Eating Away Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer patients can help control disease through diet and exercise

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(RxWiki News) Once a person is diagnosed with cancer, can diet and exercise make a difference? You bet! Lifestyle is hugely important to keep cancer from progressing or returning.

Scientists have specific answers as to how lifestyle choices can help men with prostate cancer.

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has developed diet and lifestyle recommendations to lower overall cancer risks, as well as to help cancer survivors live longer.

A new study discovered that prostate cancer patients who followed these recommendations reduced their risks of developing aggressive forms of the disease.

"Avoid eating processed meats."

The study was led by Lenore Arab, PhD, of UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

Dr. Arab and colleagues aimed to learn how following WCRF recommendations affected prostate cancer risks.

Brian D. Lawenda, MD, clinical director of Radiation Oncology at 21st Century Oncology in Las Vegas, told dailyRx News, "Eating healthfully and exercising decrease the risk of numerous chronic diseases (such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.), so it is certainly not a surprise to see yet another excellent study which supports these findings."

Dr. Lawenda, who is the founder of, explained the specifics of the WCRF recommendations.

"Reducing the risk of cancer development and recurrence has been shown to correlate with the following: maintaining a healthful weight, exercising at least 150 minutes per week, limiting the consumption of calorie-dense foods and sugary drinks, eating more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes, limiting intake of red meat and avoiding processed meat, limiting consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt, and limiting (or avoiding) alcohol intake to 1 drink/day for women and 2 drinks/day for men," said Dr. Lawanda.

This new study involved 2,212 newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients between the ages of 40 and 70. Both white and black men participated.

The researchers found that men who followed fewer than four of the WCRF recommendations had a 38 percent increased risk of aggressive tumors compared to men who adhered to four or more of the WCRF guidelines.

For every recommendation followed, a man’s risk of aggressive prostate cancer was reduced by 13 percent.

In particular, consuming less than 500 grams (17.63 ounces) of red meat per week was found to be protective.

These findings applied to men of both races.

"As an integrative oncologist, I spend a lot of time counseling patients on the importance of nutrition, exercise and stress reduction (the 'three pillars' of integrative oncology lifestyle counseling) as essential components in helping them make their body’s less conducive to cancer development, growth, progression and recurrence," Dr. Lawenda said.

This study was published June 28 in the journal Nutrition and Cancer. No conflicts of interest were disclosed.

Last Updated:
July 31, 2013