Dietary Factors and Prostate Cancer

by Dr. Andreas Lambrianides
General Surgeon
Brisbane, Australia

Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in Western countries, and the second leading cause of male cancer deaths. Dietary factors seem to influence the development of carcinoma of the prostate, and advice can be given on how men may reduce their risk of developing cancer of the prostate.

Fat intake:
A diet high in fat, especially from red meat, is associated with an increased risk, and not only that, it may also cause progression of the cancer.

Vitamin E:
Vitamin E, is a strong antioxidant.  Prospective studies have shown vitamin E supplements decrease the incidence of cancer by 32%,and the mortality by 41%,in patients taking vitamin E supplements, as compared to controls.

Another potent antioxidant present in tomatoes, is Lycopene, which lowers the risk of prostate cancer. Men with higher plasma levels of Lycopene showed a 25% lower risk of developing cancer of the prostate gland.

This is a trace mineral, and it has been shown that areas with reduced selenium in the soil are associated with higher rates of prostate cancer.  Supplementation with selenium reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer by about 60%.Once the disease is diagnosed, there is no evidence to suggest that selenium alters the course of the disease.

A number of studies have shown that high calcium intake, is associated with an increase in the risk of prostate cancer.  Men should avoid calcium supplementation, unless there is an absolute indication for it.

This is to provide you with information, and it is no substitute of advice from your surgeon.  It does not contain all known facts about the effect of dietary factors on prostate cancer.