Men who followed the Mediterranean diet had a lower risk for aggressive prostate cancer compared to those opting for other popular diet breakdowns, according to findings published in The Journal of Urology.
“Despite the fact that prostate cancer represents the most common type of cancer among males in Europe and the third with the highest mortality, its etiology is not well understood,” Beatriz Pérez-Gomez, MD, PhD, MPH, of the Centro Nacional de Epidemiología in Madrid, told Healio Family Medicine.
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States.
Researchers with the Multicase Control study on Common Tumors in Spain (MCC-Spain) used dietary, epidemiological and anthropometric data from 754 histologically confirmed incident cases of prostate cancer and 1,277 controls aged 38 to 85 years. Dietary patterns of Mediterranean (high intake of olive oil, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and fish), prudent (intake of juices, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low-fat dairy products) and Western diets (high intake of sauces, fast food, sweets, beverages with calories, processed meat, refine grains and fatty dairy products) were reconstructed based on this data.
Pérez-Gomez and colleagues found that high adherence to the Mediterranean diet was specifically associated with a lower risk for a Gleason score greater than 6 (P for trend = .023) or with higher clinical stage (P for trend = .024). The Western pattern and the prudent pattern did not show any association with prostate cancer.
According to Pérez-Gomez, primary care physicians are well-situated to discuss these findings with their patients.
“They should make a joint evaluation of dietary habits with their patients, trying to discard erroneous concepts and, focusing on cancer prevention, encourage them to follow a diet that includes whole fruits instead of juices, vegetables, fish, nuts, legumes and olive oil,” she said in the interview. “The [PCP’s] office is an ideal place to transmit these dietary recommendations. Doctors should include dietary assessment [as part of] their usual routine, due to the undoubtable importance of a good diet, weight control and physical activity for cancer prevention.”
She added that the Mediterranean diet has also been shown to prevent colorectal, stomach and breast cancer and CVD. – by Janel Miller
Reference: American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/about/key-statistics.html. Accessed Jan. 16, 2018.
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