According to a new American study, men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer should favor a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fibers with less meat and dairy products in order to improve their chances of survival.
A team of researchers from the Harvard Public School of Health has discovered that a healthy diet could increase one's chances of surviving prostate cancer.
Men with prostate cancer who follow a "Western" diet rich in animal proteins, dietary fats and dairy products have a 67% greater chance of dying, all causes combined.
Affected men who instead subscribe to a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and light on meat and dairy products see their chances of death decrease by 36%.
To come to these conclusions, the team studied the data of 926 men, who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and who volunteered to take part in a health study. More than 3 million Americans have this disease.
After splitting the participants into two sub-groups, the team followed them for an average of 14 years from the time of their diagnosis. The first sub-group was classified through their western-style diet while the second ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains.
Their conclusions, published in the Cancer Prevention Research journal of June 1, showed that those whose diet was closer to the western-style diet had twice as much risk of dying from their disease and, in general, a 67% higher chance of death all causes considered.
Participants whose diet was more in line with the Mediterranean approach had a 36% lower risk of death, all causes considered.
"Our results suggest that a heart-healthy diet may benefit these men by specifically reducing their chances of dying of prostate cancer," said Jorge Chavarro, assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study.
"These results are encouraging and add to the scant literature on this area, but it is important to keep in mind that all study participants are physicians and most are white. Therefore it is very important that our results are replicated in other studies with more diverse socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds," said lead author Meng Yang, research fellow at Harvard Chan School.