Radiation Oncology cancerdoctor

The prostate is the core of men. Prostate cancer was not a common cancer in the past, but it is one of the most common cancers among men nowadays. The prevalence of prostate cancer has been increased rapidly due to the change of eating habit and the increase of regular health checkup. Then, what kind of diet is bad for prostate cancer?

prostate ca ham eng.jpg

1. Processed meat

World Health Organization (WHO) labeled processed meat such as ham, sausage, and spam as a Group 1 carcinogen (known to cause cancer) in 2015. There have been reports that the processed meat can increase the risk of prostate cancer.

When you eat procssed meat, nitric acid is produced in gastric acid. The nitrates are also added to prcessed meats as prservatives. They can lead to N-nitroso compounds and act as carcinogens. Procssed meats also contain excessive amounts of salt and nitrite. When we cook it at high temperatures can produce heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydracarbons (PAH), which are known as toxic substances.

The processed meat is a kind of light for people like me who live alone, but I think I need to reduce intake of it and have healthier diet.

2. Milk

Milk is also one of the most grateful foods in our life. Especially, I enjoy cafe latte and it seems to have high milk consumption. However, I cannot deny of negative effect of milk on prostate cancer since there are already a lot of evidences.

The correlation between milk and prostate cancer is mainly related to excessive calcium intake. Calcium inhibits the conversion of vitamin D to 1,25-dehydroxy vitamin D3 (1,25-(OH)-D3), which causes prostate cell proliferation. On the other hand, 1,25-(OH)-D3 has also been shown to reduce prostate tumors in in-vivo study.


3. Diets high in calcium

High calcium intake itself is related to prosate cancer as well. Calcium is actually an important nutrient in our body. Lack of calcium intake is associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and osteoporosis. However, a meta-analysis of multiple cohort studies showed that the risk of prostate cancer increased by about 30% per g/day increased calcium intake. Calcium is recommended for an adult daily dose of 700mg. For those over 50, 800mg or more is recommended.

To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short. Every food is like this old proverb. It is important to mix and match from all tutritional groups and enjoy a variety on a daily basis. I would like to introduce foods that are known to good for prostate cancer in the following post.


  1. World Cancer Research Fund & American Institue for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. 2007.

  2. Goldman R, Shields PG. Food mutagens. J Nutr 2003;133 Suppl 3:965S-73S.

  3. Rodriguez C, McCullough ML, Mondul AM, et al. Calcium, dairy products, and risk of prostate cancer in a prospective cohort of United States men. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2003;12:597-603


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