High-Calorie Diets May Put You at Risk for Prostate Cancer
Posted Jun 09 2012 7:00am
Articles about cancer usually aren’t fun to read, and you’re probably tempted to skip them when you see them. Don’t. This article has some information regarding both your diet and your exercise routine that might help you when you’re short on motivation or you feel like having a second piece of pie.
First, a brief anatomy lesson and a few statistics
The prostate gland is a male urogenital organ located below the bladder and in front the seminal vesicle and rectum. The urethra runs through the prostate gland to expel urine through the penis. A second tube forming the right arm of a “Y” connects the seminal vesicle to the urethra. The prostate gland functions to produce protective fluid for the semen and ensures that it is more fluid. As a man ages, his prostate gland may continue to grow—known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)—compressing the urethra and interfering with normal urination.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, with only skin cancer occurring more frequently. It is diagnosed most frequently in older men—at an average age of 67—at a rate of nearly one-quarter of a million American men per year. As far as cancer-caused deaths, prostate cancer is the second most lethal cancer in American men, causing almost 30,000 deaths annually behind the most lethal cancer in men, lung cancer.
What sort of treatment options are out there?
Treatment options for prostate cancer are varied and have advanced beyond the once standard radical prostatectomy. Some surgeries are conducted robotically. Other treatment varieties have also improved. Radiation therapy, for example, is now able to target cancerous cells more directly via proton therapy , in comparison with the older method that affected all the cells and tissues in the affected area. New treatments cause fewer side effects and less discomfort for the prostate cancer patient. While treatment options are improving, so is the medical advice regarding avoiding developing prostate cancer in the first place.
Is there a connection between prostate cancer and a high-calorie diet?
For many years, researchers have related specific conditions and habits to an increased incidence of prostate cancer. While studies still attempt to find certain foods that afford men a special protection against the disease, the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging demonstrated that the first issue to address in a man’s diet is the number of calories consumed daily from any source. Individuals found to ingest the greatest number of calories—more than 2,600 per day—were later found to have the highest incidence of prostate cancer.
Other studies have related diets high in fat to an increased incidence of the disease. Yet another study showed that fat was again a culprit in some capacity: men who ate a strictly monitored low fat, high fiber diet with two required periods of exercise each day for one eleven day period were shown to develop blood serum components that decreased prostate cancer cell growth by 30 percent. Diets high in tomatoes suffused in olive oil, broccoli and fish—with a limited calcium intake—are said to particularly protective.
How does all of this tie in to exercise?
You don’t need to be told that exercise is good for you. But researchers have found that exercise can be particularly effective in decreasing known risks and conditions associated with later development of prostate cancer. For instance, a sedentary lifestyle without regular exercise is a known factor associated with the disease as is obesity, whereas exercise (combined with a ) has been shown to slow prostate cancer cell growth by as much as 30 percent.
Study after study demonstrates the remarkable protection that a healthy diet and regular exercise can help individuals to avoid disease and continue to live healthy lives. Now, another study reminds us to eat in moderation. It seems mom was right after all in advising us to eat our vegetables, do everything in moderation and go outside and play.
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