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Diet, Lifestyle May Affect Prostate Cancer Risk

Eating high-fiber carbs, drinking less milk, avoiding diabetes and heart risk factors may help cut risk
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The researchers found that when men received more of their energy from carbohydrates rather than protein or fat, their risk of prostate cancer declined. High fiber intake also appeared to reduce prostate cancer risk.

Additionally, they found that foods like simple carbohydrates that cause blood sugar to spike appear to increase prostate cancer risk in black men.

That finding, along with the results of the metabolic syndrome study, seem to indicate there could be an as-yet-unknown connection between blood sugar levels and male hormones like testosterone that increase prostate cancer risk, Vidal said.

In the second study, doctors reviewed the consumption of dairy products among nearly 3,000 people, including almost 1,900 men with either localized or advanced prostate cancer.

The investigators found that drinking milk was associated with advanced prostate cancer. However, total dairy consumption was not related to prostate cancer risk, nor were consumption of yogurt, ice cream and cheese.

The analysis also found that men with low overall calcium intake were at greater risk of prostate cancer when they ate more dairy products, compared with men with average or high levels of calcium in their diet.

The findings suggest that although calcium intake likely contributes to an increased risk of prostate cancer, "additional components in dairy may contribute to prostate cancer development," the authors concluded.

The final study focused on the effects of metabolic syndrome on a man's chances of prostate cancer, with researchers reviewing data gathered for almost 6,500 men in an unrelated clinical trial.

Researchers found that men with multiple metabolic syndrome risk factors had a progressively increased risk of prostate cancer.

"The more metabolic syndrome components, the more risk for high-grade prostate cancer," Vidal said.

The findings are in keeping with previous studies linking one of those risk factors, obesity, to a higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer, Brooks said.

"The question is whether because of their obesity these men are less likely to have their cancer identified and biopsied at an earlier stage," he said. "These researchers feel there's more than just delayed diagnosis, that there's something about these risk factors that contributes to prostate cancer."

Findings from these studies were scheduled for presentation Tuesday at the American Urological Association's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. Results from studies presented at meetings are generally considered preliminary until they've been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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