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15 August 2005
Diet And Lifestyle May Reverse Prostate Cancer
by George Atkinson

The Journal of Urology carries details of an intriguing new study that suggests that men with early stage prostate cancer who make intensive changes in diet and lifestyle may stop, or perhaps even reverse, the progression of the cancer. The researchers, from the University of California, San Francisco, said their research was the first randomized, controlled trial showing that lifestyle changes may affect the progression of cancer.

The researchers, Dean Ornish and Peter Carroll, studied 93 men with prostate cancer who had elected not to undergo conventional treatment. The participants were randomly divided into either a group who were asked to make comprehensive changes in diet and lifestyle or a comparison group who were not asked to do so.

Those 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, meditation and a weekly support group session.

After one year, the researchers found that PSA levels (a marker for prostate cancer) had decreased in the men in the group who made comprehensive lifestyle changes but increased in the comparison group. They also noted that there was a direct correlation between the degree of lifestyle change and the changes in PSA. Further testing revealed that serum from the lifestyle-change participants inhibited prostate tumor growth in-vitro by 70 percent but only 9 percent in the comparison group.

In the lifestyle-change group, none of the participants had conventional prostate cancer treatments such as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy during the trial. Six members of the comparison group, however, underwent conventional treatments because their disease progressed. As well as inhibiting the cancer, patients in the lifestyle-change group also reported improvements in their quality of life.

"This study provides important new information for men with prostate cancer and all men who hope to prevent it. 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," said Carroll. "These findings suggest that men with prostate cancer who undergo conventional treatments may also benefit from making comprehensive lifestyle changes. This adds new evidence that changing diet and lifestyle may help to prevent prostate cancer," concluded co-researcher Ornish.




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