|James Metz, MD|
|University of Pennsylvania Health System|
| Last Modified: November 1, 2001
Dr. Bob Arnot is the chief medical correspondent for the National Broadcast Corporation (NBC) and can be seen regularly on the nightly national news. He is the author of the 1998 New York Times number one bestseller, The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet. Based on this successful book, he has now addressed the most common cancer in men with The Prostate Cancer Protection Plan.
The book starts off by explaining that diet may have an impact on the development of prostate cancer in men. He quotes numerous population-based studies evaluating the risk of prostate cancer in various countries. Dr. Arnot uses a number of studies to support the idea that diet and nutrition may have an impact on the development of prostate cancer. There is mounting evidence that substances such as lycopene (tomatoes), PC-SPES (herbal combination), and soy products may have some effects on the prostate gland.
Can what we eat really effect the development of prostate cancer? Well, the jury is still out on that question. There is some interesting evidence pointing to the possibility of a dietary role in the development of prostate cancer. However, we are not at the point that we can say if you eat a lot of 'this,' or your diet is missing 'that,' you are going to get prostate cancer. Unfortunately, it will probably be a number of years of following patients prospectively on controlled diets before the final answer is known. So the big question is, "What are men to do now?" Fortunately, the diet outlined in The Prostate Cancer Protection Plan is beneficial for a number of other medical problems including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Almost all men will benefit from the strategies outlined in this book. If it also decreases the risk of developing prostate cancer ... great!
Dr. Arnot discusses some of the common herbs and supplements for 'prostate health' such as lycopene, saw palmetto, and PC-SPES. It is important to note that these supplements can effect the screening prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test for early detection of prostate cancer. If you are using any of these supplements, inform your physician so the results of the PSA test are interpreted correctly.
The diet/lifestyle that is advocated in this book is safe and will probably be beneficial in a number of ways for those who follow its recommendations. Sensible recommendations are made based on the available literature.