Diet and prostate cancer

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After a diagnosis of prostate cancer it would be very wise to generally improve the diet. Along with other lifestyle issues such exercise and giving up smoking, scientific evidence has showed that a healthy diet  is can to help to:

  • reduce the risks of developing cancer or further new cancers
  • improves the recovery from cancer treatments and can reduce long term risks
  • improve the response of cancer treatments
  • improve the overall cure rate

In addition a healthy diet could help to improve the quality of life and reduce side effects during active cancer treatments by helping with specific symptoms such as weight gain, weight loss, nausea & poor appetite, diarrhoea, constipation, breathless, altered taste, and  indigestion.  Apart from these examples, however, for practical reasons, this section addresses people who do not have any or few restrictions on their diet after their diagnosis of cancer. Likewise it doesn’t address any pre-existing long standing dietary requirements.  In general, therefore, it is probably not appropriate for patients with advanced cancer or those who’s tumours or treatments have affected their ability to eat or digest food. In these situation,  patients should seek formal advice from qualified dieticians preferably those attached to a mainstream cancer unit.

In generally a healthy diet means:-

What to less more of: What to more less of:


The individual elements in the headings above will provide specific details on why these measures which may help prostate cancer and how to change the diet accordingly. The following table provided a general overview which may act as an aid memoir.



Increase fibre Cereals, linseeds, fresh or dried fruit, vegetables, all types of nuts and berries.


Reduce saturated fats


Avoid processed fatty foods, cream, fried foods. Check serum cholesterol and discuss taking a statin if elevated.


Reduce meat intake


Use meat for its taste preferably not >once a day. Excess fat should be removed and be gently grilled rather than fried to further reduce the fat content and avoid burning. If extra oil needs to be used in cooking, use olive oil rather than animal fat.


Increase healthy fats and all fish intake


All fresh fish and omega 3 containing fruit such as avocado. The oily varieties of fish such as mackerel and sardines are good but may increase mercury toxin if taken for than 2 per week. Olive oils (and others rapeseed, soya, sunflower). Nuts – walnuts, almonds, brazil, peanut, pine, cashews, hazel and macadamia nuts. Seeds – dried pumpkin, sunflower and linseeds. Leafy green vegetables and hemp


Reduce exposure to potential carcinogens


Try to avoid heavily processed foods, which often contain high concentrations of fat, salt sugar and food additives. Avoid excessive processed salt and sugar; Apple juice or honey may be an alternative to processed sugar, avoid adding salt when cooking vegetables. Reducing the amount of time that vegetables are cooked should maintain the flavour. Wash salads and vegetables thoroughly to avoid pesticides and airborne chemicals which may have settled on them. Organic foods reduce the pesticide exposure further. Avoid excessive amounts of foods containing high levels of aromatic hydrocarbons and acrylamides such as smoked food or those associated with high temperature cooking processes such as deep fried foods, crisps, chips barbecued and heavily fried meats.

Increase dietary selenium

Brazil nuts, Sardines, Prawns.  60-75mcg/day. No more than 200mcg/day


Avoid excessive calcium and Zinc


Unless prescribed for other reasons avoid supplements which give more than 1500mg of calcium and 11mg zinc per day.


Increase dietary vitamins


Fresh fruit, raw and calciferous vegetables, grains, oily fish, nuts and salads. Unless you have diarrhoea try to increase the amount of ripe fruit you eat each day, ideally by eating the whole fruit. Freshly squeezed fruit juices are recommended.




Onions, leeks, broccoli, blueberries, red wine, tea, apricots, chocolate. coffee, blueberries, kiwis, plums, cherries, ripe fruits. pomegranates, goji berries parsley, celery, tomatoes, mint, citrus fruit.




Soybeans, other legumes, including peas, lentils, pinto (baked beans) and beans, nuts.


Non-oestrogenic polyphenols


Skin of colourful foods pomegranets, cherries, strawberries, tannins (red wine) blackcurrant, blackberries. Dates, cranberries, red grapes, white button mushrooms


Lignans & Stilbens


Flaxseed, linseeds, nuts, grains


Increase carotenoids (lycopene)


Tomatoes, tomato source, chilli, carrots, green vegetables, gratefruit and dark green salads.


Helpful resources and links

Cancernet-UK: What is cancerAbout specific cancers; Breast | Prostate | Bowel.  About cancer treatments; Chemotherapy | Radiotherapy | Hormones | Biological agents | Complementary.  Lifestyle advice; Exercise | Diet | Smoking | Sunbathing | Alcohol.  Cope with symptomsTraveling | Insurance  | Tests for cancer | Clinical trials. map
Micro-nutrient testing Empower yourself to make dietary choices specific to your personal make up. This Cancer Risk Nutritional Profile, analyses your blood profile and recommends specific dietary and supplement advice to ensure you have the best possible nutritional status to fight cancer an aid recovery from more
Download a free chapter describing how to avoid cancer forming chemicals (Carcinogens) in our diet and environments  from the new edition of the best selling evidence based book    "Lifestyle after Cancer - the facts"
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Protect your lips during chemotherapy There is evidence that natural oil based creams are better than petroleum based creams. natureMedical lip balm has been specifically design to soothe and moisturise the lips during and after chemotherapy or after sun exposure. It only contains only natural waxes and essential oils selected for their anti-inflammatory and DNA stabilizing more/order
Protect your nails during chemotherapy. Nails can become painful and disfigured during and after chemotherapy. We describe the latest nail care guidelines and  number of useful tips to keep them healthy, including cooling and moisturizing more 
Poems and cancer   Cancer is emotional and stressful time not only for the patients but friends and relatives. This emotional can inspire reflection, sentiment and creative writing and poetry. Hundreds of poems have been kindly submitted by users of cancernet. Caution: take a tissue some of these are real emotional bombshells!.. Read poems or...submit your own poem  
Look after your family after cancer - A diagnosis of cancer can cause a strain on family harmony. With emotions running high its not a good time to be upset further by destructive arguments. This practical little book has identified the situations where arguments are most likely to happen and provides simple tips to navigate around £1.99
Lifestyle and cancer - the facts. This 2011, edition with a foreword from Paula Radcliffe has been extensively re-written with evidence from the latest research from around the world which demonstrates how diet, exercise and lifestyle changes can; help avoid cancer (read chapter 9 free), cope with treatments side effects; slow the rate of progression of cancer and help prevent  relapse.  This comprehensive essential lifestyle guidebook can be ordered online (£8.95), or downloaded via kindle
Prepared for cancer treatments. Patients and professionals, teamed up with Sue Lawley to produce this 21 minute film which explains chemotherapy & radiotherapy while you watch patients, describing their experiences, side effects and methods to alleviate them. Awarded the NHS communication prize ...  read more / order individually or in bulk for your oncology department Practical evidence based advice on healthy living including ways to naturally reduce cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, keep healthy eyesight, hearing, maintain a healthy weight and level of fitness. Includes advice on supplements and other useful
Support groups and self help organisations throughout the UK and internationally. Links to Asian support organisations; Read patient stories, poems and links to the Cancer active website addressing a wide range of complementary issues related to cancer and their a quarterly magazine (ICON)..  submit a link to your group