Simple dietary modifications may help reduce men's risk for prostate cancer.
"It is important to consider prevention in patients who are at risk for prostate cancer and in those who have already been treated for the disease," Dr. Katz said. "There are simple dietary changes that may help prolong PSA doubling time in patients who have already received conventional therapy."
For patients at low risk for developing the disease, Dr. Katz recommended using the term "active holistic surveillance" instead of "watchful waiting." This involves instructing patients to adhere to the following dietary modifications:
"All patients who have cancer or are at risk for developing cancer should incorporate these dietary recommendations into their lifestyle," Dr. Katz suggested. "These dietary modifications have wonderful benefits, not only for prostate health, but also for general health."
"Phytotherapy is widely practiced in regard to prevention and treatment of prostate diseases," added Christopher P. Evans, MD, chairman of the department of urology at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, Sacramento. "Urologists are under-informed in this area. Good knowledge of both successful herbal remedies and dangerous ones are now the urologist's responsibility."
Dr. Katz's presentation drew a number of questions and comments from audience members who relayed their patients' own questions and about supplements, vitamins, and herbs. Dr. Katz noted that, while some supplements are showing benefits in patients with prostate cancer and in preventing the disease, some can be toxic in certain doses.
"With this research in natural therapies, we are trying to understand the mechanism of action and find evidence that they are safe and effective. We are also evaluating whether or not these supplements can interfere with other medications," he said.
Urologists tend to focus on treatment rather than disease prevention, he added. Two target populations for preventive efforts are African-Americans and men with a family history of prostate cancer.