Is prevention possible?
There are three things which cannot be changed - being male, ageing, and genetic inheritance.
are certain risk factors that make it more likely for a man to develop
prostate cancer. Reducing these known risk factors will help reduce the
odds of developing prostate cancer, but there are no guarantees.
How can diet help?
There is plenty of evidence that some diets are bad for our health. This includes a diet:
high in red meat, especially well done and burnt meat. Eating red meat 5
times a week could double your risk for prostate cancer.
fats and cholesterol - diets high in fat may promote tumour growth in
many cancers and cholesterol plays a role in cell growth in the body and
in cancer. Accumulation of cholesterol within the prostate membrane may
stimulate signals that promote cancer progression.
foods which contain high levels of salt, preservatives and other food
additives. s. A diet high in dairy products may also increase the risk
of prostate cancer.
- An excess of calcium reduces the body's levels of vitamin D which helps protect the body from prostate cancer.
Alternatively, a diet which includes lean meat, fish, whole grains, seeds and nuts, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Growing evidence says that changing your diet and behaviour could lower
your risk of developing prostate cancer. Whilst it is difficult to
determine the impact of a single food in a complex diet, but more large
and long term studies are underway to confirm that consuming certain
substances actually fights cancer.
- 5 servings or more per day can cut the risk of prostate cancer in
half. Fruit helps, in part, by containing fructose which stimulates the
body's ability to create vitamin D, a nutrient believed to reduce
prostate cancer risk.
- Cruciferous vegetables -
men who eat plenty of broccoli and cabbage may reduce their risk of
prostate cancer. 3 or more serves a day can reduce risk by as much as
- Tomatoes - contain the powerful anti-oxidant lycopene. New research, reported by the American Association for Cancer Research,suggests that the form of tomato product
eaten may be the key to unlocking its prostate cancer fighting
potential. It appears that the greatest protective effect comes from
re-hydrated dried tomatoes. So if you love sun-dried tomatoes, eat up!
- Allium vegetables
- consumption of 10 grams of garlic, onions and chives may reduce your
risk of developing prostate cancer. These foods contain flavinoids that
have demonstrated a reduction in tumour growth in laboratory studies.
- Soy products - there is some evidence to suggest that eating Soy may be help to reduce PSA levels. Prostate cancer rates are low in cultures with high soy consumption.
- studies are showing that tea reduces levels of polyamines a substance
associated with cancer malignancy. Green tea in particular, is rich in
polyphenols, believed to slow the growth of cancer.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- found in fish oils, are believed to have great potential for cancer
prevention. Some scientists believe that rates of cancer in the modern
world are largely tied to the drastic imbalances in our diets between
Omega-6 (too much) and Omega-3 fatty acids (too little). Omega-3 fatty
acids are found in cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, sardines
- Mushrooms and Brazil nuts - are rich in selenium which is believed to lower PSA levels and inhibit tumour growth.
- Red wine
- drinking 4 or more glasses a week could cut the risk of prostate
cancer in half, according to some studies. Research has found that
drinking red wine had the greatest impact on the most aggressive, fast
spreading prostate tumours, leading to a 60% reduction in some cases.
What about herbs and supplements?
is no single magical herb or supplement that can give guaranteed
protection against prostate cancer or any other cancer There are some
substances that may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. These include:
is a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes. Lycopene's absorption is
enhanced when tomatoes are cooked - especially with olive oil. Studies
have shown that a regular intake of lycopene supplements lowers risk by
about 15% while other studies show that consumption of tomatoes lowers
the risk by as much as 26%. (Journal National Cancer Institute 1998)
a class of phytoestrogen found in soy products, counteracts (to some
extent) the effect of testosterone on the prostate gland. Studies have
shown that men with prostate cancer experienced a dramatic drop in their
PSA level when consuming 2 grams of soy per day. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2003)
- Selenium - areas with high rates of prostate cancer have been found to have reduced levels of the trace mineral selenium . (Journal of Urology 2004) Supplements of 200 mcg selenium have been shown to decrease the risk of prostate cancer by 63%. (British Journal of Urology 1998) Selenium may lower PSA levels and inhibit tumour growth.
- Vitamin E
- a study of lung cancer in smokers has shown that supplementation with
50 mg of vitamin E decreased prostate cancer incidence by 32% and
mortality by 41% . (Journal National Cancer Institute 1998)
Vitamin E also supports the immune system helping to minimize the
growth and spread of cancer. Seeds and nuts such as sesame seeds,
almonds and pecan nuts are great sources of vitamin E.
How can lifestyle changes help?
we can do to help invigorate the health of our cells will definitely
help us to prevent illness or at the least recover from illness.
- the body's single most important need is oxygen. When there is
insufficient oxygen in the body, the cells struggle in search of more.
This struggle causes stress to the cells which can lead to a number of
destructive events one of which could lead to cancer. Most people don't
breathe properly because we don't have to think about it and we lead
- Move - there is just no
way around it, the human body is built to move and, unfortunately, many
of the common modern afflictions and illness are caused by a sedentary
lifestyle. Regular gently aerobic exercise helps the blood to flow,
increases heart strength, increases circulation, helps with digestion
and bowel function. Regular exercise also helps bring about better sleep
patterns and release endorphins in the brain which make us 'feel good'.
Exercise results in a temporary reduction in testosterone high levels
of which are linked to the growth of prostate cancer.
- two thirds of the body is made up of water. About 80% of the brain is
water. Kidneys need water to eliminate waste. The body needs water to
maintain normal function, to heal and grow. If the body is starved of
water we will get sick. The body cannot store water so we need to top up
regularly to maintain good health.
- Outlook -
try to be positive and enjoy life as an optimistic outlook can make a
difference. Every human life is precious and every day a gift to be
- Reduce stress - our bodies are
designed to feel stress and react to it. When stress is constant or
excessive, the body begins to break down and illness can occur.
- Modify weight
- "keeping a healthy body weight reduces your cancer risk" (Australian
Cancer Council). Recent research shows that increased body weight
increases the likelihood of prostate cancer-related death. (Radiation
Therapy Oncology Group, US) Men with a body mass index (BMI) of 32.5 or
higher are 1/3 more likely to die from prostate cancer. Men with a BMI
of 35 are 60% more likely to have a recurrence of prostate cancer in 3
years. Men with a BMI of 30-39.9 are 20% more likely to have a
recurrence of prostate cancer.