What Is Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer refers to the uncontrolled growth of cells in the prostate gland. The prostate gland is a part of the male reproductive system. It is a small gland located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum , surrounding the urethra . The prostate has two main functions: producing and storing fluid that helps make semen and regulating bladder control.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in males in the US . Certain conditions increase the risk for prostate cancer. These include
- Age: The chances of getting prostate cancer increase with age. Most experts recommend considering screening when a man is 50 years old.
- Race: African-American men are at a greater risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Family history: There is a higher risk of prostate cancer in men who have a close family member diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age .
- Heredity: Certain genetic conditions may increase the risk of prostate cancer.
- Diet and lifestyle: Men who have a diet rich in animal fat and low in fruits and vegetables may have greater chances of getting prostate cancer. Being obese or having a sedentary lifestyle also raises prostate cancer risk.
- Smoking: It increases oxidative stress in the body, causing an increased risk of several cancers, including prostate cancer.
Stay Active To Support Prostate Health
In addition to eating a healthy diet, you should stay active. Regular exercise pares down your risk of developing some deadly problems, including heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. And although relatively few studies have directly assessed the impact of exercise on prostate health, those that have been done have concluded, for the most part, that exercise is beneficial. For example:
Get more information and the latest news about prostate health at www.HarvardProstateKnowledge.org.
Recommended Reading: Does Enlarged Prostate Cause Constipation
What Research Is Being Conducted On The Relationship Between The Consumption Of Hcas And Pahs And Cancer Risk In Humans
Researchers in the United States are currently investigating the association between meat intake, meat cooking methods, and cancer risk. Ongoing studies include the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study , the American Cancer Societys Cancer Prevention Study II , the Multiethnic Cohort , and studies from Harvard University . Similar research in a European population is being conducted in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study .
Cross AJ, Sinha R. Meat-related mutagens/carcinogens in the etiology of colorectal cancer. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 2004 44:4455.
Don’t Miss: Malignant Prostate Cancer Survival Rate
What Types Of Cancer Are Processed And Red Meat Linked To
Eating lots of processed and red meat can increase the risk of bowel cancer.
We know for definite that processed meat is a cause of cancer, but the scientific evidence for red meat is less clear. Red meat is classed as a probable cause of cancer. This means there is lots of good evidence of a link, but we need a few more of the best quality studies to be certain.
There is also some evidence for an increased risk of stomach and pancreatic cancer. But we need more research to know for sure if processed and red meat affects the risk of getting these cancer types.
Cooking Red Meat Can Cause Carcinogens
A 2011 study found that the way you cook your meat makes a big difference in your prostate cancer risk.
Those who ate medium and rarer burgers and steaks only had a 12% higher chance of developing prostate cancer than non-red meat-eaters. Those who liked a well-done burger? They were twice as likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer than non-red meat-eaters.
The big problem with red meat is that is can create known carcinogens when cooked at high temperatures. If you think well-done meat is gross, then you are in luck. Science backs you up that you should not eat it. Red meat cooked at high temperatures produces two known carcinogens HCA and PAH.
Heterocyclic amines are formed when foods like red meat are cooked at a high temperature. The creatine found in the muscle of the meat reacts with amino acids and sugars to produce this chemical. Grilled meats can create polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons .
PAHs are formed when the fat and juices of meat drip onto the open flame of a grill. The flames react to the liquids, causing PAHs to stick to the outside of the meat. Smoking meats can also cause PAHs to form as well.
The most common type of cancer studied for its relationship to red meat is colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum.
In some cases, this association has been linked to heterocyclic amines and other potentially harmful compounds that form when meat is cooked at high temperatures.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Know If You Have A Swollen Prostate
Red Meat: Does It Cause Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men. 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer sometime in their life.
Prostate cancer can be deadly. 1 in 41 American men dies from this diagnosis. Since prostate cancer is so common, it is important to do as much as possible to prevent it.
Unfortunately, we still do not know what exactly causes prostate cancer. The best thing you can do is take steps to reduce your chances of developing this potentially deadly disease. One way to reduce your risk is to avoid eating red meat.
What Exactly Is Red Meat
Health Organization also considers processed meat as red meat. These include meat products such as pepperoni, salami, and lunch meat.
It is vital to distinguish between different types of meat:
Processed meat: These products are usually from conventionally raised cows, then go through various processing methods. Examples include sausages and bacon.
Conventional red meat: Conventional red meats are relatively unprocessed, but the cows are usually factory farmed. Meats that are red when raw are defined as red meats.
White meat: Meats that are white when cooked are defined as white meats. This includes meat from poultry like chicken and turkey.
Grass-fed, organic meat: This meat comes from animals that have been naturally fed and raised organically, without drugs and hormones. They also dont have any artificial chemicals added.
Also Check: Cryosurgical Ablation Of The Prostate
Red Processed Meats Linked To Prostate Cancer
4 Min Read
NEW YORK – Men who eat a lot of red meat and processed meats may have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than those who limit such foods, a large study of U.S. men suggests.
Hamburgers are seen on a barbecue in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Newscom/Handout
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute found that among more than 175,000 men they followed for nine years, those who ate the most red and processed meats had heightened risks of developing any stage of prostate cancer, or advanced cancer in particular.
The findings, reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology, add to a conflicting body of research on meat intake and prostate cancer risk. Because studies over the years have come to different conclusions, experts generally consider the evidence linking red and processed meats to the disease to be limited and inconclusive.
These latest findings do not settle the question. But they do suggest that processed red meats and high-heat cooking methods — namely, grilling and barbecuing — may be particularly connected to prostate cancer risk, according to Dr. Rashmi Sinha and her colleagues at the NCI.
For the study, the researchers followed 175,343 U.S. men between the ages of 50 and 71 who were surveyed about their diets — including how much and what type of meat they typically ate, as well as the cooking methods they used.
Over the next nine years, 10,313 study participants developed prostate cancer and 419 died from the disease.
Maintaining A Healthy Body Weight
Achieving and maintaining the right body weight is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Excessive body weight is associated with an increased risk for some diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. These include cancer of the esophagus, pancreas, colon, rectum, kidney, gallbladder, and prostate. Being overweight or obese can lead to advanced prostate cancer.
Read Also: How Would You Know If You Have Prostate Cancer
Finding The Right Prostate Cancer Diet
Studies Point to Protective Role of Vegetables, Risky Role of Eggs
Feb. 15, 2008 Men: Take off the skin!
Thats the advice of U.S. researchers who found that poultry and eggs double the risk of prostate cancer progression.
But when we broke it down, the increased risk was confined to poultry with the skin on and eggs, says June M. Chan, ScD, of the University of California, San Francisco.
The study of about 1,250 men treated for prostate cancer also showed that orange and yellow vegetables, such as squash, yams, and carrots, and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cut the risk of recurrence by about half.
Fruit and fish did not appear to help prevent prostate cancer from returning, Chan tells WebMD.
The study results were based on data from CaPSURE, a national registry of men with prostate cancer.
Though the findings need to be confirmed in other studies, Chan says that they held up even after the researchers took into account other factors such as age, weight, and exercise that can affect prostate cancer risks.
If you eat chicken or poultry, eat it without the skin, she advises.
Limit Your Total Meat Intake
According to the International Agency on Research of Cancer, it appears to be wise to limit your intake of red meats, whether grilled or cooked in any fashion. You may see recommendations talking about how many ounces you should eat, but unless you weigh all of the food you eat, this isn’t really practical. Instead, there are a few simple rules to follow.
- Limit the meat on your plate to the size of a deck of cards.
- Divide your plate into thirds. Meat products should take up one-third of your plate or less. Fill the other two thirds with cancer-fighting foods such as cruciferous vegetables and green leafy vegetables. Ideal choices include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, radishes, and cabbage.
Using skewers is also an excellent way to limit the amount of grilled meat consumed during a meal. Small pieces of meat, combined with fresh fruits and vegetables on the grill make for an attractive and delicious meal.
Also Check: Prostate Cancer Family History Risk
Does Red Meat Cause An Enlarged Prostate
When it comes to prostate health, diet plays a significant role. Certain foods and beverages are known to have an impact on prostate health because of their effects on testosterone and other hormones.
Red meat is one such food. Research has found that high consumption of red meat, alongside dairy products, can increase the risk of prostate cancer.
This is especially true if a person does not incorporate enough fruits vegetables into their diet. Daily meat consumption is believed to triple the risk of an enlarged prostate.
Intake Of The Following Foods Increases Your Risk For Prostate Cancer
Any man who wants to have a healthy prostate should pay careful attention to his food choices. Men are notorious for loving big steaks, triple bacon cheeseburgers and fried foodsall of which do no favors for prostate health.
Numerous studies have directed men to dump bad dietary habits and embrace a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. The University of California at San Francisco Medical Center encourages men to practice good nutrition habits in order to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer and its progression. They recommend that men compose their diet primarily of plant-based foods, including fruits and vegetables high in fiber, and limit their intake of fatty foods and foods high in sugar. They also recommend keeping adequately hydrated and physically active to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
If a man wants to get serious about taking care of his prostate gland to avoid various health issues, he needs to get serious about reducing his intake of certain foods. When he changes his dietand gets regular exercise and loses weight if necessaryhe can feel more confident in knowing he is taking care of his prostate.
Here are foods men should think twice about and how they can negatively affect the prostate.
Red meat and processed meat
For men who love meat and still want to enjoy it now and then, here are some tips on how to reduce HCA formation:
High-fat dairy foods
Heavy alcohol consumption
Foods rich in saturated fats
You May Like: What Is The Best Over The Counter Prostate Supplement
The Claim: Sugar Fuels Tumor Growth
All cells in our bodies, including cancerous ones, use sugar molecules, also known as carbohydrates, as their primary source of energy. But thatâs not the only source of fuel for our cells. Cells can use other nutrients, such as proteins and fats, to grow.
We have no evidence that simply cutting sugar from your diet will stop cancer cells from spreading. âIf are not getting sugar, theyâll start to break down other components from other energy stores within the body,â said Carrie Daniel-MacDougall, PhD, MPH, a nutritional epidemiologist at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and director of MD Anderson’s Bionutrition Research Core.
Scientists are, however, investigating whether certain diets can help slow the growth of tumors. For instance, some preliminary evidence from trials in rodents and humans shows that the ketogenic diet, which is low in carbohydrates and high in fat, may help slow the growth of some types of tumors, such as those in the rectum, when combined with standard cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy.
Although they don’t understand exactly how this might work, experts have some hypotheses.
The Verdict: Cutting sugar wonât stop cancer from growing, but early evidence suggests that a low-carb diet could enhance the effectiveness of certain cancer treatments.
The Claim: Eating Processed Foods Causes Cancer
The evidence linking processed meats, such as salami, beef jerky, and cold cuts, to the risk of certain cancers — namely colorectal cancer — is strong.
In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer , part of the World Health Organization, classified processed meats as a Group 1 carcinogen, a designation reserved for cancer-causing substances. In a statement about the decision, made after 22 experts from 10 countries looked at hundreds of studies, the agency noted that this decision was based on âsufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer.â
At the same time, the IARC also looked at the association between red meat and cancer. After examining hundreds of studies, the group concluded that while there were links to colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancer, the evidence was limited, and it classified red meat as a âprobable carcinogen.â
Some studies that follow people over time suggest that other âultra-processedâ foods, such sodas, canned soups, and instant noodles might increase the risk of developing cancer. Such foods may contain potentially harmful chemicals, such as acrylamide, nitrates, heterocyclic amines, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, but they are also often high in added sugar, salt, and saturated fat.
The Verdict: There is a strong link between processed meat and cancer risk. Red meat and ultra-processed foods may also increase cancer risk, but the evidence is not as strong.
Recommended Reading: Lifestyle Changes For Prostate Cancer
Processed Meat Can Increase Your Risk Of Prostate Cancer
Processed meat includes ham, bacon, and other cured or preserved meats. Regarding the consumption of unprocessed and processed meat, there has always been a dispute between two opposing points of view. It is easily understandable, the lobby of meat producers as well as meat lovers is quite strong in countries with developed economies.
Nevertheless, in 2015 the World Health Organization ranked processed meat to Group I carcinogens and red meat to Group 2A, probably carcinogenic to humans. This was the final decision of the International Agency for Research on Cancer comprised of 22 scientists from 10 countries after evaluation of over 800 studies. Conclusions were principally based on the evidence for colorectal cancer as well as stomach, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.
In 2017 American Institute for Cancer Research found that every 50 grams of processed meat eaten daily about one hot dog increases the risk of colon cancer by 16%. There was substantial evidence that physical activity protects against colon cancer.
Even though the recommendations of WHO to limit or eliminate consumption of red and processed meat are based on data from epidemiological studies which always have certain confusing limitations and on animal studies, as they say, There is no smoke without fire.Processed meat, mainly red meat, contains chemicals that have been found to produce tumors in animals.
Side Effects And Nutrition
Cancer treatment often causes side effects, such as nausea, mouth sores, and taste changes that may make it difficult to eat or drink. Follow these tips to help you get the nutrition you need:
- If water tastes unpleasant to you, take in more liquid though items such as soup, tea, milk or milk substitutes such as almond milk, or a sports drink. Or, flavor your water by adding fresh cut fruit.
- If food tastes bland, try seasoning it with flavorful spices such as garlic, cayenne, dill, and rosemary.
- Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of trying to eat large amounts of food at one time.
- Enhance your protein intake with protein from foods such as fish, egg whites, cheese, beans, or high protein smoothies.
- Suck on mints, chew on gum, or try fresh citrus fruits if you have a metallic taste in your mouth. Brushing your teeth before eating, using plastic utensils, and cooking in glassware can also help.
- If you have mouth sores or a gum infection, use a blender to make vegetables and meats smooth. Try juicing or making smoothies.Some side effects are often treated with medication, so talk with your doctor or another member of your health care team for more information.
Recommended Reading: Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy With Outflow Obstruction