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Ask Dr. Mike: Prostate Cancer Prevention & How Can I Get My Doctor to Treat Me More Holistically

Here you'll find the answers to a wealth of health and wellness questions posed by Healthy Talk fans. Listen in because what you know helps ensure healthy choices you can live with. Today on Healthy Talk, you wanted to know:

How can I get my doctor to deal with my health issues more holistically?

Dr. Mike is guessing what you mean by "holistic medicine." This could mean more supplements, Chinese medicine, or healing through herbs. However, whatever style of holistic medicine you're wanting to try, you may want to consider bringing in research for your doctor to read. For example, whether you've heard Dr. Mike say something, or if you've heard something on other RadioMD shows that you're interested in trying, you should consider bringing in the extra research to back the benefits and success rates of the treatment. If that doesn't work, you might want to look into a different doctor.

My dad had prostate cancer, and he thinks that it runs throughout our family. what can I do to feel better about this?

There are several things you can do that can help reduce your risk of prostate cancer. You should eat less red meat (and if you do eat red meat, eat grass fed), switch your diet to an 80/20 (80 is plant-based, 20 is lean animal meat), get a PCA and PCA3 test, look at prolactin levels, and get a prostatic acid phosphatase test. You may also want to add prostate nutrients to your diet, including foods with omega-3 oils, boron, lycopene, and saw palmetto. 

If you have a health question or concern, Dr. Mike encourages you to write him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call in, toll-free, to the LIVE radio show (1.844.305.7800) so he can provide you with support and helpful advice.

RadioMD Presents:Healthy Talk | Original Air Date: March 30, 2015
Host: Michael Smith, MD

It's time for you to be a part of the show. Email or call with questions for Dr. Mike now. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 877-711-5211. What are you waiting for? The doctor is in.

DR MIKE: That's This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Send me your questions. You never know. Maybe I'll read it on air and give you a decent answer.This next question is, I think, a little tougher to answer, but I'm going to give it a shot.

"How can I get my doctor to deal with my health issues more holistically?"

You know, a lot of times when I read these questions, I have to make some assumptions. I'm assuming "more holistically" would mean integrating supplements, nutrition, alternative forms of medicine, Chinese medicine. I hate to use that word "alternative", as if they come secondary, but, acupuncture, that kind of stuff. So, I'm assuming that's what is meant here by "holistically". I think I might have, now that I think about it, a pretty easy answer for this. It's worth a shot.

I think you have to relate to your doctor more. So, most medical doctors, male or female, most medical doctors have science backgrounds. Most of them have a Bachelor of Science in something. So, they've spent a lot of time in the scientific method. They've spent a lot of time in research papers. They've looked at a lot of abstracts. I know before I went to medical school, I did some research. I got some experience writing for grants. I got some experience writing for abstracts.

So, I think a lot of medical doctors are engrained in that type of program. So, I think that's how you relate to them. You know, so if you have a doctor who is really against supplements, for whatever reason, like maybe he or she always tells you, "Oh, there's no evidence they work." So, instead of trying to fight right there, maybe what you do the next time that you go in to see the doctor is, you present them the research. I mean, do your own research. Go to If you want to start taking pomegranate because think it's going to be good for your heart because there's heart disease in your family or something. So, you're at moderate risk, let's say. You want to start taking pomegranate because you've listened to my show and you've heard me talk about this wonderful fruit and how good it is for the heart.

Go to Go to and search "pomegranate and heart disease"; "pomegranate and atherosclerosis", "pomegranate and blood pressure". Filter through some of the search results and bring some of those papers in, some of those abstracts. You don't have to understand everything on there, but I think your doctor, who is probably a scientist, is going to appreciate that and appreciate that effort. They might be more open to looking at what you bring in. I mean, I would, I think. So, give it a shot. Maybe that's the way you approach this.

The other flip side of this is, a lot of doctors—the conventional medical doctors—especially the older ones, were trained that the doctor/patient relationship is kind of like a paternal relationship where you're kind of, the patient is kind of seen as the child, and the doctor's is the dad who's going to tell you what to do, who's going to tell you what's going on and will give you the amount of information he or she thinks you need.

That, unfortunately, is not just that successful anymore. I mean, there are some patients that do like that, okay? It's up to the doctor to know who that is and to adjust how they maybe interact with people, but that's kind of an old way of handling the doctor/patient relationship. It's more of a partnership today. Everybody has a lot of information right at their fingertips. A lot of patients are bringing that information into their visits with their doctors. So, I think it's helping us to develop more of a friendship, more of a partnership. Doctors are seen more as teachers and guides now.

I think younger doctors are being trained that way. So, that's good news. That's how it should be. So, if you're with a doctor who is still treating you as "a child" in that paternal type of relationship, I don't know. If that's not working for you, maybe it's time for you to shop around for another doctor. You are the consumer, right? You're not a child. You're the customer, the patient. So, it's well within your rights to go talk to a couple of other doctors. Find one who is willing to work with you.

So, back to the original question, though, assuming we're talking about medical doctors here, I think wanting them to treat you more integratively, holistically, you need to bring them the science. If you want to do acupuncture for a little back pain, bring them in a couple studies. They're out there. Go to

Okay, next question."My dad had prostate cancer. He thinks that it runs throughout our family. What can I do to feel better about this?"

That's a good question. So, this is a question of prevention, isn't it? Prostate cancer prevention. Again, some of these questions are hard because I'm not really given a lot here. So, I'm just going to take this and talk about prostate cancer prevention. That's how I'm going to answer this. Eat less red meat. If you are going to eat red meat, make sure it's grass fed beef. Grass fed beef has a higher polyunsaturated fat content versus a saturated fat content.

It has more of the Omega 3s, basically. By the way, cattle—they're supposed to eat grass, not grain. That's what they do in the wild. They graze. So, right there, I would cut out red meat, or at least switch over to grass fed meat. I would definitely try to shoot for that. I've talked about this ratio, this percentage before, and that's 80% plant-based diet, 20% lean animal meat; 80/20 is a good ratio for longevity, a good ratio for a nice balanced immune system, inflammatory response. So, that's going to help. And, get tested. Right? There are some newer prostate cancer tests you can do. PSA is a little limited. PSA can go up even when you just have prostatitis.

It has nothing with prostate with cancer. So, it's a little misleading and, unfortunately, PSA has led to maybe a lot of unnecessary biopsies. It's still used and it can still play a role, but there's one called PCA3. We offer it at Life Extension, by the way, if your doctor doesn't want to do it. It's a urine test. It's interesting because what it's looking for is messenger RNA. So, when DNA turns into RNA and then, eventually, RNA to the protein, prostate cancers, because they're replicating so much, they're making a lot of protein, they tend to release a lot of MRNA into the urine and you can actually measure that.

So, if you look at a man's urine and there's a lot of MRNA in it that might tell you, "Okay, maybe there's a lot of cell turnover which is what you see in prostate cancer." So, PCA3 is a little more sensitive, in my opinion, than PSA. Because there's this risk here and you're worried about it, maybe you do PSA and PCA3, the urine test. You can also look at prolactin levels. That's a blood test. Prolactin is higher in men with prostate cancer. You could follow that. There's one called prostatic acid phosphatase. It's another blood test. It's abbreviated as "PAP".

So, I guess what I'm suggesting is the diet and then following yearly with these additional tests. Not just the PSA because it doesn't tell you enough. So, PSA3, prolactin, PAP. Those would be some suggestions. There are even some newer ones where they're putting all of this together. PSA with PCA3, so when they collect all of this, they can look at all of your numbers and come up with a really good statistical chance of you having prostate cancer.

They're kind of cool, these new tests. But, at least a PSA plus one of these--PSA3, prolactin or PAP. Then, protect your prostate as well with Omega 3 oils, lycopene, boron. The combination of lycopene and boron is very important to prostate health. Saw palmetto, pygeum, which is an herb. We actually have a formula with a lot of those in it. So, you can go to and check that out.

But, I think you're asking the right question. There's a history and you're doing the right thing. You're being proactive. So, diet, check with these additional tests and maybe some of the prostate nutrients. I think that's the best thing you can do.

This is Healthy Talk on RadioMD. I'm Dr. Mike.Stay well.