Diet, Exercise May Slow Early Prostate Cancer
Study: No Men Required Prostate Cancer Treatment After Following Intensive Program for 1 Year
WebMD News Archive
Aug. 11, 2005 - An intensive diet and lifestyle program can slow - or
possibly stop - the growth of early prostate cancer.
A new study shows that diet may play a significant role in stopping, or even
reversing, early prostate cancer. Exercising more frequently, even in
moderation, may also go a long way in retarding the disease.
The study findings apply only to men with early prostate cancer. This means
that under a microscope the cancer cells do not appear aggressive. It also
means that the prostate cancer had not spread outside the prostate.
No man should ever rely on lifestyle changes alone to treat prostate cancer
without first talking to their doctor.
No. 1 Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the U.S., according to
the American Cancer Society. It is the second deadliest cancer in men, behind
lung cancer. Most prostate cancers occur in men over 65.
Past research has indicated that men who eat high-fat diets may be more
likely to develop prostate cancer.
"This study provides important new information for men with prostate
cancer and all men who hope to prevent it," says Peter Carroll, chairman of
the department of urology at the University of California, San Francisco, in a
Researchers studied 93 men whose biopsies had shown they had early prostate
cancer. The participants were divided into two groups. All of them agreed to
forgo any conventional prostate cancer treatment.
Prostate cancer is often a very slowly progressive cancer. Therefore, some
men, particularly those with early prostate cancer, opt to delay treatment and
wait and see how things go. This is called "watchful waiting."
The first group underwent intensive changes in diet and lifestyle including
- Vegan diet of predominantly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and
- Soy supplements (one daily serving of tofu plus 58 grams of a fortified soy
protein powdered beverage.
- Fish oil (3 grams daily), vitamin E (400 IU daily), selenium (200
micrograms daily), and vitamin C (2 grams daily).
- Moderate aerobic exercise (walking 30 minutes six days weekly).
- Stress management techniques (gentle yoga-based stretching, breathing,
meditation, imagery, and progressive relaxation for 60 minutes daily).
- Participation in a one-hour support group once weekly to help stick to the
The diet is "intensive but palatable and practical," according to
the researchers. Previous studies have shown that most patients were able to
stick to the diet for at least five years, they add. The program has already
been shown to reverse progression of heart disease.
Three men in this group dropped out of the study because they said it was
too difficult to follow.
The second group was asked to follow their doctors' advice regarding
The researchers then followed PSA blood levels, a marker for prostate cancer
progression. A rise in PSA indicates prostate cancer progression that may
require treatment. Imaging studies were also done to look for any