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Ask Dr. Mike: New Prostate Screening Using Gold & What If My Angioplasty Didn't Work?

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:

I had a procedure done where the doctor cleared my arteries in my lower extremity. It's been six months since the procedure and I still can't walk without pain. Do you have any suggestions?

Just like the arteries in your heart, any artery in your body can be clogged. In fact, having clogged arteries in your lower body is pretty common. If you're walking and you feel pain or cramping in your calf muscle, there's a chance you might have some blood flow issues.

Dr. Mike recommends getting a PLAC blood test done, as well as strengthening your arteries.

I saw on a local news story about a new prostate test using gold. Have you heard about it?

Dr. Mike actually hadn't heard about this and had to look it up. Taken from an article posted on Eurasia Review, this new test can cost less than a dollar and posts results within minutes. It's also been shown that it's more sensitive and more exact than the current tests used.

Unfortunately, if you only rely on the standard PSA testing, you might end up getting a biopsy that you don't really need. Doctors are always looking for a more sensitive way of identifying cancerous vs. non-cancerous prostate issues. Which is exactly what this test is saying it's capable of doing.

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: April 7, 2015
Host: Michael Smith, MD

RadioMD. It's time to ask Dr. Mike. Do you have a question about your health? Dr. Mike can answer your questions. Just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call now: 877-711-5211. The lines are open.

DR MIKE: Alright that's This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . As you guys know, I love this part of the show. I love answering questions even when I don't know the answer all the time. But I just love the research behind it and the thought and the theories. It's cool stuff, so please send me your questions and you can be as detailed or as vague as you want. You can be anonymous or you can give me your name it's all up to you.

I have a question about a new prostate cancer test using gold nanoparticles and I'm going to get to that but I noticed another question I'm going to start with because I think I can answer this one pretty quick and then move into the prostate cancer test which may take a little bit more time. So , let me go to this shorter question here:

"I had a procedure done where my doctor unclogged the arteries in my lower extremities. It's been 6 months since the procedure and I still can't walk without pain. Do you have any suggestions?"

So, yes. This is an example of an anonymous email. I didn't print out the full email. I don't see the email or the name I just have the question. Sometimes, I print it out where I can see the email. I just did one with Ralph Bennett and I know that because it's at the top. But, anyway, if you don't want your name said, just tell me or whatever I'll work with you. But, yes, so just like the arteries in your heart can get clogged, any artery in your body anywhere can get clogged and the lower extremity actually is very common.

If you ever walk and you start getting kind of like a pain a cramping of the calf muscle that kind of thing, that's usually a good sign that there's some blood flow issues probably from some blocked arteries. When I was in radiology, I used to do a lot of these lower extremity angiograms. I remember being a resident I did my interventional radiology part at the VA in Dallas. As a matter of fact, I was in the middle of a procedure just like this when 9/11 happened, I remember that.

How could you forget that day? I was literally doing a lower extremity angiogram as a resident. Anyway, so the best way to answer this: you're still having pain when you walk and it's been 6 months. So, I actually would recommend two things: first get a blood test called PLAC its abbreviated for phospholipase AC. It's an enzyme that the higher it is, and I think the number we use at Life Extension is 200, so when it's over 200, that's a bad sign. That means this enzyme is in there kind of chewing up the fat and stuff. Even if they put stints in, you still have some plaque in there and you have this enzyme kind of eating away at it and it makes the stint unstable. So, if you're still having pain after 6 months I would start with the phospholipase test the plaque test. If it's over 200, then you definitely need to go ahead and have another angiogram of your lower extremities to make sure that the stint's doing what its supposed to do.

However, you could also make the case that maybe you should just have the angiogram; forget the PLAC--just go ahead and have the angiogram. Let's make sure that the stint that they most likely placed is okay and still working. If it is and everything looks fine and you're still not getting the benefit that you were expecting from the procedure, well, I mean, I think other options would be to strengthen the artery. I mean we've talked on my show before about the importance of endothelial cells so things like pomegranate, curcumin, resveratrol, CoQ10--these are all nutrients that can really help artery health so maybe that's where you need to focus.

Alright, let's go to the next question. This is about a new prostate cancer test that is pretty interesting.

"I live in South Florida and saw on a local news story about a new prostate cancer test using gold. Have you heard about it?"

I didn't. I had to look this up. I found this from Eurasia Review, it's a news outlet and we actually published this on the Life Extension website. We do a daily news at Life Extension. So, I found this on Life Extension but it was from Eurasia Review and it was published just this month and so this is like right off the press. Hot off the press.

It turns out that there is a test that costs less than a dollar and it yields results in minutes and has been shown in newly published studies to be more sensitive and more exact than the current standard test for early stage prostate cancer, which, of course, is the PSA test, prostate specific antigen. The PSA is a test that we use and it's good. It's not a bad test. It's not very sensitive for prostate cancer is the problem. PSA can go up even just when there's prostatitis, infectious or non-infectious, just enlarged prostate as men get older. I mean PSA can go up. It doesn't mean it's cancer.

So, what's happened is, if you rely only on a PSA a lot of guys end up having these biopsies that they just don't need. So, we're always trying to figure out a better way, a more sensitive way of identifying cancer versus non-cancer prostate issues. This is apparently one that can and this was developed at the University of Central Florida.

A scientist named, I'm going to say the name wrong, Qun Treen, holds the promise of earlier detection. I'm sorry. She developed this test and the test holds the promise of earlier detection of one of the deadliest cancers among men. It would also reduce the unnecessary invasive biopsies stemming from the less precise PSA test that's now used. So basically, what she's developed out of the University of Central Florida are gold nanoparticles. Here's what happens: when a tumor develops, the body mobilizes the immune system to produce antibodies and this test, this gold nanoparticle is detecting the immune response.

Not necessarily the cancer itself, but it's finding these antibodies to the cancer. And what it's doing is the gold nanoparticles, when applied to the person's blood is able to attract all of these antibodies better. It's like a vacuum for these antibodies and it highlights underneath the microscope the antibodies better than looking for the cancer itself. It's able to identify, apparently, according to what I'm reading here, it's able to identify a cancer way before PSA would even begin to increase.

So, it's a very sensitive way of finding prostate cancer but it's not really finding the cancer it appears to be identifying the antibodies to the cancer and those antibodies are attaching to the gold nanoparticles. Although and I'm reading further in this report, and although it uses gold everybody thinks, "Oh my gosh, the test is cheap." That's good right? A small bottle of nanoparticles suspended in water costs about $250 and yet it contains enough for about 2500 tests. That's where you're getting about the $1 a test.

So even though it' gold, its very cost efficient. "What's different and unique about our technique," this is Dr. Huo explaining this, "what's different and unique about our technique it's a very simple process and the material required for the test is less than $1 and because it's low cost we're hoping most people can have this test in their doctor's office. If we can catch this cancer in the early stages the impact going to be big." And of course, that's one of the reasons we're seeing cancer deaths go down is we're catching cancers earlier and treatment has a better chance of working. And, of course, this is bypassing the PSA which is not that sensitive.

This is actually looking for the antibodies that are attaching to the cancer. So, you only make those antibodies when there's cancer so that's why this is a highly sensitive test for prostate cancer and, apparently, it's able to detect these antibodies when there's just a few of them. So, a lot of promise with the gold nanoparticles for prostate cancer detection. It's awesome.

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