A new study published by the Cancer Prevention Research by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and investigated the mortality rate associated with prostate cancer. The Western diet was associated with a lifestyle factor responsible for increasing the risk. Prostate cancer is the second most lethal form of cancer and the American Cancer Society (ACS) has stated that around one in seven men will be diagnosed with cancer.
The research subjects consisted of 926 men, aged between 40-84, diagnosed with prostate cancer and followed for 14 years. The men were provided with food-frequency questionnaires to collect information on their diets.
“There is currently very little evidence to counsel men living with prostate cancer on how they can modify their lifestyle to improve survival. Our results suggest that a heart-healthy diet may benefit these men by specifically reducing their chances of dying of prostate cancer,” said senior author Jorge Chavarro, assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard Chan School.
During the fourteen year follow-up period, 333 participants died, with 56 of these deaths (17%) attributed to prostate cancer. The study findings revealed that men who ate a predominantly Western diet were two-and-a-half times more likely to die from prostate cancer and had a 67% increased risk of all-cause mortality compared with participants in the lowest quartile. In comparison, the men who follow a “prudent” diet closely had a 36% lower risk of all-cause mortality. Men with the highest risk tended to be older when they were diagnosed with prostate cancer and had a lower intake of calcium and vitamin D.
“Nevertheless, given the scarcity of literature on the relation between postdiagnostic diet and prostate cancer progression, and the small number of disease-specific deaths in the current study, these associations, particularly those for disease-specific mortality, merit caution in their interpretation as well as further evaluation,” said Meng Yang.
Dietary patterns after prostate cancer diagnosis in relation to disease-specific and total mortality, Meng Yang et al., Cancer Prevention Research, doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-14-0442, published online 1 June 2015, abstract.