I guess that I am like most blokes on this website, when I was diagnosed with PCa, I thought why me? What have I done to deserve this? Is it because there is a God and I am being punished for something I have done? Is it because I had too much sex? Is it because I didn't have enough sex? Is it because when I worked in an office and didn't get enough sunshine? Is it because when I worked at sea and got too much sunshine? Is it because of what I ate, or didn't eat? Is it because I smoke? Is it because I drank too much?
Once these and thousands of similar thoughts had gone through my head I started reading, and reading, and reading everything I could find on the subject, and the conclusion I came to is that basically I got PCa because I lived long enough to get it!
Putting aside the more ridiculous thoughts that go through our heads it seems that the risk factors are primarily genetic, and then there is some evidence suggesting that perhaps lifestyle, diet and latitude may have something to do with it.
Take an issue like latitude, it is a fact that a greater proportion of men living in higher latitudes in places like Sweden and Canada get diagnosed with PCa than men living on the equator. So this leads scientists to ponder whether the lack of sunshine and consequent lack of vitamin D has something to do with it. Of course it might also be that more Swedes and Canadians have their PSA screened.
However if there is a higher incidence in northern latitudes, then the men who were born there are more likely to have inherited their genes from men who had PCa.
Quite how the scientists unravel these and other competing risk factors is beyond me.
Similarly with the Japanese/Chinese/Thai/Indian diets, if those diets are good at preventing PCa, then the men who live there are likely to have inherited genes from men who didn't have PCa, and if genetics are so important does diet make any difference?
Having said all of that, there is one good thing about diet, it is the one thing that we as individuals can do something about. We can't change our ancestry, we can't change what environments we lived and worked in when we were young, yesterday is gone, it is history. BUT and it is a big but, we can change our diet, we are in full control of what we put in our mouths.
So it is for that reason that I have followed Dr Jane Plant's diet, sometimes strictly, sometimes loosely, and at the moment I am giving Dr Michael Mosley's 8 week blood-sugar diet a go.
I am not sure of the science behind these diets, but they can't do me any harm, and as long as there is a chance that they help, then I feel I am doing something constructive. After all I have never heard of anyone dying because they didn't eat enough cheese?