~ Can Prostate Cancer Be Reversed by Lifestyle Changes?

August 12, 2005

A report published in the September 2005 issue of the Journal of Urology (www.jurology.com) showed that changes in diet and lifestyle reduced a marker of prostate cancer (prostate specific antigen, or PSA) in men with biopsy-confirmed disease. The study is the first randomized controlled trial to demonstrate that lifestyle changes affect any type of cancer progression.

For the current study, Dean Ornish, MD, who is a clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues enrolled 93 men with prostate cancer who had chosen not to be treated by conventional methods. The men were divided into two groups, one of which was advised to adopt a diet consisting of plant based foods supplemented with soy, vitamins and minerals, while the second group was not advised to make any dietary modifications. The first group also participated in a moderate exercise program and a weekly group support session.

Following a year on the program, PSA levels were reduced in the lifestyle modified group, while they increased in the comparison group, necessitating treatment in some cases. When serum from both groups was administered to prostate tumor lines, that of the improved lifestyle group inhibited tumor growth by 70 percent, compared to 9 percent in the control group. Degree of lifestyle change was found to be negatively correlated with PSA levels and positively correlated with the ability to inhibit tumor growth.

Dr Ornish stated, "Changes in diet and lifestyle that we found in earlier research could reverse the progression of coronary heart disease may also affect the progression of prostate cancer as well. 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."

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