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Diet, Exercise May Slow Early Prostate Cancer

Study: No Men Required Prostate Cancer Treatment After Following Intensive Program for 1 Year
By Patti Connor
WebMD Health News

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 news release.

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 Program

The first group underwent intensive changes in diet and lifestyle including the following:

  • Vegan diet of predominantly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and soy products.
  • 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 program.

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