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Nutrition and Cancer

Posts: 1013
Joined: Mar 2010

I attended a Nutrition and Cancer seminar at UCSF today and thought I'd share what I learned, which actually was pretty much what I expected -- eat better quality food (less fat, less red meat, less salt, less sugar, less alcohol and more fruit, veggies, fish, nuts, whole grains, fiber and antioxidants) and exercise more for improved health, but there were still some interesting details.

Generally, a "healthy" diet is recommended for cancer patients in order to: 1) reduce the risk of chronic disease, 2) help to inhibit cancer growth, 3) enhance the immune system, 4) increase energy levels and 4) to facilitate recovery from cancer treatment.

The following were specifically recommended for a "Cancer Protective Diet":

1) 8-10 "colorful" fruit & veggie servings daily
2) 30-40 gms of fiber daily from beans/legumes & whole grains
3) Limit consumption of processed and refined foods (eg., white rice & bread)
4) Limit meat & daily products; avoid processed meats
5) Increase healthy fats (omega 3 fatty acids) from cold water fish, nuts, etc.)
6) Drink 1-4 cups of green tea daily
7) Avoid or limit alcohol consumption
8) Get tested for Vitamin D and take supplement as needed (up to 1-2gm daily)
9) Increase daily intake of antioxidant rich foods, which include lycopene, selenium & Vitamin E.
10) And, lastly, exercise at least 30-60 mins daily to achieve an acceptable BMI.

No real surprises here and no evidence that following these suggestions will "cure" or prevent reoccurrence of your cancer. However, it certainly can't hurt you and will definitely make you a healthier person.

So, there's no reason not to follow this diet, provided you can actually do all of the things suggested, which is really the question. Most people can't, even if they want to and I don't think I can either but I'll do what I can to eat as healthfully as I can and that's all any of us can expect to do, regardless of its effect on your cancer.

Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi I like what you wrote and couldnt agree more but sadly dont really follow it. I do drink and like green tea. I also take ground flax seed with my yogurt every day.

I also read in the May 2009 Readers digest that artifical light may be a cause for prostate and breast cancer. It says artificial light suppresses melatonin which in turn helps cancer to form,

So their advice is to sleep in as dark a room as possible and if you have to get up to pee(me) use a night light with a red bulb.Interesting what we learn AFTER we have this disease.


Posts: 797
Joined: Jan 2010

UCSF is a great center and the outline is a great summary...My Uro would disagree with item 7 and drink red wine daliy....:-)

Posts: 17
Joined: Apr 2010

I ran across this as well. Seems to me that those of us that are now "prostate-less" might benefit from a bladder conscious diet.


Posts: 1
Joined: May 2010

1- I read that a vegan diet is very helpful in getting rid (or at least slowing down) PC. Animal products, specifically dairy is very bad.
Can anybody confirm this?

2- I heard of organic Germanium 132 being very good in treatment of PC. I'm not sure if it's not a mumbo jumbo??? Any comment on this?

Kongo's picture
Posts: 1166
Joined: Mar 2010

Chris, there are many studies that strongly suggest that dairy and red meat provide growth stimulus to PCa and breast cancer. There are a couple of books worth reading: Your Life in Your Hands and Prostate Cancer: Understand, prevent, and Overcome. Both are by Professor Jane Plant from the UK. Her premise is that dairy has several chemical entities that support cancer growth, including IGFs (Insulin Growth Factors) and others and result basically giving cancer candy. Her studies are based on her own experience in overcoming breast cancer and carrying the analog of her findings to prostate cancer.

A compelling analysis of worldwide cancer rates show that men in China get cancer at the rate of 1 in 100,000. In Western countries it's like 1 in 6. The primary difference in diet is that in China (and other Asian countries) dairy is not part of the diet. Red meat also play a significantly reduced factor in daily protein. There are a whole host of cultural and evolutionary factors involved in dairy and Western diet (read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond) but it basically comes down to that in Asia, cattle were never domesticated historically. Cattle was domesticated in the Indus Valley and it spread to Western Europe, not China. China domesticated pigs and ducks mostly. Western man got protein from dairy, China found it in soy, fish, and rice. Today, about 40% of the American diet is dairy.

Oriental genes are an unlikely source of the huge disparity in cancer rates as Asian men who immigrate to the West have cancer rates comparable to men of European ancestry within a generation.

As you probably know, African-American men have a PCa rate that is even greater than Western caucasions but in Africa, there is a very low rate of PCa. Again, diet seems to be the culprit.

Interestingly, humans are the only mammal species that knowingly drink the milk of another species. Also, after a human infant is weaned, it no longer needs the milk as the pituitary gland is mature enough after weaning to control the chemical reactions necessary for growth, puberty, and so forth. Although humans consume milk other than bovine, we don't drink rats milk, cat milk, dog milk, and so forth. There's a big difference between cow milk and human milk. Cows milk is great for baby cows (which double in size in 47 days). Dog milk is great for puppies. Cat milk is great for kittens. But these other milks aren't necessarily great for humans and modern growth hormones fed to cattle and the way we process dairy milk could be causing us great harm.

It is thought that the chemicals in milk interfere with a cell's natural suicide gene causing cancer cells to grow out of control when they should be dying. Additionally, the growth hormones fed to dairy and feedlot cattle in Western nations appear to have significantly increased the presence of cancer accelerators, at least with respect to PCa and breast cancer.

Certainly not all agree with the hypothosis that dairy and red meat contribute to the growth of cancer and may even be a causitive factor. Many studies (some sponsored by the US Dairy Industry) show that dairy products, when taken in moderation, do not cause these factors. My personal feeling is that there is very, very strong evidence that dairy plays a significant role in some cancers (PCa and dairy) and that commercial growth hormones aggravate the problem. We have no dietary need for dairy after infancy. I think the American dairy industry and cattle producers will challenge this notion but more and more evidence is coming out every day.

If you do google searches for dairy and cancer you will find plenty to research but I also urge you to read the two books I mentioned earlier.

In my own life, the evidence that dairy played a significant role in providing a rich enviornment for PCa growth, compelled me to eliminate all dairy in my diet and substiture it for soy products or rice milk. There are a plethora of soy products on the market today such as milk (calcium and vitamin D added), yogurt, cheese, and so forth that I found it relatively easy to make the substitution at home. Traveling is more of a challenge so I pretty much just do a vegan diet when on the road except that I do eat chicken (no skin) and fish. I have stopped eating red meat. I've only been doing this about six weeks (was diagnosed in March) but the immediate effects have been to lose about 15 pounds. Have also significantly reduced alcohol intake.

I haven't heard anything about Germanium derivitaves in relation to PCa. I do drink about 8 oz of pomegranate juice a day, take saw palmetto, vitamin d supplements, garlic, and anti-oxidants.

Good luck with your search.

Posts: 797
Joined: Jan 2010


I believe that diet is the single most important thing we can all do to fight this beast after our initial treatment. I am lucky and I am married to a gourmet cook. Some clinically doctors at UCSF has done some excellent studies on how far reaching diet and exercise effects us down to our DNA in a short period of time (like 90 days)…I have had a good diet most of my life but I did make a few changes after I was diagnosed with PCa...I basically eat a heart health diet with a Mediterranean flare...

I have almost eliminated most "supplements" I use to take prior to PCa and reduced my vitamin intake to a few as recommend to me by PCF, my urologist, surgeon and dietician.

I would suggest that you limit your intake of soy to one serving a day (per my urologist, dietician and many credible studies)... True our friends in Asia have a lower rate of PCa but they also have higher rates of other types of cancers and the list is long…

Like you I dumped Dairy almost 100% but I do have a little cheese during the week…Red meat is something in the past but I keep saying I will have a good steak once a month but that has not happened… .I substituted beef with cold water fish, beans, egg whites etc… and once every 2 weeks or so some organic chicken…Damn near a vegan!!! But I have to be honest I enjoy the flavors of my food and I have not felt better in some years with this diet change…

Again, I believe that diet is the single most important thing we can all do to fight this beast after our initial treatment.

My best to all

Kongo's picture
Posts: 1166
Joined: Mar 2010

Good perspective BD and you're lucky to have a gourmet cook helping with your diet. Alas, my spouse is wonderful in almost everything but she's not a gourmet cook. But we're learning together. Agree with you about going too far with soy. Everything in balance. I use rice milk with my musilix cereal in the mornings.

Regarding the other cancers in China. You're right about that but my readings show that they're mostly lung cancer and various stomach cancers. If you've ever been to Asia you know that they are heavy, heavy smokers. The stomach cancers have been attributed to poorly refrigerated food products. Not to say that every society probably doesn't have its health downsides...but the Asians don't have PCa and diet is the probable reason.

Posts: 797
Joined: Jan 2010

Just read an interesting report on cancer comparisons between USA and ASIA and one of the key points I see in all of this is the incidence of prostate cancer in the fifteen Asia countries that were used in this study is much lower than that in the United States; in part, this may be due to United States prostate cancer screening measures and I believe this would raise the % of other cancers as well…We are a country that tend to over treat so it would make sense that our % are more realistic than most other countries especially developing countries…

At the end of the day like most of us here I just want to have better treatment options post surgery for reoccurrence and more effective options to replace these barbaric universally accepted methods we use today…The more I read on the journey post surgery/radiation/etc…the odds are still high for a reoccurrence and the younger you are the more important this is….. I have 4 sons with a grandfather, father and uncle that have/had prostate cancer plus my post surgery Gleason score is T3C….so give often to PCF

My best to all in our journey and keeping this beast at bay…

Posts: 100
Joined: Aug 2009


You might like Mike Milken's cookbooks. He specifically targets diets for PCa. I found his introductions interesting. A lot on soy, non-meat, non-dairy, (vegan), etc.. "The Taste For Living", by Beth Ginsburg and Mike Milken.

I follow the diet somewhat ... still put some meat (mainly chicken) in stews, pasta (whole grain)dishes, etc..

I also use supplements ... I've been reading a lot on Vitamin D and have increased my intake a lot.

Germanium .... I thought it was a metallic element. Is Germanium 132 an isotope? Do you have a refernce on its use?

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