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Torbay Prostate

Support Association

Copyright ©  TPSA  2015              Registered Charity Number  -  1095734

Serving men of all ages, and their partners, through a program of support before, during and after diagnosis.

Relaxation and Visualisation

Here we present some information on self-help breathing, relaxation and visualisation exercises.

The TPSA also run free relaxation and visualisation sessions. Please read on for all the details...

Diet and Nutrition

This section contains useful information and recipes of particular benefit to prostate patients.

Please click here to read this section.

Relaxation and Visualisation

Simple breathing and relaxation self-help exercises are very helpful for a variety of conditions, from migraine and high blood pressure to cancer. Almost everyone can learn the techniques and they can offer an immediate and, at times, quite dramatic reduction in the effects of anxiety and muscle tension. Many people with cancer, and indeed many of their relatives, can be helped to relax and experience a sense of calmness if taught these simple methods.

Visualisation (mental imagery) is a technique that involves the use of imagination while you are in a state of relaxation or meditation. For example, you might imagine that you are approaching a beautiful blue waterfall as in the example below. The theory is that by imagining a peaceful scene you will encourage yourself to feel more relaxed. It has been suggested that you can stimulate the immune system to affect the growth of the cancer. Some studies have shown that focusing on feeling better and stronger can reduce the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatment for some people.

Below is an example of a visualisation that you can try :-


Imagine that you are approaching a beautiful waterfall that is cascading gently into a shallow, placid lake. You get closer to this deep healing blue, the perfect iridescent blue of the rainbow, full of light and colour. You wade into the soft warm pool of water until you are directly beneath the flow of this gentle waterfall. Feel how soft and cool and healing this beautiful blue water is as it pours over your body, soothing and nourishing every part of you, washing away all your tiredness, all your fears.

Feel each and every drop as it begins to penetrate through the top of your head. Guide it down, down, down until it reaches your heart healing and comforting it. Feel this cool, healing blue water as it enters your bloodstream, pumped through each cell in your body, cleansing, calming, cooling and balancing every cell, every nerve, every fibre of your body.

Feel as it is flowing through you now….through your shoulders, down your arms to your fingertips, back up to your elbows, back to your chest, into your lungs, into your heart.

This cool, blue healing light and water is now flowing down through your stomach, cooling and restoring all of the organs in your abdomen, your digestive system, down through your hips, your thighs, your knees, your calves, your ankles and your toes.

Now you see this blue light penetrating each and every cell of your body. Feel as it is cleansing and refreshing every cell…healing every cell…making each one well, healthy and whole, well, healthy and whole, Complete.

You are now one with the placid lake. You are as placid, calm and peaceful as the lake. Allow the healing to flow through you. Allow yourself to be calm, cool, blue drop in the placid lake.

You are one with the lake, you are well, healthy, whole and complete. You are one with the lake, flowing down, cleansing every cell…see every cell as new, healthy, well and whole.

Each and every time that you listen to these words it will reinforce the healing.


Torbay Prostate Association run free group sessions at the new cancer information and support centre near Torbay Hospital. If you would like to find out more, then please email us at:-     chairman@tpsa.org.uk

Diet and Nutrition

Red wine may protect against prostate cancer

Drinking a glass of red wine each day may halve a man's risk of developing prostate cancer, results of a US study suggest.

The research team, led by Dr Marieke Schoonen from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) in Seattle, Washington, also found that this protective effect was strongest against more aggressive forms of the disease.

"We found that men who consumed four or more glasses of red wine per week reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 50%," explained researcher Dr Janet Stanford, also from the FHCRC. "Among men who consumed four or more 4-ounce glasses of red wine per week, we saw about a 60% lower incidence of the more aggressive types of prostate cancer."

"The more clinically aggressive prostate cancer is where the strongest reduction in risk was observed."

For their study, the team interviewed 753 newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients, aged 40 to 64 years, and 703 age-matched participants without the disease. All participants completed a questionnaire on lifetime alcohol consumption and risk factors for prostate cancer, such as family history.

Detailed information on the tumour aggressiveness (tumour grade and disease stage) for each participant was collected from the FHCRC's cancer registry.

Assessment of the data revealed that there was no association between the consumption of beer, spirits or white wine and prostate cancer risk. However, further analysis revealed a significant association between the amount of red wine consumed each week and a dose-related reduction in the risk of prostate cancer development.

The researchers speculate that an antioxidant called resveratrol, present in red wine but absent in other forms of alcoholic drinks, may be responsible for this protective effect.

"Even though this study is based on relatively small numbers, the results are very intriguing and suggest that the potential beneficial effect of red wine and resveratrol - if indeed resveratrol is the active chemopreventive agent involved - would be very important, because it's the more aggressive forms of prostate cancer than are most important to prevent," said Dr Stanford.

However, she added that the findings should not be used as a reason for men to increase their consumption of red wine, particularly given the risks associated with heavy alcohol consumption, and that further research is need to confirm the association between red wine consumption and a reduced risk of prostate cancer.

The research is published in an early online edition of the International Journal of Cancer.

Tomato chemical 'halts cancer growth'

A chemical that gives tomatoes their red colour could slow the growth of prostate tumours, study findings suggest.

Using a synthetic version of the compound lycopene and vitamin E, Dr Jacqueline Limpens, from the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and colleagues found that they could slow cancer progression in mice that had been injected with human prostate tumour cells.

At the Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapies in Geneva, Switzerland, Dr Limpens said human trials into the effectiveness of the treatment are already under way.

The researchers found that 42 days after their study began, a low dose of lycopene had slowed the tumour growth in the mice by more than 50%, compared with mice that had not been treated. Furthermore, when low dose lycopene was combined with a low dose of vitamin E, tumour growth was reduced by 73%.

"What was particularly marked was that it was the low dose of both lycopene and vitamin E that was most effective, demonstrating that 'more doesn't necessarily equal better'," commented Dr Limpens.

The investigators acknowledge that much more research is needed to confirm a preventative role for lycopene and vitamin E in prostate cancer. Nevertheless, Dr Limpens said: "Our data fit in with the general picture that lycopene and vitamin E may have chemopreventative effects on prostate cancer.

"Therefore we would certainly recommend that all men regularly eat lycopene and vitamin E-rich foods."

She added: "Of course, this needs to be part of an all-round healthy lifestyle and diet with plenty of vegetables and other healthy foods."

PSA Soup

This soup might just be able to help slow the growth of your P S A or even lower your

P S A. It has done just that for my husband Stan and some other people. How did this happen?

In August 1998 Stan had Radical Surgery and for 18 months we thought everything was fine. However in February 2000 the blood test showed 0.2 instead of 0.1. This was a bit of a blow but we just made the best of things and went on with our life together. Stan had regular 3 monthly blood tests and his P S A at that time went up 0.1 every 9 months. In April 2003 things started to get worse. His P S A started rising by 0.1 every 3 months instead of every 9 months. We were not happy about this and Stan’s Consultant Urologist told us about one of his patients who had been taking a daily bowl of Armenian Soup* with the result that this man’s PSA reading started to go down. Off course we could not wait to try this soup. Stan started taking a daily portion of the soup in August 2002. His next reading was the same as the previous one. This was brilliant, as the reading had not gone up. Mr Stott had said Stan’s reading might not go down because Stan’s cancer was more advanced than the other fellow’s but it might slow the growth. It had done just that. He continued with the daily serving of Armenian Soup and the next reading was 0.1 down. This was even better than the time before. Stan has continued taking this soup each day but in January 2004 he added broccoli and tomato puree to the recipe and we call this recipe PSA soup. His latest PSA reading was down by 0.2.

Over all Stan’s PSA is exactly the same today as it was in August 2002 when he started taking the soup. We are thrilled about this. It has varied between 0.6and 0.8. We know it is doing him no harm and we think this soup has slowed up the PSA growth. Stan does eat a healthy diet with lots of fruit, vegetables and Soya with few dairy products in his diet.

If you do decide to give this soup a try I would be interested to know how you get on. Ann Branson 01392 277295

P S A Soup

Red Lentils, washed 2oz (50g)

Dried Apricots, washed 2oz (50g)

Large potato cut in small pieces

Vegetable stock 2pts organic or 2 pints water and 1 organic stock cube

Juice of ½ Lemon

Ground Cumin 1 tsp (5 ml)

Fresh Parsley, chopped 3 tbsp (45ml or 10g)

2 Tablespoons of Tomato puree

4 flowerets of Broccoli


Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool, and then blend in a liquidizer goblet until smooth.

Reheat to serving temperature and adjust seasoning to taste.

Stan pours this quantity into 7 screw top plastic beakers and freezes it until needed. He takes one beaker each day instead of a milky drink at night.


* the recipe for Armenian Soup can be found in The Cranks Recipe Book, Published by Orion Books Ltd. ISBN 1 855797 140 X

Helping to prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the condition whereby bones become weak and porous. This is due to a loss of bone mass or density and can result in bones breaking or fracturing more easily. A recent talk by Dr Mehta to TPSA, highlighted the increased risk of osteoporosis amongst men with prostate cancer, due to androgen (male hormone) deprivation. Dr Mehta mentioned several dietary factors that may be involved in helping to reduce the amount of bone mass lost and therefore reducing the risk of osteoporosis. This article provides some practical suggestions to help you with food choices to reduce your risk of osteoporosis:

Have a diet rich in calcium; men over the age of 50 require about 700mg of calcium daily.

The best dietary sources of calcium are from cows milk and other dairy foods such as yogurt, fromage frais, ice-cream and cheese. The recommended intake can be achieved by having three portions of dairy foods daily, for example, one glass of milk, one piece of hard cheese (e.g. in a sandwich) and one pot of yogurt daily. If you do not take dairy foods, it is harder to achieve adequate dietary calcium, but not impossible with carefully planning.

Non-dairy foods rich in calcium include:

White bread, products made with white flour e.g. pastry, biscuits, sauces, pasta.

Soya milk enriched with calcium

Breakfast cereals fortified with calcium

Water fortified with calcium (e.g. Danone)

Dark green vegetables e.g. cabbage, broccoli,

Pulses e.g. lentils, kidney beans, baked beans

Nuts e.g. almonds, peanuts, walnuts, brazil

Seeds e.g. sesame seed, tahini, sunflower

Fish (with bones) e.g. pilchards, sardines

Eggs, Oranges, Dried fruit.

As a rough guide you need to eat 10-12 portions of the above daily (less if calcium enriched soya milk and/or water fortified with calcium is included).

For those who are concerned they are not achieving an adequate calcium intake on a regular basis, calcium supplements can be taken. The suggested dose is 500-1000mg daily. Remember, as with other nutrients, the absorption and usage is much better if achieved naturally from food.

N.B If you have hypocalcaemia (high blood calcium) secondary to bone metastases, you should not need to reduce your dietary calcium intake.

Include some foods rich in phytoestrogens daily. Phytoestrogens are weak oestrogens

(hormones) that are found naturally in plant foods. Rich sources include;

Peas e.g. garden peas, chick peas

Beans e.g. kidney beans, mung beans, Baked beans, Lentils.

Soya produce e.g. milk, flour, beans, textured vegetable protein (TVP), tofu, Quorn

Seeds, E.g. sunflower seeds, Flaxseed(linseed)

Cereals, particularly wheat, oats, rye and barley (especially whole grain)

Fruit & Vegetables, particularly berry fruits, pears, plums, apples, onions, asparagus

Tea, red wine

Ensure you have adequate Vitamin D. Vitamin D is required to ensure the body can absorb calcium. Most of our Vitamin D comes from the action of sunlight on our skin. However, some foods are also good sources of Vitamin D, these include: Fortified breakfast cereals,  margarine, pastry products, eggs, oily fish e.g. herring, pilchards, mackerel, meat.

If you are over the age of 65 or you rarely go out of doors, you may require a nutritional supplement. The suggested dosage is 10mcg Vitamin D daily.

Avoiding being both underweight and overweight. Try to achieve a healthy weight for your height (Body Mass Index of 20-25Kg/m2)- charts are available in GP surgeries or at hospital clinics. Being underweight and being obese are considered risk factors for osteoporosis.

Being a little overweight (Body Mass Index 26-29) is not believed to increase your risk, but may affect other aspects of your health.

Avoid an excessive caffeine intake. Rich sources include coffee, chocolate, coca- cola,

“Energy drinks” e.g. red bull and tea to a lesser extent. For osteoporosis risk, it is suggested not to exceed the equivalent caffeine from eight cups of weak coffee daily.

Avoid an excessive alcohol intake. The “safe” intake for a man 3-4 units daily (but preferably a little less than this). 1 unit = half pint beer or larger, 1 measure of spirits, 1 small glass wine.

Other lifestyle factors that my help reduce your risk of osteoporosis include:

Stopping smoking, ensuring regular weight baring exercise e.g. walking, jogging, aerobics.

Those at an even higher risk of osteoporosis include those on long-term steroids, those with an overactive thyroid and those with hyperparathyroidism. Lastly, be aware and inform your doctor if you have a family history of osteoporosis.

Helen Long  Macmillan Dietitian, Torbay Hospital

The articles below are more specific to prostrate patients but we have also compiled some useful general information on diet and nutrition on our Internet Resources page.

You can click on the link below to go to this section.

Internet Resources

Self Help Options