According to the American Cancer Society Statistics Centre prostate cancer will be diagnosed inmore than 180 000 men in 2016 while 26 120 people will die as a result of it (American statistics only).  Worldwide, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer amongst men, with nearly a million new cases diagnosed every year.  This phenomenon is six-fold higher in the Western world compared to the rest.  Diet, lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors are hypothesized to play a role in these differences [1]Knowledge of these factors could not only change the reason why you grow a moustache in November, but could also save many lives which would be tragically affected and even ended by this disease. 


Several studies were done on different diets which all have proved to benefit cancer patients.  These studies appear to be conflicting, but if you study them closely, you find that they had some things in common:

                            i.        No processed, prepackaged and preserved foods

                           ii.        Lots of fruit and vegetables of which the more colorful ones are the best

                         iii.        The inclusion of whole grains  

                         iv.        Healthy fats from nuts, seeds, olives, avocados and cold water fish.

                          v.        Avoid unhealthy fats such as trans fats and saturated fats from animal products   

                         vi.        Avoid the consumption of meat and milk from cattle treated with high dosages of hormones and antibiotics

                       vii.        Eat as organic as possible to reduce the toxic effect of pesticides


Specific diets shown in the literature to benefit the health of prostate cancer patients were:

a)  Mediterranean-style diet [2]: This diet is full of anti-oxidants found in fruit and vegetables, healthy fats found in nuts, seeds, olives and fish.  It is also high in lignans found in legumes such as chickpeas and lentils.  These nutrients fight cancer in several ways.  It does not only protect against DNA damage (the root of cancer) but also help repair already damaged DNA.  Furthermore, the anti-oxidants prevent free radicals or oxidants to damage the DNA in the first place.   Healthy fats have an anti-inflammatory effect which also protects against the initial development of cancer. 

b)  A strict vegan diet is also associated with protection against prostate cancer [3].  This diet has a lot in common with the Mediterranean-style diet but excludes all kinds of animal products such as diary, meat and even fish. 

c)  A third study from Japan [4] found that there was a significant correlation between lower fish consumption and the number of deaths from prostate cancer.   

d)  Although the concept of the ketogenic diet is still new and the use of it to combat modern disease is not well researched, one study [5] did find that this diet shows potential to slow down tumor growth.  Cancer cells only thrive in the presence of sugar.  The low carbohydrate diet with plenty beneficial fats make this a logic choice for people who want to fight cancer.

Specific nutrients shown in the literature to benefit prostate cancer patients were:

a)  Lycopene found in tomatoes has long been known to fight prostate cancer [6-11].

b)  Broccoli [12, 13].

c)  Polyphenol-rich foods such as pomegranate, green tea, broccoli and turmeric [14]

d)  Lots of fruit and vegetables [15] witch is rich in vitamin C specifically [16].

e)  Coffee consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer as well as limited progression of the disease [17].

f)   Curcumin found in turmeric has been shown to fight cancer in general as well as prostate cancer in a number of ways [18-21].  It also protects against some side effects of traditional cancer therapies.

g)  Mammalian phytoestrogens were shown to protect against prostate cancer as an anti-oxidant as well as on a hormonal level.  These compounds are formed from the bacteria in the gut after consumption of flaxseeds, sesame seeds, brassica vegetables, whole grains and red wine.

h)  Resveratrol in red grapes, pomegranate, raw cacao and red berries kills cancer cells through a few mechanisms in the body [22].


Lifestyle habits which have proven to help fight prostate cancer were:

a)  A low-fat diet together with a strenuous exercise regime [23] as well as a regular exercise regime [24] had a positive outcome on prostate cancer. 

b)  Vitamin D and sunlight are proven fighters against cancer in general as well as prostate cancer in particular [25].

c)  Yoga, qigong as well as tai chi are meditative forms of exercise which improves sleep.  During sleep a lot of healing takes place in the body and it could be the reason why this kinds of exercise is helpful when fighting against cancer [26].

It is important to remember that developing any cancer is a process which happens over a period of time.  It is becoming increasingly apparent that this process could possibly be reversed at any time, and definitely more easily in the beginning stages.  It is also a process which depends on many factors, some favorable to the development of cancer and some less favorable. 


The following factors have shown to aid in the development of prostate cancer:

a)  The consumption of meat and milk [1], specifically from cattle treated with high dosages of hormones and antibiotics.

b)  Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories [27] and statin drugs [28].

c)  Exposure to pesticides [29-31].





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[2] S. Erdrich, K.S. Bishop, N. Karunasinghe, D.Y. Han, L.R. Ferguson, A pilot study to investigate if New Zealand men with prostate cancer benefit from a Mediterranean-style diet., PeerJ 3:e (2015).

[3] Y. Tantamango-Bartley, S.F. Knutsen, R. Knutsen, B.K. Jacobsen, J. Fan, W.L. Beeson, J. Sabate, D. Hadley, K. Jaceldo-Siegl, J. Penniecook, P. Herring, T. Butler, H. Bennett, G. Fraser, Are strict vegetarians protected against prostate cancer?, Am J Clin Nutr 103 (2016) 153-160.

[4] T.M. Pham, Y. Fujino, T. Kubo, R. Ide, N. Tokui, T. Mizoue, I. Ogimoto, S. Matsuda, T. Yoshimura, Fish intake and the risk of fatal prostate cancer: findings from a cohort study in Japan, Public Health Nutr 12 (2009) 609-613.

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[8] A. Wang, L. Zhang, [Effect of lycopene on proliferation and cell cycle of hormone refractory prostate cancer PC-3 cell line], Wei Sheng Yan Jiu 36 (2007) 575-578.

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[13] A.I. Amjad, R.A. Parikh, L.J. Appleman, E.R. Hahm, K. Singh, S.V. Singh, Broccoli-Derived Sulforaphane and Chemoprevention of Prostate Cancer: From Bench to Bedside, Curr Pharmacol Rep 1 (2015) 382-390.

[14] R. Thomas, M. Williams, H. Sharma, A. Chaudry, P. Bellamy, A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised trial evaluating the effect of a polyphenol-rich whole food supplement on PSA progression in men with prostate cancer-the UK NCRN Pomi-T study, Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis (2014).

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[16] X.-Y. Bai, X. Qu, X. Jiang, Z. Xu, Y. Yang, Q. Su, M. Wang, H. Wu, Association between Dietary Vitamin C Intake and Risk of Prostate Cancer: A Meta-analysis Involving 103,658 Subjects., J. cANCER 6 (2015) 913-921.

[17] H. Liu, G.-H. Hu, X.-C. Wang, T.-B. Huang, L. Xu, P. Lai, Z.-F. Guo, Y.-F. Xu, Coffee consumption and prostate cancer risk: a meta-analysis of cohort studies, Nutr Cancer 67 (2015) 392-400.

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[19] M.H. Teiten, F. Gaascht, S. Eifes, M. Dicato, M. Diederich, Chemopreventive potential of curcumin in prostate cancer, Genes Nutr 5 (2010) 61-74.

[20] Q.H. Chen, Curcumin-based anti-prostate cancer agents, Anticancer Agents Med Chem 15 (2015) 138-156.

[21] H. Mahammedi, E. Planchat, M. Pouget, X. Durando, H. Cure, L. Guy, I. Van-Praagh, L. Savareux, M. Atger, M. Bayet-Robert, E. Gadea, C. Abrial, E. Thivat, P. Chollet, J.C. Eymard, The New Combination Docetaxel, Prednisone and Curcumin in Patients with Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: A Pilot Phase II Study, Oncology 90 (2016) 69-78.

[22] D. Delmas, E. Solary, N. Latruffe, Resveratrol, a phytochemical inducer of multiple cell death pathways: apoptosis, autophagy and mitotic catastrophe, Curr Med Chem 18 (2011) 1100-1121.

[23] R.J. Barnard, T.H. Ngo, P.-S. Leung, W.J. Aronson, L.A. Golding, A low-fat diet and/or strenuous exercise alters the IGF axis in vivo and reduces prostate tumor cell growth in vitro, Prostate 56 (2003) 201-206.

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[25] R. Gilbert, C. Metcalfe, S.E. Oliver, D.C. Whiteman, C. Bain, A. Ness, J. Donovan, F. Hamdy, D.E. Neal, J.A. Lane, R.M. Martin, Life course sun exposure and risk of prostate cancer: population-based nested case-control study and meta-analysis, Int J Cancer 125 (2009) 1414-1423.

[26] J.L. McQuade, S. Prinsloo, D.Z. Chang, A. Spelman, Q. Wei, K. Basen-Engquist, C. Harrison, Z. Zhang, D. Kuban, A. Lee, L. Cohen, Qigong/tai chi for sleep and fatigue in prostate cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy: a randomized controlled trial, Psychooncology (2016).

[27] X. Wang, Y.W. Lin, J. Wu, Y. Zhu, X.L. Xu, X. Xu, Z. Liang, Z.H. Hu, S.Q. Li, X.Y. Zheng, L.P. Xie, Meta-analysis of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug intake and prostate cancer risk, World J Surg Oncol 12 (2014) 304.

[28] C.C. Chang, S.C. Ho, H.F. Chiu, C.Y. Yang, Statins increase the risk of prostate cancer: a population-based case-control study, Prostate 71 (2011) 1818-1824.

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