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Prostate Cancer Awareness

In honor of prostate cancer awareness month, Savor Health (formerly Meals to Heal) salutes all of the men who have been touched by this disease.  According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, nearly 242,000 men in the Unites States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year.  In fact, prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America.  One is six men will diagnosed at some point in their lives.

Risk factors include advanced age, African-American race, and family history of prostate cancer.  It is likely that multiple social, environmental, lifestyle and dietary factors also play a role.  Prostate cancer treatment options can vary and are based on the disease stage.  They can range from active surveillance, radical prostatectomy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy.  Clinical trials are examining targeted or novel therapies that may offer benefits to those with advanced stage disease with fewer side effects.

Nutrition and Lifestyle

Nutrition and lifestyle factors can help to reduce prostate cancer risk, risk of recurrence, or slow disease progression.  The following nutrition and lifestyle practices can help one to maximize overall health during treatment and strengthen the body to fight cancer alongside the treatment provided by one’s medical team.

  1. Reduce excess body fat and watch your overall calorie intake.
  2. Maintain muscle mass by incorporating lean protein and exercise.
  3. Exercise daily with a combination of cardiovascular and resistance exercise (if approved by your physician).
  4. Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables – aim for a goal of 8-10 servings per day.
  5. Rely on fresh, healthy, whole foods rather than dietary supplements.

Foods and nutrients such as calcium, lycopene, pomegranate, selenium, and soy have been studied in relation to prostate cancer.  Since some of the research associated with these is limited or inconsistent, it is best to consume these foods within the normal variety of a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.  Avoid supplements containing these nutrients as they contain more concentrated amounts than recommended and are not a replacement for whole foods and healthy, well-balanced nutrition.


Prostate Cancer Foundation. http://www.pcf.org

Heber, D. et. al.  Nutrition, Exercise and Prostate Cancer.  Prostate Cancer Foundation

American Institute for Cancer Research: Prostate Cancer, Reducing Your Risk.


Jessica Iannotta, MS, RD, CSO, CDN

Jessica is a registered dietitian and certified specialist in oncology nutrition (CSO). She studied nutrition at Cornell University and completed her dietetic internship at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. She obtained her Master's degree through the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Jessica has worked in inpatient and outpatient oncology settings since 2001 in the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Jessica is in charge of all operations including clinical and culinary operations ranging from menu development to evidence-based website content, relationships with registered dietitians and social workers and developing processes and protocols for intake, management and outcomes analysis of patients.

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