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Advice for prostate cancer that has mestastisized to the bone?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 20, 2012 at 6:39 PM

My father-in-law was diagnosed with prostate cancer 7 years ago, with which they removed the prostate. Everything seemed normal for 3 years or so, but then his numbers began to elevate again. For the past 4 years they have been treating him with hormone therapy and for the most part it seemed to keep the numbers stable or in some cases lower them. However, the past year the numbers continued to rise despite the therapy. The doctors did a bone scan and they found two areas believed to be cancer, one in his clavicle and one his his skull. They plan to radiate the clavicle and do a radiation injection to the skull. However, according to the doctor it will mostly like be for pain management and not to prolong life expectancy.

To give a little background, my father-in-law has terrible eating habits and even worse exercise habits. He doesn't smoke and only drinks wine and beer occasionally. He is probably 60lbs overweight and has preliminary type II diabetes and is on various medications. Since I found out about Paleo I have been trying my best to feed him information in the hopes he will make some dietary and lifestyle changes. However, I have been VERY unsuccessful. I've gotten excuses about how the food he enjoys is all he has left at this point. My intentions in saying this isn't for anyone to defeat that comment, because I already realize how ridiculous it is, but it shows his mindset. My hope now is that since death is literally staring him in the face, he may make some positive changes.

I don't know much about cancer and know even less about what happens when it metastasizes, but I assume at this point prolonging and increasing his quality of life is about the only option. So here are my questions:

1) Are there any studies you can provide that I may provide to him for as situation like this?

2) In a perfect world, if he started Robb's autoimmune Paleo protocol, would he even benefit?

3) What workout options does he have at this point?

4) AM I wasting my time continuing to try to fight for him? Should I just let it go and enjoy the time I have left? (I've know him since I was 16 and has been the only consistent father figure in my life and my sons adore him, so that is why I am continuing to fight so hard)

Medium avatar

(2923)

on January 21, 2012
at 01:19 AM

I think James probably says it best, "Enjoy what time you have left." You can try showing him Dr. Terry Wahls' video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc) but if you haven't been able to convince him yet, then you're just going to make both of you more frustrated if you keep pushing things.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 20, 2012
at 09:44 PM

Quality of life and fewer interactions with the chemo and everything else. Note, he's not getting rid of all drugs, just some of them. Example. the diabetes drugs. Plus, depending on insurance, it leaves more $$$ for the kids.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 20, 2012
at 09:03 PM

Thank you for sharing that article. THAT is why it kills me that more people don't know about hospice. A close friend's husband died of cancer a year ago - and he SUFFERED pain and horrible anxiety near the end because their doctor wasn't brave or wise enough to give him his real options or to educate the family about how his body was in fact already shutting down. It's unethical and it really took a toll on my friend, who now remembers him in agony. We all need to learn to talk about death.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 20, 2012
at 08:58 PM

Why is cutting out drugs, at this point, beneficial?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 20, 2012
at 07:06 PM

^this and sorry to hear about this, but as you probably suspect good nutrition is hugely important and will help his body to sustain whatever level of health is possible for him.

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5 Answers

6
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 20, 2012
at 07:58 PM

My dad was in a similar situation. Lasted 5-6 years in decent health, deteriorating rapidly at the end. I'm assuming he's got his will, finances, and future planning and everything in order. Other than that, enjoy what time you have left. You can try to fight it out over diet, etc. but you'll probably end things on a bad note. The only argument you have with that really is the potential to cut back on some of the drugs, and he probably won't go for it.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 20, 2012
at 08:58 PM

Why is cutting out drugs, at this point, beneficial?

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 20, 2012
at 09:44 PM

Quality of life and fewer interactions with the chemo and everything else. Note, he's not getting rid of all drugs, just some of them. Example. the diabetes drugs. Plus, depending on insurance, it leaves more $$$ for the kids.

3
D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 20, 2012
at 08:58 PM

I'm sorry to hear this. But I wish I could get my hospice RN friend to post on here about the big picture, medically. If they're doing pain management, they're doing pain management. Don't be another pain. Do what you can to maximize his quality of life. That may very well may involve keeping him on schedule with his meds, and sneaking him nourishing cups of herbal tea, for all I know. Your agenda should take a backseat, even though it was conceived out of love and concern.

3
4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on January 20, 2012
at 08:44 PM

I would not be surprised if eating and living paleo (e.g., eating whole foods, limiting omega 6s, supplementing with vitamin D and mk-4 vitamin K, potentially in high doses) prolonged life in cancer patients. I know if I had what he has, I'd been damn strict about my diet/lifestyle. That said, it sounds like he is not a believer...

Aside from paleo things, some alternative treatments for cancer that show some promise but that haven't been properly explored yet include (i) kotegenic diet, (ii) low dose naltrexone (possibly coupled with alpha lipoic acid), (iii) IP-6, and (iv) intravenous vitamin C. If it were me, I would probably try a ketogenic diet (at least sporadically for a few weeks at a time) and IP-6.

Combine the above with radiation and who knows, maybe he can beat the odds...

3
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 20, 2012
at 06:42 PM

I would say it will help. Perhaps even a ketogenic diet and coconut oil. Getting rid of the seed oils.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 20, 2012
at 07:06 PM

^this and sorry to hear about this, but as you probably suspect good nutrition is hugely important and will help his body to sustain whatever level of health is possible for him.

2
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 20, 2012
at 07:22 PM

Prolonging life and maintaining quality of life do not often go hand-in-hand in cancer treatment. I'm not saying to ever give up, but weight costs and benefits carefully.

Ran across this on Twitter (courtesy of Mellisa McEwen) a while ago, thought it was good: http://zocalopublicsquare.org/thepublicsquare/2011/11/30/how-doctors-die/read/nexus/

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 20, 2012
at 09:03 PM

Thank you for sharing that article. THAT is why it kills me that more people don't know about hospice. A close friend's husband died of cancer a year ago - and he SUFFERED pain and horrible anxiety near the end because their doctor wasn't brave or wise enough to give him his real options or to educate the family about how his body was in fact already shutting down. It's unethical and it really took a toll on my friend, who now remembers him in agony. We all need to learn to talk about death.

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