Health Diet May Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer

Meng Yang, PhD MPH Research Fellow Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Interview with:
Meng Yang, PhD MPH
Research Fellow
Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Yang: There are nearly 3 million American men living with prostate cancer. However, there is very little information for patients and clinicians about how to manage patients’ lifestyles, like diet, after prostate cancer diagnosis to decrease the risk of death due to this disease and improve their survivorship.

The most important finding is that men initially diagnosed with prostate cancer without metastases whose diet was more “Westernized”, i.e. higher processed meats, refined grains, potatoes and high-fat dairy, had a significantly higher prostate cancer-related death and all cause mortality. Men whose diet was more “prudent”, i.e. higher intake of vegetables, fruits, fish, whole grains and healthy oils had a lower risk of death.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Yang: For clinicians and patients, our results suggest that the same dietary recommendations that are made to the general population primarily for the prevention of cardiovascular disease may also decrease the risk of dying from prostate cancer among men initially diagnosed with non-metastatic disease.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Yang: The main point that research community may take from our findings is that diet and lifestyle factors after prostate cancer diagnosis could make an impact on disease progression and that we should probably pay more attention to this understudied area. Our team continues to evaluate how dietary, lifestyle and metabolic factors influence survival among men with prostate cancer. Our long-term goal is to be able to provide evidence-based nutritional and lifestyle recommendations to men facing prostate cancer and their health providers.

MedicalResearch: Are there any other points you would like to discuss?

Dr. Yang: I would like to caution that in the current study most men are Caucasian physicians. Therefore our results need to be replicated in independent populations with more diverse socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds.


Dietary Patterns after Prostate Cancer Diagnosis in Relation to Disease-Specific and Total Mortality

Meng Yang, Stacey A. Kenfield, Erin L. Van Blarigan, Julie L. Batista, Howard D. Sesso, Jing Ma, Meir J. Stampfer, and Jorge E. Chavarro

Cancer Prev Res June 2015 8:545-551; doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-14-0442

[wysija_form id=”3″] Interview with: Meng Yang, PhD MPH, Research Fellow
, & Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (2015). Health Diet May Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer