Expert Emphasizes Healthy Lifestyle in Prostate Cancer Care

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Expert Emphasizes Healthy Lifestyle in Prostate Cancer Care

Tips for healthier living for those with prostate cancer.

In an era of multidisciplinary care, it is important to incorporate healthcare experts to help encourage patients with cancer to lead a healthy lifestyle, says Stephen J. Freedland, MD.

For patients with prostate cancer, diet and exercise are important, as weight loss can prepare the body for therapy as well as prevent conditions such as heart disease from interfering with treatment. Additionally, weight loss can lead to higher self-esteem, which can help a patient mentally prepare for the adverse events (AEs) of prostate cancer treatment, Freedland adds.

“Work with dietitians and exercise physiologists, because not only are you helping the patient in terms of heart disease or other problems, but you are getting them to a better mental fitness,” Freedland explained. “They will feel better about themselves and be in a better state to tolerate the other treatments, and maybe, we could slow down the cancer.”

In an interview during the 2018 OncLive® State of the Science Summit™ on Genitourinary Cancers, Freedland, Warschaw Robertson Law Families Chair in Prostate Cancer, director of the Center for Integrated Research in Cancer and Lifestyle, and co-director of the Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, gave his insight on how to counsel patients with prostate cancer on the benefits of leading a healthier life.

Freedland: In regard to diet and lifestyle in cancer, there are not a lot of data to support our beliefs. I went through some of the myths and common perceptions that people have and reviewed the data that support or refute what people actually think about diet and prostate cancer.

There is this concept that we need to get rid of fat in the diet. That is certainly one approach, but one of the problems with that is that when you cut fat, you end up eating more sugar, and you might actually do more harm that way. We should be thinking of diet more holistically than just cutting out one thing or another.

Another example is that people are fixated on omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil, but when you actually look at it, there are certain fish like tilapia that have no fish oil at all. In actuality, pork bacon and donuts have more fish oil than tilapia, so that is a myth that we can debunk quickly.

Read on: Expert Emphasizes Healthy Lifestyle in Prostate Cancer Care

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