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prostate cancer

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Prostate Cancer Linked to Being Overweight

Greater body fatness is probably a cause of advanced prostate cancer.

New evidence suggests there is strong evidence that being overweight or obese elevates the risk of advanced prostate cancer. This finding is from the World Cancer Research Fund's Continuous Update Project that analyzes global research on how diet, exercise, physical activity and weight influence cancer risk.

PositiveTip: Avoid being overweight or obese to lower your risk of deadly prostate cancer and many other serious diseases.

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Carbs and Prostate Cancer

Diets rich in complex carbohydrates reduced risk of prostate cancer.

Individuals with the highest carbohydrate intake experienced a 70% lower risk of prostate cancer (PC) compared with those who ate the least of these foods. This preliminary report analyzed veterans' medical records and strongly supports the benefits of a diet rich in complex carbohydrates (unrefined) and dietary fiber. This was true in both black and white men and equally applied to the risk of low-grade and high-grade PC.

PositiveTip: Eating whole grains, vegetables and fruit may significantly reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

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Tomato Sauce and Prostate Cancer

Improved research finds lycopene may reduce risk of some prostate cancers.

Researchers following 50,000 men for 23 years found those who consumed the most lycopene had a 28% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer. This study improves on previous research: it took into account that lycopene is more easily absorbed from cooked rather than raw tomatoes, it measured lycopene intake more regularly and showed lycopene may only affect certain lethal prostate cancers.

PositiveTip: Enjoy tomato sauce regularly, but don’t use it as a license to eat excess cheeses on pizza or pasta dishes!

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Selenium Supplements May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

Men received no preventive benefit from selenium or vitamin E supplements.

"Men using these supplements [selenium and/or Vitamin E] should stop, period." These are the words of Alan Kristal, author of a new study examining why some men are at increased risk of prostate cancer when taking these supplements. Men with high selenium levels at baseline who took selenium supplements increased their risk of high-grade cancer by 91% (P=.007). 

PositiveTip: Dietary supplements may not be helpful or innocuous--they may be harmful.

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Too Many Omega-3s May Not Be Good

Too many omega-3 fatty acids may boost the risk of prostate cancer.

Are you taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements or eating lots of fatty fish because of their anti-inflammatory properties? Researchers have found that men who consumed the most fatty fish or took the most fish oil supplements experienced a 43% increased risk for prostate cancer compared to those eating the least. They also observed a 71% increased risk for aggressive prostate cancer--the kind that is often fatal. 

PositiveTip: Men in particular should consider the potential risks of eating lots of fatty fish or taking fish oil supplements.

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Regular Workouts May Improve Prostate Cancer

Exercise may boost tumor-fighting pathways.

A small study has shown that regular, vigorous exercise has the potential to down-regulate tumor promoter genes and up-regulate tumor suppression genes in men with prostate cancer. Researchers at the University of San Francisco found that working out at least 3 hours per week was associated with this benefit. However, lesser amounts had little effect on gene expression. Pending confirmation in further studies, this study suggests that exercise may cut the risk of prostate cancer progression and mortality.

PositiveTip: Regular physical activity has many benefits, and may also improve outcomes in prostate cancer.


The Truth about Prostate Cancer

Martin Ware sat on the edge of the exam table, dressed only in his underwear, barely covered by a paper thin examination gown. “I hope we get this over with soon,” he thought. Martin was worried.

Dr. Doren breezed into the room, a patient chart in his hand and a smile on his face. “Good morning, Martin. How are we doing today?” The doctor’s eyes took in the stiff posture and the worried facial expression of his patient.

“I’m a little worried about what’s going to happen today.” Martin fidgeted on the end of the table.

Dr. Doren sat down on the little roll around stool and crossed his legs. “What about?” he asked.

“I’ve been reading in the papers about prostate cancer and I know you had them draw my PSA last week.” Martin was talking rapidly, anxiously. “And I saw that some doctors want to do digital exams every year and some don’t think you need to. And my friends said that I was in for it today. And I just wondered . . . what would happen.”

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Vitamin E Supplements May Raise the Risk of Prostate Cancer

Selenium and Vitamin E do not help prevent prostate cancer.

A large randomized trial has demonstrated that men taking vitamin E supplements experienced a small but statically significant increase in their risk of prostate cancer. Participants were part of the SELECT (Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial) and were 50 years and older. The authors noted that this study demonstrated that these supplements do not prevent cancer.

PositiveTip: All should be skeptical of health claims for unregulated, over-the-counter products in the absence of strong clinical evidence of benefit.


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Smoking Increases Risk of Prostate Cancer Recurrence

Smokers diagnosed with prostate cancer have higher risk of recurrence.

Men who are currently smoking at the time of being diagnosed with prostate cancer have significantly higher risks for recurrence than those who have never smoked. This is also true for those who had smoked at least one pack a day for more than 20 years, even though they had quit by the time of diagnosis.

PositiveTip: There's no better time to quit smoking than now!

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Diet and Lifestyle Change Can Significantly Affect Genes

Good and bad genes can be influenced by what you eat and how you live.

A study was conducted to determine whether a pure vegetarian diet, exercise and stress management could modify the progression of prostate cancer. After one year, those following the program showed significant improvements in weight, abdominal obesity, blood pressure and blood fats. The research found that over 500 genes changed function -- some were turned "on" and others turned "off" in favor of controlling the cancer. We all have bad genes and are exposed to cancer-causing agents, but our lifestyle and diet can determine whether those genes are activated.

PositiveTip: Are you helping to turn "off" cancer genes by choosing a vegetarian diet and exercise to lower your risk of cancer?