Supplements and other recommendations to avoid recurrence


New to forum

Hx: Diagnosed latter part of 2016; PSA 8.5; Gleason 3+4; Radical Suprapubic Prostatectomy 11/2016 w/ neg margins, node negative; uncomplicated recovery; 1 month post op PSA: undetectable; will have periodic PSAs throughout the comnig year with further intervention based on increasing PSA. 

Hello to all.

My uro surgeon has recommended changes in my diet and the addition of supplements in an attempt to avoid/delay a reurrence. He is a big fan of flax seed, which I started on a month before surgery and continue to this day. A low cholesterol diet appears to be essential as well. Foods high in lycopene etc.

I have read about the value of many other supplements while Googling but hard to tell what is true and what is hype.

What supplements have been recommended to you by your surgeon / oncologist ?

thanks in advance



  • Clevelandguy
    Clevelandguy Member Posts: 1,039 Member


    None reccomended by my doctor but maintaining a low cholestrol healthy diet can't help. Flax seed is a good fiber additive and high in antioxidants.  From what I heard you must grind up the flax seeds to get the oil out of them before eating, otherwise they just pass through your system without much benefit.  If there were any proven diets that could stop the re-occurance of PCa I would think we would all be on them.

    Dave 3+4

  • Old Salt
    Old Salt Member Posts: 1,361 Member
    edited February 2017 #3
    Yes, 'heart healthy' is typically recommended

    There are of course a lot of other 'recommendations' that one can find on the web, but most of them are unproven and some of them may actually be unhealthy.

  • hopeful and optimistic
    hopeful and optimistic Member Posts: 2,339 Member
    edited February 2017 #4
    heart healthy is prostate healthy; diet and regular exercise

    We who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are more likely to die of heart disease. Heart disease is epidemic world wide.

    I eat a veggie based diet, no meat or dairy. There have been studies that indicate more prostate cancer recurrance with a high fat diet than not

    Others at this board also eat a mediterrian diet.

    Suggest books are "eat to live" by joel Furman. The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and view the dvd FORKSoverKNIVES . It is on Netflicks or your public library

    It used to be though that lycopene was good for prostate cancer, however recent studies do not confirm this.

    There has been recent talk that walnuts are good for prostate cancer.

    As far as multiple vitamins, I don't take any, but others do....if you do, take a multiple vitamin; recommend that you take a childs or womans vitamin, but do not take one for men, since there are high amount of ingrediants that can be harmful.

  • Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3
    Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3 Member Posts: 3,813 Member


    I'm glad all indications are that surgery cured you of PCa.

    The genesis of prostate cancer cells is only from tissues within the gland itself. Therefore, with the entire gland gone, IF there was no metastasis before removal (either detected or undetected), then it is impossible for you to redevelop PCa again, regardless of diet.   A man with no metastasis could spend decades on a bacon and bourbon diet and relapse of PCa would remain impossible.

    Relapse (when it occurs)  is derived from the growth of PCa tumors that remained following surgery.  Diet might or might not slow the growth of such tumors, but there is no evidence anywhere that it will kill such cells.

    Regardless, a healthy diet remains a good idea for coronary health, weight control, and other reasons.


  • hopeful and optimistic
    hopeful and optimistic Member Posts: 2,339 Member
    edited February 2017 #6
    Nutrition, dietary interventions and prostate cancer: the latest


    BMC Med. 2015; 13: 3.

    Published online 2015 Jan 8. doi:  10.1186/s12916-014-0234-y

    PMCID: PMC4286914

    Nutrition, dietary interventions and prostate cancer: the latest evidence



    Prostate cancer (PCa) remains a leading cause of mortality in US men and the prevalence continues to rise world-wide especially in countries where men consume a ‘Western-style’ diet. Epidemiologic, preclinical and clinical studies suggest a potential role for dietary intake on the incidence and progression of PCa. 'This minireview provides an overview of recent published literature with regard to nutrients, dietary factors, dietary patterns and PCa incidence and progression. Low carbohydrates intake, soy protein, omega-3 (w-3) fat, green teas, tomatoes and tomato products and zyflamend showed promise in reducing PCa risk or progression. A higher saturated fat intake and a higher β-carotene status may increase risk. A ‘U’ shape relationship may exist between folate, vitamin C, vitamin D and calcium with PCa risk. Despite the inconsistent and inconclusive findings, the potential for a role of dietary intake for the prevention and treatment of PCa is promising. The combination of all the beneficial factors for PCa risk reduction in a healthy dietary pattern may be the best dietary advice. This pattern includes rich fruits and vegetables, reduced refined carbohydrates, total and saturated fats, and reduced cooked meats. Further carefully designed prospective trials are warranted.

    Keywords: Diet, Prostate cancer, Nutrients, Dietary pattern, Lifestyle, Prevention, Treatment, Nutrition, Dietary intervention, Review


    Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common cancer in men, with nearly a million new cases diagnosed worldwide per year [1], with approximately a six-fold higher incidence in Western than in non-Western countries. Diet, lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors are hypothesized to play a role in these differences. This review focuses on the latest evidence of the potential role of dietary factors on PCa and includes epidemiologic and clinical trial evidence for the impact of protein, fat, carbohydrate, fiber, phytochemicals, other food components, whole foods and dietary patterns on PCa incidence, development and/or progression.

    Data from meta-analyses or well-designed randomized trials and prospective studies are emphasized in this review. It should be noted that studies of dietary intake or nutrition and cancer are often subject to various limitations and thus complicate interpretation of results. For example, when a study is designed to examine the effect of the amount of fat intake, alteration in fat intake inevitably will change intake of protein and/or carbohydrate, and may change the intake of other nutrients as well. As a result, it is difficult to attribute the effect to change in fat intake alone. In addition, the impact of macronutrients potentially involves aspects of both absolute quantity and the type of macronutrients consumed. Both aspects may potentially affect cancer initiation and/or development independently, but they are not always distinguishable in research designs. Though this topic was recently reviewed [2], given the extensive new literature on the topic, an updated review is presented herein and a summary table is provided for a quick reference (Table 1).

    Table 1

    Summary of nutrients and food factors with prostate cancer



    Given the hypothesis that insulin is a growth factor for PCa, it has been hypothesized that reducing carbohydrates and thus lowering serum insulin may slow PCa growth [3]. Indeed, in animal models, either a no-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (NCKD) [4,5] or a low-carbohydrate diet (20% kcal as carbohydrate) has favorable effects on slowing prostate tumor growth [6,7]. In human studies, one study found that high intake of refined carbohydrates was associated with increased risk of PCa [7]. In addition to the amount of carbohydrates, type of carbohydrates may impact on PCa but research has been inconclusive.

    The potential to reduce PCa risk and progression via impacting carbohydrate metabolism is actively being investigated with Metformin. Metformin reduced PCa cell proliferation and delayed progression in vitro and in vivo, respectively [8-10] and reduced incident risk and mortality in humans [11-13]. Two single arm clinical trials also showed a positive effect of metformin in affecting markers of PCa proliferation and progression [14,15]. However, other retrospective cohort studies have not supported an effect of metformin on recurrence or incident risk of PCa [16-22].

    Despite the potential for reducing either total or simple carbohydrates in benefiting PCa control, evidence is lacking from randomized controlled trials (RCT). Two randomized trials are on-going examining the impact of a low-carbohydrate diet (approximately 5% kcal) on the PSA doubling time among PCa patients post radical prostatectomy (NCT01763944) and on glycemic response among patients initiating androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) (NCT00932672 ). Findings from these trials will shed light on the effect of carbohydrate intake on markers of PCa progression and the role of reduced carbohydrate intake on offsetting the side effects of ADT.


    The ideal level of protein intake for optimal overall health or prostate health is unclear. Despite the popularity of low carbohydrate diets that are high in protein, recent human studies reported that low protein intake was associated with lower risk for cancer and overall mortality among men 65 and younger. Among men older than 65, low protein intake was associated with a higher risk for cancer and overall mortality [23]. In animal models the ratio between protein and carbohydrate impacted on cardiometabolic health, aging and longevity [24]. The role of dietary protein and the protein to carbohydrate ratio on PCa development and progression requires further study.

    Animal-based proteins

    Studying protein intake, like all aspects of nutritional science, can be challenging. For example, animal meat, which is a source of protein in Western diets, is composed not only of protein, but also of fat, cholesterol, minerals and other nutrients. The amount of these nutrients including fatty acids may vary from one animal meat to the other. Previous studies in human have shown that consumption of skinless poultry, which is lower in cholesterol and saturated fat than many red meats, was not associated with the recurrence or progression of PCa [25]. However, consumption of baked poultry was inversely associated with advanced PCa [26,27], while cooked red meat was associated with increased advanced PCa risk [26,27]. Thus, how the food is prepared may modify its impact on PCa risk and progression. Overall, fish consumption may be associated with reduced PCa mortality, but high temperature cooked fish may contribute to PCa carcinogenesis [28]. Thus, it may be advisable to consume fish regularly but cooking temperature should be kept moderate.

    Dairy-based protein

    Another common protein source is dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Previous studies have shown that dairy increased overall PCa risk but not with aggressive or lethal PCa [29,30]. In addition, both whole milk and low-fat milk consumption were reported to either promote or delay PCa progression [29,31]. In the Physicians Health follow up cohort with 21,660 men, total dairy consumption was found to be associated with increased PCa incidence [32]. In particular, low fat or skim milk increased low grade PCa, whereas whole milk increased fatal PCa risk. Though the exact component(s) of dairy products driving these associations is unknown, the high concentrations of saturated fat and calcium may be involved. A cross-sectional study of 1798 men showed that dairy protein was positively associated with serum IGF-1 [33] levels which may stimulate initiation or progression of PCa. Thus, further research is needed to clarify the relationship between dairy intake and PCa. There is insufficient data to provide recommendations specifically related to dairy or dairy protein and PCa risk or progression.

    Plant-based proteins

    Soy and soy-based products are rich in protein and phytoestrogens that may facilitate PCa prevention, but its role on PCa is unclear. In a study in mice, intake of soy products was associated with decreased hepatic aromatase, 5α-reductase, expression of androgen receptor and its regulated genes, FOXA1, urogenital tract weight and PCa tumor progression [34]. A recent randomized trial of 177 men with high-

  • VascodaGama
    VascodaGama Member Posts: 3,668 Member
    edited February 2017 #7
    Déjà vu


    Your inquire is like what French call Déjà vu to me (literally "already seen"). We all try to change things around believing that what we have done wasn't good and so we got cancer. I also was influenced in believing that vitamin E and Selenium and  lycopene and, etc, would help me to avoid relapses, and I took it but latter I recurred. And this time was not for the lack of those substances. So, what is it? Is there anything else I am missing?
    Well, ... we try because any action we do gives us the feeling that now we are prepared to fight it back. We will not be caught empty handed.

    Starting with supplements, a change in habits, the foods we eat and life style, etc, it all helps us to create confidence. It is good to be active but as survivours above comment nothing that is known would impede the cancer from relapsing unless one have managed to get rid of it for good. We even are not certain that prostate cancer wouldn't flourish at beginning if we were more careful with our diets. I tend to agree that the best is to follow an heart healthy balanced life style for the good sake of the whole body and enjoy life fully.

    Welcome to the board.



  • JoeDoe
    JoeDoe Member Posts: 10
    edited February 2017 #8
    Cancer as a Metabolic Disease

    Tripping Over the Truth

    Fascinating Book on the theory that Cancer is Metabolic and not Genetic.  

    The advice on nutrion seems all over the place.  However, the theories around what causes Cancer and how nutrition can be used to treat it seem to be very young sciences. The genetic theory seems to be losing credbility due to lack of results due to billions spent.  The established medical community doesn't seem to think nutrition and life style affect health. 

    Both Camps (Cancer is Genetic vs Cancer is Epigenic) do seem to agree that cancer feeds off of sugars which if reduced will slow the rate of progression. 


  • Swingshiftworker
    Swingshiftworker Member Posts: 1,017 Member
    Another Reference

    Here's another reference entitled "Nutrition and Prostate Cancer" written in 2009 by a dietician I met at UCSF in 2010 just before I was diagnosed w/PCa in Jan 2010.

    The recommendations are basically the same as mentioned above:  Just eat a heart healthy diet but there are certain prescriptions against consuming too much calcium and other such things to avoid the occurance or recurrance of cancer.  Read the report for details.

  • Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3
    Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3 Member Posts: 3,813 Member

    Thank you for that sizable Summation, H &O.

    It reads like a sine wave, up and down, with the end effect that nothing is conclusively helpful in the nutrition realm. Ancedotally, I have been a massive coffee and green tea drinker my whole life, and got the disease.

    You may recall that a massive metastudy was released jointly by Cambridge University and Harvard about 4 years ago, which determined that saturated fat has NO EFFECT on coronary health.  It specifically stated that not only did the study show minimal effect on coronary artery disease, but rather NO LINKAGE AT ALL.  This overturned decades of "established science" and caused a firestorm.

    When I finished chemo for lymphoma, my long-term followship program had me meet a variety of health professionals. The last one I met was the dietician.  I took the Cambridge report with me to see her.  As I waited to go in I went through her Literature, and all of it was "vegan this, vegan that."

    She opened the door late, and apologized, saying she had been picking broccoli seeds out of her teeth, and sort of bragging that she normally ate a raw broccoli lunch most days.  We sat down as she continued to work her toothpick, and she began with a speech regarding the evils of meat.  I knew immediately to not pull out the Harvard report, which she seemed to have missed.

    People cling to these nutrutional beliefs, since they convey to some a sense of control. That is, it is essentially Freudian.  Today's Dietary Truth and Miracle Cure will be tomorrow's idiocy. View the current, astonishing shift from margarine to butter... ten years ago, looking at butter on the grocer's shelf was regarded as a death sentence; now it has shifted to margarine, which was developed as a more healthy alternative to butter !  The Cambridge study involved 600,000 individuals. There has been some "push back" from nutritional orthodoxy, but the authors maintain that their conclusions are valid still today.  Just not "orthodox."


    I know this is not a discussion about heart health. I just used this as a glarring example of how ridiculous most dietary "known facts" really are.

    I eat healthy, try to stay slim, have never smoked, and drink only in moderation.  I beg family members who smoke to stop.  And I still dringk about ten cups of coffee a day (I averaged 20-25 cups a day while in the Navy).  But some of the world's oldest known individuals were chain smokers (George Burns) and drunks.

    I remember Jim Fixx in the 70s and 80s, the author of several bestsellers books on how to avoid heart disease by jogging.

    He died...of a heart attack, while...jogging !  He was 52 years of age.   Again: The world's authority and guru of how to not have a heart attack by jogging dies YOUNG while JOGGING of a HEART ATTACK.   As the saying goes, You can't make this stuff up. 

    George Carlin had a line:  Scientists have discovered that saliva causes stomach cancer, but only when swallowed in small amounts over many years.

    Good luck to all,



  • DJ11762
    DJ11762 Member Posts: 2

    Thank you all for your replies information and advice. My dad was diagnosed after complaining of hip pain in his 80's. Bone scan showed the horse was already out of the barn so I have a bit of a head start on that, but obviously there's no guarantee it wont show up again years from now. 

    I am now 63, retired last year. Diet change and increased activity has resulted in a 30 lbs weight loss which my docs are happy with. Every other lab test/EKG/BP etc. is normal so only one demon to battle so far. 

    In the meantime I will put it out of my mind until the next PSA draw and try to eat healthy.