Diet and Prostate Cancer

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Mike E
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 11/22/2009 9:11 PM (GMT -6)   
My question is two-part, so here goes:
A. Does anyone have any experience with the benefits of a proper diet and supplements? Having dealt with recurring prosta*** for about 15 years, plus my dad getting PC about 7 years ago, I did everything I could to promote prostate health. (I was 55, 6 ft, 180 lbs at diagnosis and ended up with Gleason 9). Does heredity trump everything?

B. If I am understanding things correctly, even though the prostate itself is gone, there is no way to be sure that there are not aberrant prostate cells lurking in the dark recesses of one's body. With that in mind, is it best to continue to follow the healthy prostate regimen (lycopene, flax seed, low fat, selenium, Vit. D, etc., etc.)?

Actually, I just thought of another question:

My pathology report gave me an MX (meaning distant metastasis cannot be assessed). I am wondering why I didn't get an M0 (no sign of metastasis). Anyone else get that determination?

Thanks for any insights!

Age 56
After several years of being treated for on and off prostatitis, my PSA stopped responding to Cipro...
PSA: 2.56 (up from 1.6 over a year and a half)
Bone Scan: negative
Biopsy: 8/21/09 6/12 plugs were positive for cancer
open RRP done at Johns Hopkins: 10/7/09
Upgraded Gleason to 4+5 = 9 (from an 8)
Tumor extent: Moderate
Margins: Positive 1 mm
Extraprostatic Extension: could not be distinguished because of incision site
No seminal vesicle or lymphatic invasion
Stage: pT2x
11/21: Incontinence- mostly dry at night, but little progress during the day, multiple pads
ED: Nothing but fleeting twinges of hope every now and then

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2692
   Posted 11/22/2009 9:24 PM (GMT -6)   

The big question on diet is how long does it take eating a proper diet to influence the outcome? Is 1 year, 5 years, 10 years enough to overcome 40 or 50 years of a bad diet ?

You will find some studies and opinions out there that suggest certain diets are generally good for preventing prostate cancer, but none that can conclusively prove it.

As to the second part of your question, I am going to guess that the positive margin may have caused them to answer it that way. The positive margin implies that on the part left in the body also has cancer cells in it. Has your doctor talked about adjuvant radiation ?

Good luck on your journey !
Age 58, PSA 4.47 Biopsy - 2/12 cores , Gleason 4 + 5 = 9
Da Vinci, Cleveland Clinic  4/14/09   Nerves spared, but carved up a little.
0/23 lymph nodes involved  pT3a NO MX
Catheter and 2 stints in ureters for 2 weeks .
Neg Margins, bladder neck negative
Living the Good Life, cancer free  6 week PSA  <.03
3 month PSA <.01 (different lab)
5 month PSA <.03 (undetectable)
6 Month PSA <.01
1 pad a day, no progress on ED.  Trimix injections

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 11/23/2009 3:49 AM (GMT -6)   
I think heredity plays a large part in what diseases and ailments we contract. Textbook example is Adele Davis who lived an exceptionally healthy lifestyle only to succumb to bone cancer at the age of seventy.

Hopefully, however, eating healthily actually slows any damaging cells we have in our bodies and had Adele Davis ate and drank an "unhealthy" diet, the cancer that claimed her life would have done so at a much earlier age.

I've seen studies that support a healthy diet and studies that debunk or say that a healthy diet barely effects cancer. Since it's easier for me to eat healthily and I don't want to live with regret later on down the line should it ever me found 100% that diet does affect cancer, I'll continue to eat my fruits and veggies.
Age: 53 6' 0" Weight: 170 Caucasian

Rising PSA over the last six years (from when I started being tested) from 3.9 to 5.2 to 4.6 to 4.5.

DX with PC in January 2009 after biopsy. Bone scan--negative

Consulted Cedars-Sinai Beverly Hills urologist--recommended surgery
Consulted Cedars-Sinai Beverly Hills radiologist--recommended IMRT
Consulted San Diego Cyber-Blade doctor--recommended treatments
Consulted Long Beach radiologist--recommended IGRT
Consulted Loma Linda radiologist--recommended Hypo-fractionated Proton treatments

Insurance approved any treatment I wanted.

Consulted Marnia del Rey urologist Dr. Scholz.
Dr. Scholz referred me to Dr. Bahn for a Color Doppler test.
Scholz and Bahn recommended Active Surveillance, some diet changes, and steady exercise.

I am currently on Active Surveillance.

English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2218
   Posted 11/23/2009 8:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Firstly Reedy Welcome! (You have only posted 3 times so I think you are a new member who may have slipped in under the radar)

I was only Gleason 7 compared to your 9 but having had a post op PSA of 0.1, I am sitting here with those nagging doubts that there is still a cell or two of Prostate in me somewhere making that PSA and equally creating the worry that it may mean the cancer can come back.

All we can do is wait for the next PSA test and hope that it doesn't go up, but if it does simply be prepared for the next stage in our treatment. (Easier said than done of course)

I have no experience of what diet can do to prevent PCa and I imagine it would be very difficult to obtain scientific evidence. (unless you say, came across identical twins one of whom was a healthyeater and the other not etc)

But I reckon that there really cannot be any harm in following a healthy diet and lifestyle as much as possible right now. And if as said above it turned out to be very important it would clearly have been being of some help.

And in the general context of being healthy in relation to PCa, what you eat will have some bearing on other aspects beside just prevention.

I have for instance read about a guy whose urologoist refused to risk him on the operating table as he was over weight, the guy lost 30lbs and then could have his operation.

A healthy diet may thus permit a larger or fuller range of treatment options if it means you are not prevented from having something done due to say a bad heart etc. (It was my anaethetist who took the most interest in how fit and healthy I was! And I think that is an important aspect too.) Things like tobacco and alcohol are very relevant.

And given bowel movements is a subject that finds its way into very many threads here, eating the right food to keep your bowel happy is also a good idea seeing what the treatments can do to the way your rectum etc. function.

And if you follow a healthy diet you may never actually know what it prevented from happening. You may for instance still have PCa but simply not have some other condition at the same time.

Frankly I wish I had been even fitter and healthier going into this, but I'm tackling this without regrets as far as possible so that's not a big issue for me.

And as for MX I had only asked on the Forum last week what that meant and now I've had it answered twice.


Isn't the difference between MX and MO something along the lines that MX means they haven't looked whereas MO means they looked and didn't find anything?


Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 11/23/2009 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Don't smoke, Don't drink. Eat a vegan diet. Get massive amounts of exercise, sunshine and stress reduction. All the medical studies are controversial on whether it will mitigate PC or not, but it might work for you. Everyone's story is different, and if it's good for you anyway, do it.
Pre-Surgery PSA: 4.92
age: 45 at DX.
DaVinci 5/07
1st PSA 0.07 8/07
2nd PSA 0.04 11/07
3rd PSA 0.04 02/08
4TH PSA 0.04 7/08
5th PSA 0.08 2/09
6th PSA 0.08 5/09
7th PSA 0.07 9/09

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 11/23/2009 11:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Regarding diet, exercise, supplements and other pro-active measures to help prevent cancer (heart disease, etc), I look at the big picture this way...
There is no single action that will prevent one from getting a cancer, but one can help reduce their chances by actively taking steps to stack the odds in your favor, or allow them to stack up against you. 
Some factors are pre-dispositioned (heredity).  If you've got those odds already working against you, in the big picture it probably takes some extra effort to get more chips stacked up in your favor.
There is no "silver bullet", but to ignore one's ability to favorably manipulate the odds seems to me to be a poor choice.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 11/23/2009 11:09 AM (GMT -6)   
After my operation I talked to my internist about diet and supplements. His wife, also and internist, writes books about health and diet for women, so you can guess that the issue is dinner table conversation for him.

His first point was to eat a heart-healthy diet, little red meat and fat, lots of vegetables and whole grains. I asked if this would help prevent a recurrence of PC. He said he doubted it, but there were lots of other things to die from and this was the most proven way to avoid them. He also said, loose weight and get both aerobic and resistance training exercise.

I asked him about supplements and he said the only thing he would recommend is 1,000iu of Vitamin D3. He said he himself also took a daily eye vitamin because he has a family history of macular degeneration.

I asked specifically about selenium and PC and he said that there might be a connection between selenium deficiency and PC but that if you eat a healthy amount of green vegetables it is impossible not to get enough selenium. He added that some researchers worried that excess selenium might actually promote PC.

My take-away point, there is no PC magic in diet and supplements.
Age at diagnosis 66, PSA 5.5
Biopsy 12/08 12 cores, 8 positive
Gleason 3+4=7
CAT scan, Bone scan 1/09 both negative.

Robotic surgery 03/03/09 Catheter Out 03/08/09
Pathology: Lymph nodes & Seminal vesicles negative
Margins positive, Capsular penetration extensive Gleason 4+3=7
6 weeks: 1 pad/day, 1 pad/night -- mostly dry at night.
10 weeks: no pad at night -- slight leakage day/1 pad.
3 mo. PSA 0.0 - now light pads
6 mo. PSA 0.00 -- 1 light pad/day

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 11/23/2009 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I think I will elaborate your post a bit for the rest...

If you have prostate cancer, there is no diet that will "unring the bell". That stated, you are likely to live a long life with the disease and the comment that was said in the brochure the doctor likely handed you is "you are more likely to die with prostate cancer than because of it" is true. So a healthy regimen of exercise and proper diet are excellent advice. Cutting back on fatty foods, increasing soy and fruits and vegetables is always a good decision.

A heart healthy diet IS the prostate healthy diet...

Prostate Cancer Forum Co-Moderator

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 11/23/2009 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Twenty or thirty or so years ago there was a nationwide health study. In general men from Utah (aka Mormons as far as this study was concerned) had lower incidences of all cancers except prostate cancer. The study ascribed the LDS dietary rules (no alcohol, coffee, tea, tobacco, harmful drugs) to the lower cancer rates. The only thing mentioned along with the higher rates of prostate cancer was habit of using more black pepper than normal on their food, something I often reflected on as I peppered up my hash browns or chicken fired steak. Obviously, that bit of data did me no good. I suspect genetics had more to do with it in my case than pepper.
Diagnosed at 54
PSA 8.7 Biopsy 1/7/09
4 of 6 cores positive, one at 90%
Gleason 3+4=7 Neg bone scan 1/15/09
One shot Lupron Depot 1/27/09 Tax Season
RP 4/29/09
Neg lymph nodes, postive seminal vesicle, 1 positive margin
Gleason 3+4=7 with tertiary 5
Catheter out at 2 weeks no nighttime incontinence Pad free week 5
PSA 6/6/09 <0.1 PSA 9/10/09 <0.1

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 11/23/2009 12:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Having been recently diagnosed, I can only add my personal decisions regarding diet and exercise. I did my research and decided to discontinued my multi-vitamin due to it having additional B vitamins including Folic Acid that seems to be like gas to the PCa fire (I understand our food in the US is fortified with B, but I wasn't going to add even more). I did start 1,000U of D3 and a good Omega-3. The Omega-3 is because of studies indicating saturated fat is another one of those gas on the fire types with PCa. The Omega is a good source of polyunsaturated fats that help reduce saturated fats in your system. I did change my diet to reduce dairy and red meat while increasing fruits and veggies. I feel it will help me reduce my weight while reducing saturated fats and promoting a heart and body healthy approach. As soon as I can find some, I'll also be adding some flax seed (not the oil) to my diet as the reports tend to indicate it is another good way to lower the bad fats in your system.

As far as PCa is concerfned, it's too late for me - I have it! But I can relook my health strategy since I think this is a sort of a heads-up to do better. I do not think my PCa is my fault, but I'm not going to give anything else more of a chance!

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 11/23/2009 1:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Black pepper now on the supsect list? First I heard that. I think a study could be found or made up to prove any point with cancers in general.

Of all the general health advice my radiation oncologist ever gave me, and we have discussed the whole gambit of diet, supplements, vitamins, etc. she feels that men miss the most important health change advice of all, and that is to give up smoking.

She said all the dietary changes are kind of a mute point, because the cat is out of the bag, but eating a heart healthy diet for the rest of your life is benificial to your general health, but smoking does so much damage to the body, that there's not point pretending to be making other healthy changes if one is going to continue to smoke. I think she has an excellent point.

I quit a pack and a half a day habit cold turkey on November 13, 2008, the night before my open surgery.

I have long ago stopped trying to blame myself or specific foods or incidences in my life for my cancer bouts, you can go crazy in the head in that mode, and still never come up with a sure reason.

David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out  38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - began IMRT SRT - 39 sess/72 gys cath #8 33 days, 11/2- SP Cath #9 in place

John T
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4269
   Posted 11/23/2009 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
A recent study on diet published on the New Prostate Cancer Info Link found no corrolation between diet and PC. There is a lot of other evidence, mostly anadoctal, that supports a heart healthy diet for PC. My PSA dropped 10 points after never going down in 10 years as soon as I went on a vegaterian diet. Also cholestrol dropped 65 points as well as did all the other blood numbers. I went off blood pressure meds after being on them for 8 years. So if it's not helping my prostate is sure is helping my heart and I feel much better and have a lot more energy.

64 years old.

PSA rising for 10 years to 40, free psa 10-15. Had 5 urologists, 12 biopsies and MRIS all neg. Doctors DXed BPH and continue to get biopsies yearly. 13th biopsy positive in 10-08, 2 cores of 25, G6 less than 5%. Scheduled for surgery as recommended by Urological Oncologist.

2nd Opinion from Dr Sholtz, a Prostate Oncologist, said DX wrong, pathology shows indolant cancer, but psa history indicates large cancer or metastasis. Futher tests and Color Doppler confirmed large transition zone tumor that 13 biopsies and MRIS missed. G7, 4+3, approx 16mmX18mm.

Combidex MRI in Holland eliminated lymphnode mets. Casodex and Proscar reduced psa to 0.6 and prostate from 60mm to 32mm. Changed diet, no meat and dairy. All staging tests indicate that tumor is local and non agressive. (PAP, PCA3, MRIS, Color Doppler, Combidex, tumor reaction to diet and Casodex, and tumor location in transition zone). Surgery a poor option because tumor is located next to the urethea and positive margin is very likely; permanent incontenance is also high probability with surgery.

Seed implants on 5-19-09, 3 hours door to door, no pain, minor side affects are frequency and urgency; very controlable with Flowmax and lasted 4 weeks. Daily activities resumed day after implants with no restrictions. Gold markers implanted with seeds to guide IMRT.

25 treatments of IMRT 6 weeks after seed implants. No side affects at all.

PSA at end of treatment 0.02 mostly the result of Casodex. When I stop Casodex next week expect PSA to rise. Next PSA in November. Treatments and side affects have greatly exceeded my expectations. Glad to have this 11 year journey finally conclude.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 981
   Posted 11/23/2009 5:59 PM (GMT -6)   
There is always someone who is looking for that magic supplement for PCa. There's been a few talked about and most either proved insignificant, useless or one that was even bad causing possible acceleration. If you must take something for anxiety fine I guess for the most its harmless. Until a magic nutritive appearsI'll remain skeptical of all such claims.
Diagnosed 11/08/07 - Age: 58 - 3 of 12 @5%
Psa: 2.3 - 3+3=6 - Size: 34g -T-2-A
2/22/08 - 3D Mapping Saturation Biopsy - 1 of 45 @2% - Psa:2.1 - 3+3=6 - 28g after taking Avodart - Catheter for 1 day -Good Candidate for TFT(Targeted Focal Therapy) Cryosurgery(Ice Balls) - Clinical Research Study
4/22/08 - TFT performed at University of Colorado Medical Center - Catheter for 4 days - Slight soreness for 2 weeks but afterward life returns as normal
7/30/08 - Psa: .32
11/10/08 - Psa.62 - Not unexpected bounce after the 80% drop the quarter earlier. Along with urine flow readings, an acceptable amount left in bladder measured by sonic. Results warrant skipping third quarter tests, and to return April, 2009 for final biopsy scheduled to
complete clinical research study 
April 2009 12 of 12 Negative biopsy
10/12/09 - Psa .30

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 11/23/2009 6:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Real ziggy, I fully 100% agree with your last post. Well said.
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out  38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - began IMRT SRT - 39 sess/72 gys cath #8 33 days, 11/2- SP Cath #9 in place

Mike E
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 11/23/2009 6:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the sound advice. Once again, my wife has been saying the same thing about being an over-zealous detective trying to find out why I got cancer. (The T-shirt joke was great!) Eating and living healthy makes sense, no matter what.

A question for Goodlife: What is adjuvant radiation?

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2692
   Posted 11/23/2009 7:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Adjuvant radiation is radiation treatment without obvious elevated PSA. There are studies out there that say that radiation therapy begun within 4 months of surgey for those at a higher risk of reoccuence can increase their odds of non-reoccurence by 20 to 25 %

With a positive Margin, and a Gleason 9, you are at a higher risk of reoccurence. Many doctors recommend radiation after surgery for a Gleason 9 alone. The positive margin is an adder.

I would recommend you get an opinion from your urologist, and /or a prostate cancer oncologist.

I also have a Gleason 9, and have consulted. I have waited until I see a rise in my PSA because I am just getting my continence under control. The radiation will frequently "freeze" the incontinence and ED at their current levels. My odds by waiting until a rise in PSA are much less. Radiation at this stage is referred to as Salvage radiation.

Good luck and keep me posted on what you find out.
Age 58, PSA 4.47 Biopsy - 2/12 cores , Gleason 4 + 5 = 9
Da Vinci, Cleveland Clinic  4/14/09   Nerves spared, but carved up a little.
0/23 lymph nodes involved  pT3a NO MX
Catheter and 2 stints in ureters for 2 weeks .
Neg Margins, bladder neck negative
Living the Good Life, cancer free  6 week PSA  <.03
3 month PSA <.01 (different lab)
5 month PSA <.03 (undetectable)
6 Month PSA <.01
1 pad a day, no progress on ED.  Trimix injections

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1100
   Posted 12/7/2009 2:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Reedy - I will be interested if you ask your doctors at JHU about adjuvant radiation, what they suggest. I have heard that the uroglogists at JHU are generally not quick to recommend adjuvant radiation, preferring instead to wait for an increase in post-surgery psa. That view is controversial, in higher-risk cases. But I have only heard that anecdotally and I am not certain it is true. Anyway, if you don't mind, I would be interested in what doctor you spoke with at JHU and what they suggest regarding adjuvant radiation. Best wishes, Medved

ps regarding good diet: More guys who are diagnosed with prostate cancer die of heart disease than of prostate cancer, so seems to me heart-healthy diet makes eminently good sense (unless, of course, you really hate eating well, in which case I suppose there is some balancing to do....)
Age 45.  Father died of p ca. 
My psa starting age 40: 1.4, 1.3, 1.43, 1.74, 1.7, 1.5

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 744
   Posted 12/7/2009 2:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I have read red-meat can be a culprit. But I don't think that is new news. Lycopene was suppose to be a good supplement to take to help reduce the risk, but a large study concluded it wasn't the case.
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