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August 24, 2005

Study: Lifestyle Changes May Reverse Prostate Cancer

Topics: Medicine

A study reported in the September issue of the Journal of Urology shows that switching to a vegan diet, along with exercising, meditating, and participating in support groups, may halt, or even reverse, the progress of early stage prostate cancer. According to the study's authorsm the research is the first randomized, controlled trial showing that lifestyle changes may affect the progression of any type of cancer.

The researchers studied 93 men who had elected not to undergo conventional treatment for their prostate cancer for reasons unrelated to this study. The participants were assigned randomly to two groups: those who were asked to make comprehensive changes in diet and lifestyle, and those who were not asked to do so.

Participants in the lifestyle-change group were placed on a vegan diet consisting primarily of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes supplemented with soy, vitamins and minerals. They participated in moderate aerobic exercise, yoga or meditation, and a weekly support group session.

After one year, levels of PSA -- a protein marker for prostate cancer -- decreased in men in the group who made lifestyle changes but increased in the comparison group, the researchers found.

They noted a direct correlation between the degree of lifestyle change and the changes in PSA.

Also, serum from the participants inhibited prostate tumor growth in vitro by 70 percent in the lifestyle-change group but only 9 percent in the comparison group. Once again, the researchers found a direct correlation between the degree of lifestyle change and the inhibition of prostate tumor growth.

Better Lives

Patients in the lifestyle-change group reported marked improvements in quality of life, the authors note.

None of the lifestyle-change participants had such conventional prostate cancer treatments as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy during the study. However, six members of the comparison group underwent conventional treatments because their disease had progressed.

"This study provides important new information for men with prostate cancer and all men who hope to prevent it," says Carroll. "This is the first in a series of trials attempting to better identify the exact role of diet and lifestyle in the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer," he points out.

"Changes in diet and lifestyle that we found in earlier research could reverse the progression of coronary heart disease may also affect the progression of prostate cancer as well," says Ornish, who is also founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute.

The findings suggest that men with prostate cancer who undergo conventional treatments may also benefit from making comprehensive lifestyle changes, and adds new evidence that changing diet and lifestyle may help to prevent prostate cancer.

Is there a take home message here for all patients dealing with cancer? Sure looks like it. Checkout some of the "related" reading!

Diet and Lifestyle and Survival from Breast Cancer

Diet, lifestyle and risk of prostate cancer.

Riding the crest of the teachable moment: promoting long-term health after the diagnosis of cancer.

Influence of exercise activity on quality of life in long-term breast cancer survivors.

Posted by Richard at August 24, 2005 11:14 PM

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