for surgery as the only tool. An integrative plan includes reducing personal stress levels, getting adequate exercise, and improving diet – and also taking clinically proven natural nutrients such as AHCC to help boost your body’s immune response which, in turn, helps to combat cancer.”
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