Prostate Cancer and The Diet
So, recently one of my Dad’s best friends (which means he’s referred to as an Uncle), was diagnosed with stage 2 Prostate Cancer. So, naturally this was pretty hard news to handle, especially being so close to this family friend. I started looking into more information on the specific cancer and these are some things that I found…
Prostate cancer is a malignant tumor in the prostate, the male gland that produces fluid that makes up part of the semen. The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut. It is attached to the bottom of the bladder and surrounds the urethra. The growth and function of the prostate are controlled by male hormones, like testosterone. Prostate cancer is often slow-growing, and is sometimes present for years before symptoms appear. The five-year survival rate for patients with early diagnosis and treatment is close to 100%.
Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States after skin cancer. More than 200,000 new cases occur annually. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men, after lung cancer. Roughly, 27,000 deaths are attributed to prostate cancer each year.
The cause of Prostate Cancer varies. A man’s age, ethnicity, and family history are all risk factors that cannot be changed. Research is underway to clarify how risk linked to hormone levels, including testosterone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF), may be changeable. Current research suggests that you can reduce your chances of developing prostate cancer by making healthy dietary choices.
Making diet and lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of cancer. Research shows that eating a mostly plant-based diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular physical activity lowers risk of prostate and other cancers.
Experts suggest that some food choices may be linked to prostate cancer. Foods that probably offer protection against prostate cancer include:
- Foods containing lycopene, an antioxidant. Lycopene is most commonly found in tomatoes and tomato products, and fruits like red or pink grapefruit, watermelon, and guava.
- Lycopene supplements don’t necessarily provide the same health protection benefits as lycopene from food.
- Foods containing selenium. This mineral is plentiful in Brazil nuts, seafood, meat, and poultry.
Foods that are a probable cause of prostate cancer are:
- Foods high in calcium. However, as the evidence of cancer risk and diets containing cow’s milk, cheese, and other foods high in calcium seems to be in conflict with findings on other types of cancer, there is no recommendation to change how much you consume.