Diet and nutrition should be a major focus when striving for optimal health and wellness. Those who are receiving medical treatment should take extra care of what they’re putting into their bodies, since immunity may be fragile. For patients with prostate cancer, research is underway to study the effects of certain diets and nutritional supplements that may help diminish symptoms, treatment side effects, and build strength to fight the disease and prevent recurrence.
Nutrition itself has become a type of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for prostate cancer patients. Health care providers should be fully aware of all herbs and supplements patients are considering as part of their treatment regimen, for certain foods and supplements may interact with current medications.
The following may be considered cancer fighting foods, of course, more studies need to be done to know their full effects. Talk to your doctor before incorporating any of these into your diet to reduce the risk of prostate cancer:
- Fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants (ex: berries, watermelon, squash, bell peppers). One study found men who ate at least 28 servings of vegetables a week are 35% less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who eat less than 14 servings a weeki
- Foods with lycopene, at least 15mg twice a day, such as tomatoes, watermelon, and flaxseed supplements can slow the growth of cancer cells
- Caffeine-free green tea, also an antioxidant
- Drinking at least eight ounces of pomegranate juice every day could slow the increase of PSA levels, but it could also interact with some other medications
- 400 mg of garlic extract taken two to three times a day may help fight cancer cells, but could also interact with other medications
Clinical trials are being conducted to study the effects of soy, fatty acids, and other dietary factors in altering effects of prostate cancer.
While using herbs and other dietary supplements is a more natural form of cancer treatment, there could still be side effects, especially if used as complementary treatments with other medications and procedures. Talk with your doctor to see what kind of nutritional plan will best help you fight prostate cancer and improve your well-being.