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Food and drink

Posted 12 Jul 2020 at 10:17

Hello, my dad is newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. 
His Gleason score was 8, and it hasn’t spread to lymph nodes or bones :-).

He has started his hormone treatment this week, and is looking for studies with drinking and prostate cancer.

He understands that he has to change his lifestyle to a more healthy way of life, and cut out drinking. But still wants to keep some normality. If he wanted 1/2 drinks at the weekend what would be his best option? his favourite is a beer, but I have read conflicting stories about beer? 
he also likes a whisky and Diet Coke. 
Also has anyone found any studies of any foods to avoid? 

thank you in advance xxx 

Posted 12 Jul 2020 at 13:40
Do you know whether the HT Dad is having is a holding treatment to be followed by surgery or Radiotherapy because this is likely to be more effective than changes in diet/drinking at this stage? Always having had a healthy diet and lifestyle would have lessened his risk but once having contracted PCa opinion is rather divided on how much advantage making changes now would specifically work against PCa although could benefit his general heath as could doing adequate exercise. We do have some men on this forum who have made changes and believe it has slowed the progress of the disease as well as benefiting their general health. This largely involves cutting out or reducing the intake of dairy and also red meat. At the other end of the scale some feel they don't want to change for maybe a slight benefit. Certainly, reducing consumption of alcohol wouldn't be a bad thing. It can be argued that making changes that will lead to one being fitter may help the body fight any disease including PCa.

A number of men on this forum follow the Jane Plant advice/books

Posted 13 Jul 2020 at 00:16
To be honest, he has just been diagnosed with cancer - I would let him have a drink if he wants one. There is very little if any reliable research to suggest that cutting out alcohol is going to make any difference to his prognosis. The same goes for food - apart from some snake oil salesmen & quacks, there is no evidence that your dad changing his diet will help with the cancer. There is lots of research about cutting out red meat, dairy, processed foods, etc and eating more garlic, onion, processed / cooked tomatoes, oily fish but, and it is a big but, the research indicates that these diet changes need to be made when men are still boys - they don't help with prostate cancer once you have it.

Having said all that, there is no doubt that eating more healthily benefits everyone so cutting down on sugars is a good idea. If he is interested in this area, I can recommend the Prostate care cookbook by the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation - it is available on Amazon, has a range of easy to follow recipes and explains the research.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

Posted 13 Jul 2020 at 04:24
I have a friend with prostate cancer who has been on “Active Surveillance” for over five years. He has been to the famous Mayo Clinic in the States and follows their ‘prevent’ cancer diet and runs daily.

He is however, a great fine wine connoisseur and drinks to what any doctor would say is excess.

So do I, so let Dad drink what he wants and let the medics sort out his treatment. Abstinence is unlikely to have any effect in the long term.🍷

Best of luck.

Cheers, John.

Posted 13 Jul 2020 at 07:55

You mention diet coke. Studies have shown that fizzy drinks weaken bones. The exact reason for this isn't known but there are many plausible theories:
Increase in acidity of the body (more tendency to dissolve bone calcium),
The phosphoric acid in coke products in particular might interfere with laying down new bone,
Fizzy drinks replace more healthy drinks (such as milk), particularly in calcium content.

Adding this on to the risk of osteoporosis due to hormone therapy might be a risk you choose to avoid. Certainly, ask your GP if you can go on to regular calcium and vitamin D supplements, such as AdCal-D3, and this might help restore the calcium/phosphorus ratio.

I was a big drinker of caffeine free diet pepsi. I've cut back massively, but still have the odd glass.

Posted 13 Jul 2020 at 09:26

Thank you so much for your reply. He is going in to have radiotherapy.

Posted 13 Jul 2020 at 12:08
Hi Aimeew,

I’m coming up to almost 15 years since my diagnosis. Which was G(4+3) 7. Stage T3b. I reckon I’ve had a drink on almost every day of those 15 years, nothing to be proud of I know. Usually 1/2 bottle wine a day. I follow the Mediterranean diet, a lot more fish than meat.

I’m by no means curable, and I’ve had nearly every treatment know, but I’ve still had a daily drink right through the whole horrible journey. And why not.



Posted 13 Jul 2020 at 15:29
If your dad enjoys a beer or two don't let this disease, that takes so much away anyway, remove that pleasure from his life.
Posted 13 Jul 2020 at 19:53
Or a steak! Got to enjoy life!
Posted 13 Jul 2020 at 22:52

I think I'll join the chorus of eat, drink and be merry. Some of the things I do are considered healthy and some are considered unhealthy; ten, twenty years ago some of the things now considered healthy were then considered unhealthy and vice versa. Making sacrifices now is not likely to change anything. 


Posted 18 Jul 2020 at 19:14
I found cutting everything "bad" out preparing for and following surgery and RT was a good psychogical crutch. I lost weight and got fit. After a while I found it tiresome and annoying to be "perfect" so I now let the odd glass (OK bottle) of red wine and a Sunady morning fried egg and bacon butty slip by the watch towers. I feel so much better emotionally for breaking the rules whilst still in general keeping the fitness and healthy-ish diet going. It is all a balance.

The only battle I have now is whether I escalate from a fried egg and bacon butty to a one off kebab and chips with a pint of beer (not on a Sunday morning!!) :)

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