High-Fat Diet May Foster Prostate Cancer Spread
Mon Sep 2, 5:31 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - New research has linked a high-fat, high-calcium diet to an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer ( news - web sites). And higher total calorie intake, the researchers found, appeared to boost the risk of both localized and more advanced prostate cancer.
This suggests that modifying diet after prostate cancer treatment could help reduce the risk that cancer will return, according to Dr. Alan Kristal from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, and colleagues.
"Our findings clearly show decreased risk for late-stage disease in men with diets that are low in fat and moderate in calcium, perhaps because these diets slow progression of prostate cancer into more aggressive disease," Kristal said in a statement.
"For men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, this finding could be important because it suggests that moderating fat and calcium consumption may reduce the risk of cancer recurrence following treatment," he added.
Kristal and colleagues collected data on 605 men with prostate cancer and on 592 healthy men. All were 40 to 64 years old. The researchers investigated whether prostate cancer risk might be linked to total dietary energy, fat, calcium and vitamin D.
Study participants filled out questionnaires about their diet during the past 3 to 5 years, either before their prostate cancer diagnosis or before they entered the study, according to the report in the August issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
Higher calorie intake was linked to an increased prostate cancer risk, the investigators found. Compared with the lowest level of energy intake of fewer than 1,322 calories per day, men with the highest calorie intake--2,439 calories daily or more--were about twice as likely to develop local or more advanced prostate cancer.
Fat intake was associated only with regional/distant, or more advanced, cancer. Men with the highest fat intake had about double the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer compared to men with the lowest intake.
While higher calcium intake was associated with a 7% increased risk of localized prostate cancer, the risk of advanced cancer was more than doubled in these men compared to men with the lowest calcium intake.
There was no association between prostate cancer and vitamin D or with omega-3 fatty acid intake, the authors add.
"Our interpretation of these results is that high-energy intake increases prostate cancer risk overall, while high dietary fat and calcium intakes increase the risk of more clinically significant, advanced stages of the disease," Kristal and colleagues conclude.
SOURCE: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 2002 August.