BY RALPH BLUM
are one of the nearly three million men currently living with prostate cancer,
you need to know that what you eat really can make a difference. Not only does
a healthy diet improve your quality of life and enhance the functioning of your
immune system, recent studies suggest that as well as reducing the risk of
prostate cancer, good nutrition can help slow the progression of existing
often than not, prostate cancer is slow-growing and non-aggressive and,
therefore, has one of the highest survival rates of any type of cancer. But why
not improve your odds? Some of you may know that I have been living with this
disease for over two decades, and that I have not always been conscientious
about my diet. However, when my PSA spiked again in 2015, I
could no longer ignore the mounting evidence that giving up high-fat and
processed foods and eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish had
real benefits for fighting prostate cancer.
of fish, I read recently that a New Zealand study found that men who ate no
fish had a two to three times higher frequency of prostate cancer than those
whose diets included moderate to high amounts of fish. So sorry, guys, take
those steaks off the Barbie and get out your fishing rods! Red meat contains
more than 50% fat, and high-fat diets increase the level of insulin-like growth
factor which in turn increases the risk of prostate cancer.
National Cancer Institute has spent millions of dollars researching diet in
China where the consumption of animal protein--meat, milk, cheese and eggs--is
very low. The most significant finding in these extensive studies was this: the
more animal protein you eat, the higher your risk of dying of cancer. In the
entire Far East, the mortality rates from prostate cancer are eighteen times
lower than in the U.S.
major offender is sugar. Cancer cells are especially greedy for sugar--a fact
dramatically illustrated in a PET scan. The PET scan uses radioactive sugar
injected into the blood stream to locate tumors, and the uptake of glucose into
the cancer cells occurs so swiftly that they light up like fireworks within ten
minutes of the injection. According to nutritionists you can slow cancer growth
by lowering the amount of fuel available to the tumor cells.
to do? I'm not talking here about going on a strict macrobiotic or vegan diet,
just cutting out foods that have been shown to accelerate the pace of cancer
cell growth. You can start by throwing out the sugar cookies and Krispy Cremes.
Next, substitute that juicy steak with wild salmon, and chow down on a plate of
creatively seasoned steamed veggies.
advice is especially relevant for men who meet the criteria for Active
Surveillance and are able to postpone the undesirable side effects of radical
treatment. And yes, it's a little boring. But it sure beats being dead.