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Lifestyle and diet evidence about recurrence and progression

Once we’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer, which diet and lifestyle changes can really reduce the risk of its progress or recurrence? A lot of us do various things, but what's the evidence say? A metastudy in the World Journal of Urology (2017 35:867-874) surveyed a large number of medical studies of post-diagnosis lifestyle changes and summarized their findings.

What did they find that helps? Regular vigorous physical exercise, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy body weight are strongly supported by the evidence( no surprise there!) Several dietary factors are fairly well supported by the evidence, too: tomato sauce/lycopene, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage or broccoli, fish, coffee (decaf or not), fats from vegetable sources are all good for reducing risk of prostate cancer progression. Some dietary items seem to increase risk—full-fat dairy foods, eggs, animal fats/saturated fats, poultry skin (not the flesh).

It’s worth reading the full article for finer details on what reduces the risk of recurrence and progression.

  1. We recently had a Phd/Researcher/Dietician address our group about food and it's impact on prostate cancer. He covered food for prevention as well as using food as medicine to slow the progression of prostate cancer.

    He noted that researchers have been studying vitamins A and C in tomatoes since the 1940's, long before they knew of the impact these elements had on cell repair. As research continued it was thought that lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, could protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals which can cause many cancers. So based on this it would appear that tomatoes are a good tool to fight prostate cancer. Not so fast apparently.

    As research continued he noted that it was observed that the amount of lycopene increased when tomatoes were cooked. He noted that today some folks (who I guess do not like tomatoes) are taking lycopene supplements in the hope of boosting the effect of lycopene ... He also noted that so far there is no proof that lycopene supplements prevent or slow cancer growth vs. the lycopene in real tomatoes. So as of today the jury is still out on lycopene as a stand alone perfect food drug.

    He did point out there appears to be a positive link between eating brightly colored foods (vegetables) and cancer prevention. In summary, he noted there are many fad diets out there and that it is often hard to know which is the best.

    It was his opinion that the Blue Zone diet is worth looking into for prostate cancer patients. As an alternative he offered that the Mediterranean was also an excellent choice.

    If you are curious, Blue Zones are so named because they were areas circled on a world map by a researcher with a blue pencil. They are also the areas where he identified people who typically lived to be over 100 years of age. The book and related cook book details the specifics of what each zone favors for food and lifestyle.

    The one thing that appears consistent across all of the blue zones world-wide is the consumption of brightly colored foods. Draw your own conclusions on what makes sense for you. Personally I made the change if nothing else I am enjoying eating more and more. ... Dennis (ProstateCancer.net TEAM)

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