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Men with prostate cancer make positive dietary changes following diagnosis and treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Published copy (DOI)


  • Kerry NL Avery
  • Jenny L. Donovan
  • Rebecca Gilbert
  • Michael Davis
  • Pauline Emmett
  • Liz Down
  • Steven Edward Oliver
  • David E. Neal
  • Freddie C. Hamdy
  • J Athene Lane


Publication details

JournalCancer causes & control
DateE-pub ahead of print - 22 Mar 2013
DatePublished (current) - Jun 2013
Issue number6
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)1119-1128
Early online date22/03/13
Original languageEnglish


Purpose: Few studies have measured dietary changes made among men diagnosed with prostate cancer (PC) without formal dietary interventions, yet they may offer insight into the needs of PC survivors. This study examined dietary changes in men before and after treatment for PC within the prostate testing for cancer and treatment randomized trial. Methods: This was a prospective cohort study in community-based men aged 50–69 tested for PC in nine UK areas. 3,935 men completed food frequency questionnaires before diagnosis and 678 with localized PC repeated the questionnaire 1 year later (response 82.7 %). Results: Men subsequently diagnosed with or without PC all consumed similar diets before diagnosis. Diagnosis of PC led to dietary changes, with 234 (34.7 %) men eating more fresh tomatoes (p < 0.0001) and 156 (23.5 %) more tomato products (p = 0.01). 271 (40.0 %) men consumed more protein (p < 0.0001) and 193 (28.6 %) more fruit/vegetable juice (p < 0.0001). Fewer macronutrients were obtained from dairy products (p < 0.01). Men undergoing active monitoring increased their fruit/vegetable juice intake after diagnosis (p = 0.0023) more than men who had surgery or radiotherapy. Conclusions: Around one-third of men spontaneously adopted a healthier diet and also consumed more ‘prostate-healthy’ foods following a diagnosis of PC. Dietary choices also differed by radical or monitoring treatments, indicating that men undergoing active surveillance may be more likely to pursue dietary changes as an adjunct therapy. PC survivors can adopt healthier diets, thus providing clinicians with opportunities to support PC survivorship by providing targeted advice beneficial to general and potentially prostate-specific health.

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