Prostate Cancer: Diet

In a new article that is going to be released in the Nov. 1, 2007 edition of Cancer,     an Interdisciplinary International Journal of the American Cancer Society, there is new research being published on the effects of diet and medication in the prevention of Prostate Cancer in men.
The research is being conducted by Dr. Neil Fleshner and Dr. Alexandre Zlotta from the University of Toronto.     These researchers are stating that certain medications that are available such as 5-alpha reductase inhibitor and selective estrogen receptor modifiers are showing promise in the reduction of malignancies. There is also evidence that is showing that there may be a direct link between dietary fat and its impact on malignancy in prostate cancer. The researchers are also finding other promising data on such compounds as sor, selenium, and green tea and how they might also aid in the prevention of prostate cancer.
As in my previous postings, we know that prostate cancer is one of the leading cancer diagnosis among men in the Western Hemisphere. In the US alone, it is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths among men. Prostate cancer is a slow growing disease that typically takes years or even decades before any symptoms may appear in patients. Drs. Fleshner and Zlotta are referring to studies that have been conducted previously that indicate that prostate cells may actually become cancerous in men as early as in their 20’s and 30’s. In order to truly offer men a preventative option, they have to develop a program that medical professionals can offer to males in their 20’s. Anything less in the context of prostate cancer, will be offering men an option to slow the growing of cancerous cells so that they never become symptomatic or harmful to men.
The authors reviewed the published literature to evaluate the progress towards developing an evidence-based prostate cancer prevention strategy. Current studies using existing drugs to prevent cancer have found that androgen suppressing 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5ARI), and the selective estrogen receptor modifier have showed promise in reducing the number of cancers at biopsy in men.    In one example, the number of cancerous biopsies in men with benign prostatic hypertrophy was reduced by 50%. A large clinical trial is currently underway to see if these drugs will prevent malignant biopsies in men with elevated PSA’s but previously negative biopsies.
                                               There are several other studies currently underway that are investigating the role of reduced fat intake and dietary supplements in preventing prostate cancer. In one such study, the effects of selenium was reviewed. From this study, the use of selenium had a reduction in prostate cancer by 49% in the men that were enrolled in this study. Other nutritional approaches, such as green tea, show conflicting results for prevention. Meanwhile studies of some approaches, like soy and vitamin D, are ongoing. Evidence for the use of vitamin E in the reducing disease rates is promising, but mild safety concerns at high doses currently tested raise caution.
Needless to say, the next five years or so will be very interesting to see what the results of these studies and their direct effect on prostate cancer will be. I propsoe that with the high fat dietary intake that most Americans have at present will show a link to all cancers in both men and women. We already know from studies that people with cancer that are heavier and have a high fat diet do worse then those patients that are within normal weight limits and have a more balanced and healthy diet.
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