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Two-year Roswell Park study produces surprise finding: eating veggies may not help prostate cancer patients

Contradicts prevailing scientific, public opinion
How people refer to veggies impacts how much they are eaten, study shows
Posted at 4:31 AM, Jan 15, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New research from Roswell Park says national diet guidelines for men with prostate cancer could be wrong.

Those guidelines recommend that men with prostate cancer eat a vegetable-rich diet, suggesting it might decrease cancer progression and death. But a clinical trial, organized by researchers from Roswell Park and the University of California-San Diego found this diet doesn't add any extra benefit.

The Men’s Eating and Living (MEAL) study, published January 14, looked at 478 men with early-stage prostate cancer. Half received written information about diet and prostate cancer. Half were enrolled into a telephone counseling behavioral intervention program that encouraged them to eat at least seven servings of vegetables per day.

After two years, researchers found there was no significant difference in prostate cancer progression between the two groups, meaning the group which ate more vegetables saw no extra protection from the disease.

“These data indicate that, despite prevailing scientific and public opinion, eating more vegetables will not alter the course of prostate cancer. It will not, to the best of our knowledge, suppress or cure it,” said J. Kellogg Parsons, MD, MHS, Professor of Urology at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center and study lead investigator. “However, while eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and getting more exercise may not cure cancer, it may keep the body stronger and healthier, which may help patients tolerate cancer treatments.”

Researchers said the study was launched after doctors reported being asked by multiple patients whether a change in diet would influence their diagnosis or treatment.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the U.S.

You can read the full study by clicking here.