Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Prostate Cancer: The Low Carb Option

An article on prostate cancer in today's New York Times leaves the impression that patients are equally screwed no matter what treatment option they choose. Whether the treatment was surgical removal, radiation, hormone therapy, or "watchful waiting", no one method stood out as being superior.

The Times article provided this quote, which illustrates doctor's frustrations at a lack of helpful data.

“Having been involved in this area for a long time, it was not shocking, but it is disappointing,” said Dr. Timothy J. Wilt, lead researcher on the report, from the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research. “Information is really lacking to determine whether over all one treatment is more effective and preferred.” - Feb. 26th, 2008

Considering traditional treatments can leave a man impotent, incontinent, or hoping wondering if something else will kill them before the cancer turns deadly, I am a bit surprised there was no mention of a very promising treatment readily available to all men...a low carb diet.

"A diet low in carbohydrates may help stunt the growth of prostate tumors, according to a new study led by Duke Prostate Center researchers. The study, in mice, suggests that a reduction in insulin production possibly caused by fewer carbohydrates may stall tumor growth." - Science Daily, Nov. 14, 2007 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071113074933.htm

A week later, Science Daily reported that diet HIGH in carbohydrates was related to prostate tumor GROWTH.

"Having too much insulin in the blood, a condition called hyperinsulinemia, is associated with poorer outcomes in patients with prostate cancer. Vasundara Venkateswaran, Ph.D., of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto and colleagues investigated whether high insulin levels caused by eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates would lead to more rapid growth of prostate tumors in mice."

As doctors scratch their heads trying to figure out which potentially dangerous treatment plan to use on their prostate cancer patients, the dietary aspect of cancer appear to be ignored. When an easily implementable option like eliminating carbohydrates holds the possibility of shrinking tumors, it should be obvious that impotence and incontinence are no longer acceptable risks.

Since prostate tumors grow so slowly and "wait and see" is already a position many doctors take, why not try "wait and see while low carbing"? If the tumor does not shrink with a low carb diet, there is still plenty of time to try surgery or radiation therapy. If eliminating carbohydrates DOES shrink the tumor, there is no need to risk having to spend the rest of your life wearing adult diapers.


Vesna VK said...

Well put. Great post.

karin said...

I think the truth is that a low carb diet can prevent MOST cancers.

Wifezilla said...

High Karen,

While there is no definitive answer yet, it looks like a large percentage are lifestyle related.

prostate health foods said...

Great post! I've been buying my husband foods that promote prostate health for a while now so hopefully this will help prevent cancer in the future!

natural prostate health said...

Eating the right foods is a great way to protect against prostate cancer. It's a wonder why more doctors don't put more emphasis on how the right diet can significantly reduce a man's risk. I've been trying to tell my husband for years, but he's so stubborn! Anyways, I will definately be more persistant now!

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