Surviving Prostate Cancer More Likely if You Eat Fish Regularly

A study from a team of researchers in Montreal has found that having eaten fish regularly is helpful to men who go on to develop prostate cancer.

Along with a healthy lifestyle and early detection, there is a tool for helping men to survive prostate cancer that is easily obtained and, it would seem, highly effective: fish. Men who regularly include fish in their diet and contract prostate cancer, a study from McGill University in Montreal says, have a much great chance of surviving the illness.

The study found there was no link between eating fish and getting prostate cancer and no link between eating fish and the prevention of prostrate cancer. It only found there was a link between having eaten fish regularly and surviving prostate cancer. It was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in September and released to the public October 7 2010.

“In the United States, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer over their lifetime,” Dr. Konrad M. Szymanski, a lead author of the study, told Reuters Health reporter Anne Harding. “One in six of these men will die of prostate cancer. Our study findings suggest that the number of men who die once diagnosed is lowered by more than 50 percent among men eating lots of fish.”

Regular Fish Consumption in Men

Dr. Szymanski, of the McGill University Health Center in Montreal, Quebec, and his colleagues found that after looking at the data from 31 studies that included a total of hundreds of thousands of patients, men who ate fish regularly were 44 percent less likely to develop end-stage cancers.

“All we can say is eating more fish can have some benefit. How many servings of fish or how many grams needed a day, unfortunately we cannot say,” he said.

The study speculated the reason for such a dramatic reduction in death-risk from prostate cancer may be the fish oil with omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. Fish oils have an anti-inflammatory effect that may help fight cancer from progressing to fatal stages, the report suggests. It did not analysis fish oil supplements but other studies suggest fish oil supplements are helpful in slowing cancers down by reducing inflammation, though more research needs to be done in this area.

Prostate Cancer can be Beaten

“Prostate cancer is a very common disease,” Dr. Szymanski said. “If we can possibly introduce a relatively cheap and easy-to-implement policy that could have even a small impact on how this disease affects men, we could make a very big impact overall.”

In the United States prostate cancer takes the lives over 35,000 men yearly and is diagnosed in over 200,000 men. In Canada 25,000 men are diagnosed with the illness and some 4,200 die from prostate cancer yearly. Lifestyle is considered an important component in preventing prostate cancer.

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