Our Thursday, October 22, our Online Men’s Support Group benefitted greatly from the presence of Dr. Sven Wenske, Assistant Professor at Columbia Medical School, for the entire seventy-five minutes. Starting with a discussion on nutrition, which had been requested by the group, Dr. Wenske led a spirited Q&A on a wide-ranging variety of topics.
Insisting there were no magical formulas for preventing prostate cancer or a recurrence of the disease, Dr. Wenske recommended a diet that was both high in plant-based foods and antioxidants.
Responding to the men’s reaction to his plant-based food suggestion, Dr. Wenske added exceptions, namely (a) that fish (especially tuna, salmon, cod, halibut) is also a good source of protein “and because we don’t want to make things too boring” and (b) a burger or a steak every now and then “isn’t going to kill you.”
The foods he recommended specifically were cooked tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, walnuts, and foods that contain antioxidants to fight the free radicals which promote aging and contain environmental toxins. With the winter around the corner, he strongly suggested one of the superfoods, pomegranates, for their long list of nutritional benefits.
Further Reading on Nutrition
- Read more about pomegranates.
- Explore a brief guide to a connection between a healthy diet and prostate cancer provided by the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
To a question about Vitamin D in supplement form, Dr. Wenske responded that before considering high doses, one should ask to be tested for a Vitamin D deficiency. Since Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and not as easily excreted from the body via urination like the water-soluble B-Vitamins and Vitamin C, excess amounts tend to be stored in the body.
Further Reading on Vitamin D Deficiency
Prostate Cancer Q&A
When the discussion turned to prostate cancer, Dr. Wenske was helpful in answering questions that had continually been raised on our calls.
First, he explained the importance of velocity of PSA – the change in results over time, rather than a raw score, such as 4.0 that is often cited in written lab values. He also listed factors such as exercise, a bicycle ride, an infected prostate, or recent sexual relations as causes, besides cancer, that can cause a prostate to produce higher-than-usual amounts of the prostate-specific antigen.
Dr. Wenske also sang the praises of the MRI in being a major factor over the past 5-7 years in allowing biopsies to become more directed and accurate. For many years, he said, prostate cancer was the only cancer for which biopsies were essentially conducted blind rather than directed at a specific area identified by earlier testing.
A Big Thanks
Fans for the Cure and our Online Men’s Support Group extends its deep gratitude to Dr. Wenske. As expressed in so many emails that followed this session, the men benefitted not only from the exchange of information but also from the opportunity to spend time with a highly-empathetic and caring member of the medical community.
Join Our Support Group
When COVID-19 put a pause on our in-person events, we launched an online Men’s Support Group. This free group meets over Zoom every two weeks on Thursday evenings. Men from across the country have been coming together since May to share with and support each other.