Prostate cancer affects mainly elderly men. Men with relatives who have prostate cancer are more likely to die of it than others. It is not known for sure what causes this disease but experts agree that diet contributes to the risk. Men who consume great amounts of fat (particularly from red meat and other sources of animal fat) are most likely to develop symptoms of advanced prostate cancer.
Fats can stimulate production of testosterone and other hormones, and testosterone speeds the growth of prostate cancer and can cause dormant prostate cancer cells into activity. Eating meat can also be detrimental to the cancerous cells if cooked at high temperatures, they can contain carcinogens. (See the entry on cancer).
There is no scientifically proven link between prostate cancer and
Doctors know which prostate cancers are the most in need of treatment. It is advisable to seek several opinions with regard to your condition.
Depending on many factors, your treatment may include a combination of radiation therapy, surgery, and hormone therapy.
The standard operation involves the removal of the prostate and nearby lymph nodes. Speak with your doctor about the implications and side effects that this may entail in your particular case.
All prostate cancer patients need to be examined regularly to ensure the problem does not return.
As fat has been implicated in the development of prostate cancer, it is highly advisable that men eat a low-fat, high fibre diet. This is particularly advisable for those with family history of the disease.
Studies indicate that men with chronic deficiencies of vitamin A or selenium are prone to advanced prostate cancer. Always speak with your doctor before taking these nutrients as they can be toxic in high doses. Good natural sources of vitamin A include most green and yellow fruits and vegetables, as well as liver, lamb.
Some men may experience fatigue, diarrhoea, uncomfortable urination, dry skin, nausea, and other unpleasant side effects. Ask your doctor how best to control these side effects. Rest frequently if you need to, eat light snacks throughout the day rather than having three large meals, and avoid clothes that irritate your skin. (For more information, see Cancer).
Eat more fish, poultry, fresh vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products. Eat less red meat; remove skin from chicken before cooking; and cut down on butter, margarine, and oils.
To avoid carcinogens created when cooking meats, try poaching or roasting, not frying or barbecuing.
When to seek further professional advice