Prostate cancer update

Prostate cancer update

Vegan Society of Canada News
June 20th 2024

Scientifically, it is now clear that animal agriculture has various negative impacts on our health and society at large. However, just like a variety of predominantly lifestyle diseases like lung cancer and diabetes, it continues to afflict us despite the large body of scientific evidence.

There are various reasons for this, but one health-related reason is that people often think it’s too late for them, or they’re too old for a change of lifestyle to make a difference. Fifty percent of smokers continue to smoke after being diagnosed with lung cancer, so it’s not surprising that there are people with colon, prostate, and breast cancers or other illnesses caused by animal products who believe switching diet will have no impact.

New research sheds light on this about prostate cancer in particular. Prostate cancer treatment can have various severe side effects; coupled with the fact that in some cases no action is appropriate due to a predicted slow progression means that individuals are faced with many difficult choices.

We previously discussed in detail the link between dairy and prostate cancer, but this new study reveals that a diet consisting mainly of plants can help prevent prostate cancer and that it works to slow its progression for a better quality of life after treatment. This was measured using the following metrics: sexual functioning, urinary irritation/obstruction, urinary incontinence, bowel functioning, and hormonal/vitality.

The strongest correlation was with regards to sexual function showing improvements from 8 to 11 percent depending on various adjustments for other factors. Once again, a limitation of the study was that it did not include people who self-identified as vegan. We already know that a diet entirely from plants results in better sexual function for healthy adults, so it’s not a surprise that this would include cancer survivors. The study confirmed that benefits also extend to those who had a prostatectomy as it often has various side effects on sexual function that may or may not have been influenced by dietary changes.

The next research is a little more surprising: in a study of 2,062 participants diagnosed with prostate cancer, they found that those consuming mostly plants had a 47 to 55 percent lower risk of progression. This was for cases with a Gleason grade of 7 or more, which is the more advanced cancer grade; for lower grades, there was no impact 31.3 months after diagnosis. We assume this was to be expected since 31.3 months was likely not enough to measure a statistically significant difference in lower grades of cancer, but it would be an interesting area for further research.

While previous research has shown that consumption of animal products increases prostate cancer risk significantly, now we know that, like in the case of smoking and lung cancer, dropping animal products in favour of plants even after a prostate cancer diagnosis is generally still beneficial. Further research would be needed to investigate this behaviour in other forms of cancers caused in part by animal products like colon, breast and lung cancers.

A change of lifestyle offers individuals a powerful means to combat a range of issues, including personal health problems, climate change, loss of biodiversity, global acidification, eutrophication, freshwater shortages, pandemic prevention, antibiotic resistance, save countless lives and much more. We know of no other efficient way for individuals to address these critical challenges simultaneously without waiting for government, corporate, or technological interventions. By changing lifestyle, people can take immediate and impactful action. We encourage you to embrace this lifestyle change today. Contact us for support and to connect with local communities in your area.

Related articles

Methionine: A double-edged sword
April 18th 2022
Don’t get cracking: How egg lobbies skew research
September 23rd 2020
The dairy and breast cancer connection
April 14th 2020
Strengthening our motivation: Health
June 28th 2018
Eating Fear: The cortisol connection in animal consumption
July 19th 2024