Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Prostate Cancer Prevention: What Works & What May Harm

Evidence based reports from studies that look at healthy men as well as those who already have cancer. Here is what may harm:
  • Selenium. The National Cancer Institute found that those taking selenium (200mcg/day) and Vit. E (400 IU.day) had no lower risk of prostate cancer. However, in the same study, the incidence of diabetes rose slightly. It was also discovered, that men with the variant genotype "V" (which includes about 75% of the men in this country) high levels of blood selenium were linked to a higher risk of aggressive cancer.
  • Vitamin E. Until recently, vit. E was a potential friend to the prostate. Now it is a possible foe. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant at dietary levels (provided by diet). At high doses, it becomes an oxidant (causes cell damage). In trials where men took supplemental doses of 400-600 IU/day, had no higher risk than those receiving a placebo.
  • Calcium & Dairy. In several studies, the highest prostate cancer risk was seen in people who were taking a calcium supplement in addition to calcium fortified and/or calcium rich foods, (intakes of over 1500-2000mg/day). Until scientists know more, it's probably best to avoid excess. Calcium is added to everything from orange juice to antacids, and people may be getting much more than they realize.
  • Vitamin D. Most studies find no link between blood levels of vit. D and prostate or colon cancer. As of yet, there aren't enough large studies with blood levels to look at. Don't fall for the Men's Multivitamin claims.
  • Obesity. The Cancer Prevention Study II tracked 70,000 men for 10 years. The risk of fatal or metatastic prostate cancer was 54% higher in those who were obese, than those who were normal weight. Just one more reason to stay lean and active.
  • Meat. In a study of 29,000 men, those who averaged at least 2 1/2 oz. of very well done meat/week showed a 40% higher risk of prostate cancer those those who ate no well-done meat.
  • Zinc. In one study, men who got more than 100mg./day of zinc from supplements had double the risk of advanced prostate cancer, compared to men who didn't take zinc supplements. Also, in an other trial where men were given 80mg./day of zinc to see if it could reduce the risk of eye disease, the zinc takers were more likely to be hospitalized for genito-urinary complications enlarged prostate, UTI, kidney stones) than those who took no zinc.
Things that may help:
  • Tomatoes & Lycopene. In a study that tracked 137,000 men for 6 years, those who had the highest levels of blood lycopene were 60% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Whether it's lycopene or something else in tomato products, it doesn't hurt to include them in your daily vegetable consumption.
  • Flaxseed. It is believed that the estrogen-like compounds might protect the prostate. Flax seed has also been extinct from the American diet for over a century, and the occurrence of prostate cancer has been rising. A tablespoon a day is the recommended dose until further studies to it's safety are conducted.
  • Green Tea. The extract polyphenon E is the focus for the latest research and controversy. The National Cancer Institute bought a large amount of it hoping to get FDA approval as a prescription drug, so there is little for anyone else to study at this time. An earlier study of 50,000 Japanese men who drank at least 5 cups of green tea/day showed a 50% lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • Soy. Clinical studies that gave men soy foods or isoflavinoids to treat prostate cancer haven't had great success, though after tracking 82,000 men who ate more soy foods showed a lower risk of developing the disease. More studies are underway.
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, your odds of surviving 10 years are roughly 93%, and death rates have dropped since 1990. You are more likely to die with prostate cancer than from it. Being older than 50 is the main risk factor for prostate cancer. Men whose families carry the gene changes that cause breast cancer, BRCA1 or BRCA2, are thought to be at increased risk for prostate cancer. For more information about prostate cancer go to WebMD.com

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.