Survival rates are lower when the disease spreads to other parts of the body – but a US bestseller says diet can help prevent this.
An estimated half of men over 80 have prostate cancer, but most of them reach the end of their lives without ever being diagnosed.
However, if the cancer spreads beyond the prostate, your chances of surviving more than five years are only one in three.
Now a New York Times bestseller by Dr Michael Greger called How Not to Die is claiming that diet can have a significant impact on whether prostate cancer reaches other parts of the body.
“The rates of killers like heart disease,” he says, “differ up to a hundredfold among various populations around the globe.
“When people move from low- to high-risk countries, their disease rates almost always change to those of the new environment. So, whatever genes we may have inherited from our parents, we can affect how those genes affect our health.”
Foods to avoid
Men who ate less than one egg a day more than doubled their risk of prostate cancer progression, thanks to the chemical choline, found Harvard University.
Men who regularly ate chicken and turkey had four times the risk of prostate cancer progression. Researchers believe that poultry cooked at high temperatures produces more carcinogenic heterocyclic amines (HCAs).
Foods to eat more of
The hormones found in dairy products (even organic ones) stimulate the growth of hormone-sensitive cancers like prostate. They can also promote the conversion of mutated cells into invasive cancers, researchers found. Dr Greger recommends almond milk as an alternative to cow’s milk.
Juice fresh or frozen cranberries to make the most of their cancer-fighting properties, which have been tested in vitro, although not yet in clinical trials. The key ingredient is anthocyanins, the purple and red pigments also found in plums and red onions.
Patients who ate an equal amount of animal and plant protein (as opposed to a 3:1 animal to plant protein diet) saw a significant slow down in the growth of their tumour.
Another study tested the cancer-fighting properites of 34 vegetables in vitro. Orange peppers suppressed the growth of cancer cells by 75%.
Brussels sprouts, cabbage, curly cabbage, kale, spring onions and leeks were also effective. Best of all was garlic, which was shown to slow the development of multiple different cancers.
Flaxseeds contain phytoestrogens called lignans, which have been shown to protect against cancer and slow cell proliferation. Ground flax is a great ingredient in smoothies.
Grains, beans, nuts and seeds
These foods contain phytates, which inhibit the growth of most human cancer cells via antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing properties. They boost white blood cells, and can sometimes even “rehabilitate” formerly cancerous cells.