Prostate Cancer – you can do something to help yourself!
OK, you guys, and the gals who care about them, we need to talk about a disease that’s all too common – prostate cancer! The good news is that there’s something you can do to prevent it, and even help treat it if it’s a mild case in its early stages. Let’s start with prevention first.
The risk of prostate cancer in vegetarians is less than half that of non-vegetarians. While plant-based foods have been shown to decrease the risk of prostate cancer, animal-derived foods increase the risk. Intake of saturated fat and cholesterol found in animal-derived foods are independent risk factors for prostate cancer, contributing further to the higher risk that non-vegetarians have.
There are several reasons for this. Animals tend to accumulate cancer-causing substances in their meat. It turns out that most of our exposure to toxic chemicals such as PCBs, dioxins and pesticides come from the amount that accumulates in animal foods, not from plant foods. The animals store them up for us throughout their lifetimes. If that isn’t bad enough, meat when cooked produces even more toxic chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HCAs).
While meat can contain substances that can cause cancer, plant foods have substances called phytonutrients, that help prevent cancer by helping to block and repair damage to the DNA.
A plant-based diet can also help treat those patients who already have prostate cancer. Medical research has shown that a plant-based diet can slow, and in some cases stop, the progression of prostate cancer if it’s in its early stages. Studies have shown that this can be maintained for at least four years. Often doctors prescribe “watchful waiting” for cases of early prostate cancer. Instead of watchful waiting, doctors can now prescribe a plant-based diet. This can turn watchful waiting into active waiting. While a plant-based diet can’t cure prostate cancer, it can be a powerful tool in treating it.
One thing we emphasize, however, is that you should not take any action regarding your health without speaking to your doctor first. To help your doctor help you, we have written a professional level article, just published in the peer-reviewed medical journal, Cancer Therapy and Oncology International, that will explain to him or her what they needs to know in order to treat prostate cancer patients.