Thrive, Don’t Only SurviveOctober 2016
Dr. Geo Espinosa has worked as a naturopathic urology doctor for over a decade, counseling thousands of prostate cancer patients. He has also spent countless hours researching which natural strategies have the greatest impact on prostate cancer—from entire diet plans to individual foods and from fitness routines to supplements and lifestyle choices. His latest book, Thrive Don’t Only Survive: Dr. Geo’s Guide to Living Your Best Life Before & After Prostate Cancer, is not about what treatment options you should choose. Instead, Dr. Geo proposes an easy-to-follow lifestyle that will become an integral part of reversing this disease and living even healthier than before.
LE: Your book’s title underscores the point that surviving prostate cancer is not enough. You should thrive—or as you write, be a “CaPLESS thriver.” Please explain the CaPLESS concept to our readers.
GE: The CaPLESS Method is about building the health of your whole body to create an inhospitable environment for cancer—not simply to treat prostate cancer. “CaP” is an abbreviation of “carcinoma of the prostate,” “L” is for “lifestyle,” “E” is for “exercise,” “S” is for “sleep” (and “stress”), and the last “S” is for “supplementation.” Your prostate cancer can be a blessing in disguise. It is a wake-up call that you need to make significant changes—not just to manage your cancer, but to improve your quality of life. See your diagnosis as an opportunity to revamp how you eat, how you exercise, and even how you think.
LE: For each of these different pillars of the CaPLESS Method, or CM—from exercise to sleep—you provide the Lowest Effective Dose (LED). What is that?
GE: Wouldn’t you want to know the minimal amount of foods, movement, supplements, sleep, etc., you need to get maximal results? I do, which is why I offer the LED.
LE: What are the chances that conventional physicians would be supportive of the CaPLESS Method?
GE: Conventional physicians are passionate about bringing a cure to their patients, but many are not trained in nutritional or naturopathic interventions—only in drug and surgical treatments. While aggressive treatments are sometimes necessary, they don’t build health…I strongly believe that treating prostate cancer with surgery, radiation, or any of a dozen or so other therapies, without the patient applying a lifestyle approach like the CaPLESS Method, falls short. After all, prostate cancer is not a local problem, it’s a systemic one…The truth is, your physician likely has little or no interest in speaking with you about the CaPLESS Method, natural medicine, or any nontraditional approach to prostate cancer. Bottom line, you are the captain of your ship, so work with a physician who will respect your position in being proactive about your health. No one doctor alone can cure you. You have to cure yourself.
LE: People might assume this book is strictly for prostate cancer patients, but you also address the patient’s life partner.
GE: Prostate cancer is rarely a solo journey…I offer suggestions on how (a patient’s life partner) can help him during all phases of the CaPLESS Method, including when to offer advice, support, or just be there for him. Plus this gives a couple an opportunity to embrace a new way of living—together. What life partners will also discover is that they too can benefit from the CaPLESS Method.
LE: I assume a PSA test is the logical starting point?
GE: PSA tests do provide a valuable service, and are a good gauge of current risk—at least for now. But they should not be the only basis for any decision you make regarding treatment and long-term management. This is why it is often recommended that you pair your PSA results with other tests that can provide a clearer understanding of your current prostate health.
LE: Yes, you list various tests that support PSA results in your book. What other options do you recommend?
GE: You will probably hear a lot about the three most common ones: active surveillance, surgery, and radiation…What works for one person may not be right for another, so you have to keep in mind several factors, such as your PSA and Gleason scores, family history, lifestyle, and psychological reaction—which one will you be most comfortable with?
LE: What are the target pathways of the CaPLESS Method?
GE: Specifically, at a cellular, DNA level, the CaPLESS Method can do the following to promote greater health and wellness: reduce oxidative stress, lower chronic inflammation, improve detoxification capacity, strengthen the immune system, and control sugar levels and insulin production.
LE:Can you review the key CaPLESS Method elements—such as diet?
GE: This is where the CaPLESS Food Rating System comes into play. This simple five-point rating helps you separate the good stuff from the crap by giving everything you eat a rating of 1 to 5. This way you don’t have to memorize a long food list of good and bad choices. Instead, it helps to reinforce the idea of good versus bad. This way you can look at a food, or even complete meals, and immediately know if it helps or hurts your cancer management, and if you should eat it more, less, or occasionally. So CaPLESS eating is about consuming more 4s and 5s, some 3s, and few 2s and 1s. This not only helps improve your eating habits, but feeds your body the nutrients it needs to create that hostile microenvironment for your cancer.
LE: Another CaPLESS Method element is supplements. What do you mean by “selected supplementation?”
GE: By this I mean that you focus only on the individual vitamins, minerals, and botanicals you specifically need to fight your prostate cancer and improve your overall health…Selected supplementation helps to build a huge arsenal to attack cancer cells and make your “biological soil” hostile to aberrations. The right type of supplements in the right combination and in the right amounts can support a healthy immune system. Selected supplementation works to address these five areas: boost immunity, interrupt cancer formation, reduce oxidative stress, modulate inflammation, and improve detoxification.
LE: Yes, 14 supplements in all.
GE: But look at it this way: You are not just taking pills—but rather feeding your body what it needs to discourage aberrant cancer cells, while boosting your health and wellness.
LE: What about exercise—how does it relate?
GE: Research has shown that fitness can help you reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer, prevent it from returning, or lower the chances of you dying from it. If you really want to live your best life, you need to be physically active, doing both high- and low-intensity movement, every day, for the rest of your life. Plain and simple. The good news is you do not need to spend two or three hours in the gym or pounding away on the treadmill. You only need the LED, which is the least amount of work you need to get maximal results. Once you begin to feel strong and see the results, you will be motivated to exercise consistently…Also, you can overcome common side effects from treatments, and even lower your risk of dying from other causes. For more specific guidance, go to http://ThriveDontOnlySurvive.com to create your own individualized CaPLESS movement program.
LE: Another part of the CaPLESS Method is stress management. How does that support prostate health?
GE: No matter the cause, stress manifests in your body in the same way: Your body launches a fight-or-flight response, releasing stress chemicals to help protect you from the taxing encounter.
As a result, modern men live half their lives on “high alert” due to much more mundane daily triggers, like traffic jams, demanding jobs, or financial worries. And while good in short spurts, this kind of excess stress can be damaging…Your body produces stress chemicals called cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine to help you escape danger. While these stress chemicals serve you well in time of danger, chronic production, especially cortisol, can weaken your immune system to the point where a favorable cancer environment is created. To bring it even closer to home, stress can be such a powerful entity that it affects the accuracy of your PSA scores. When you can better control your reaction to stressful events, you can keep the damaging chemicals from being overproduced and thus promoting cancer development and progression.
LE: One of the anti-stress strategies you include may surprise some readers: sleep.
GE: The average amount of sleep has consistently declined and deteriorated since the advent of modern technology…When sleep is consistently sacrificed to obtain a competitive edge, due to stress or any other reason, you will damage your long-term health and promote prostate cancer. If you consistently do not go through your sleep phases at night, your body may end up producing less melatonin. This inhibits your immune system and your resistance to many types of cancers…Excess cortisol is usually released from improper stress management…Excess cortisol weakens your immunity, especially white blood cells, natural killer cells, monocytes, and macrophages. Weak immune cells entice cancer cells to have a feast in your body. Sleep is just as important as diet, exercise, supplementation, and stress reduction—everything else outlined in the CaPLESS Method. Give it the same attention.
LE: A critical step in your CaPLESS Method program is the 21-Day Reset Plan. Can you explain that?
GE: The best cancer treatment in the world won’t help you in the end if you first don’t clean up the cancer’s home—your body. For three weeks, you will follow a special CaPLESS eating plan and specific routines that will get you going in your new health path. The plan will also contain specific nutrients that science has shown can strengthen your natural detoxification system. You will also begin to introduce movement into your everyday life and follow the exercise programs I have designed based on your fitness level and prostate diagnosis…What you need to keep in mind is that right now you are at the height of your toxin exposure and your detox system is operating at its weakest level. The 21-Day Reset is designed to reverse that.
LE: Any final advice for readers?
GE: Yes. You have battled prostate cancer, but do you want to just stay alive—or live your best life possible? Do you want to just survive—or thrive? These are the deep questions men and their loved ones need to answer before embarking on the CaPLESS journey.
LE: Thanks very much, doctor.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.
For an appointment with Dr. Geo in his New York office, contact Erica at 646-490-0536 or email her at Erica@drgeo.com
Dr. Geo Espinosa is a naturopathic doctor noted for his expertise in prostate disorders, male sexual health and male aging. Additionally, he uses acupuncture to treat athletes and patients suffering from chronic pain. With more than 10 years of clinical experience and two decades of research in natural medicine, Dr. Espinosa hosts his blog at http://drgeo.com/ and is an editorial board member of the Natural Medicine Journal. A professor at New York University, he is also the founding director of the New York University Integrative Urology Center.
To purchase Thrive, Don’t Only Survive, call 1-800-544-4440.
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