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The Health Centre

Diet and Prostate Cancer


Diet may help improve survival in prostate cancer as well. When pathologists conduct autopsies of men who die from accidents or other causes, they find cancer cells in the prostates of about 20 percent of them. These men did not know they had cancer and had no symptoms whatsoever. The prevalence of such "latent" cancers actually varies with location, the lowest rates being in Singapore (13 percent) and Hong Kong (15 percent), and the highest in Sweden (31 percent). In most men, the cells never grow into a large tumor, never spread, and never affect life or health in any way.


However, just as the prevalence of "latent" cancers varies from one country to another, the likelihood that they will turn into symptomatic cancer varies in precisely the same way, suggesting that the same factors that cause cancer cells to form in the first place also encourage them to grow and spread. So while a Swede is twice as likely as a man from Hong Kong to have cancerous cells in his prostate, he is more than eight times more likely to die of prostate cancer.


A low-fat, high-fibre diet can help eliminate the hormonal aberrations that are known to be linked with prostate cancer, and may help improve survival among those who have the disease. Unfortunately, there has not been enough research in this area to know just how successful dietary change might be.


Source: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine





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