Dr. Jim Ochiogrosso, 72, Computer Programmer/Nutritional Counselor Healthline: Can you give us a little background about your experience with prostate cancer?
Jim: I discovered I had a problem after a routine physical showed an increase in my PSA over the (then accepted) limit of 4.0. My family practitioner sent me to a urologist who did a digital rectal exam and then told me I most likely had prostate cancer and would need a biopsy. A second urologist confirmed the first. Knowing that a biopsy is not a benign procedure, I decided to research other avenues. I found out that a free PSA test could help determine if there was cancer present, so I had one done. Unfortunately, this also pointed in the wrong direction. I began a treatment based on my research consisting of improving my diet and nutrition and taking herbal supplements targeted towards prostate health. My original free PSA readings were in the vicinity of 12 percent (pretty indicative of cancer). After several years of treatment, my last free PSA reading was in excess of 30 percent (much less indicative of cancer).
Healthline: Did your condition affect your relationships with your family and friends?
Jim: Except for bouts of erectile dysfunction, my condition did not really effect anyone other than me.
Healthline: Did it have any effect on your career?
Jim: Knowing that I had a serious prostate problem was a prime reason for changing my career. After years of research, I signed up for a formal program in natural health and obtained my N.D., M.H. and C.N.C. certificates.
Jim now runs a website that approaches prostate health from a nutritional perspective. It can be found at www.prostatehealthnaturally.com.
Healthline: Your father and brother suffered from prostate problems and cancer respectively. Did seeing them go through their health problems have any impact on how you’ve handled your own health issues?
Jim: Seeing both my father and my brother succumb had a strong impact on how I handled my own health issues. Both of them were married strongly to the medical profession, and whatever the doctor said was "gospel truth." While there were many other options for treating my father's condition (serious enlarged prostate, but not cancer), his urologist insisted on surgically removing his prostate. The surgery was done on Monday morning. We were making funeral arrangements on Monday evening. He was 54 years old and otherwise in pretty good health.
Healthline: Has your experience changed your overall outlook on your health and/or on taking care of your body?
Jim: My experience caused me to reevaluate my life, my health and the direction I was heading in. I spend much more time taking care of my body, I'm much more careful about what I eat, and I regularly take lots of vitamin, minerals, and herbal supplements.
Healthline: Knowing what you know now, what kind of preventative measures (if any) do you wish you would have taken earlier in your life?
Jim: I would have spent more time taking care of my health. I would have revised my diet much earlier, stopped smoking earlier (or better yet, never started) and spent more time learning about natural health at an earlier age. Until I was about 40, I, too, was a strong believer in conventional medicine. After the deaths of my brother and father, and several incidents of incorrect medical diagnosis for my wife's problems, I began to take more responsibility for my health (and hers). I am in my 70's now, and we are both in better health than we were 20 years ago.