Still “no sufficient evidence” to support any widespread prostate cancer prevention strategy

A new review of the available literature has concluded that, despite the fact that “prostate cancer is an ideal target for prevention,” there is in fact “no suitable evidence to recommend using any specific nutritional supplement or diet to prevent prostate cancer” at the present time.

Violette and Saad carried out a careful, systematic review of all published clinical trials designed to investigate the potential of specific pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements as agents that might lower risk for prostate cancer. Their review comes to the following basic conclusions:

  • Prostate cancer affects between 15 and 18 percent of men in North America.
  • It will the the cause of death in 3 percent of North American males.
  • There is strong evidence to support the use of 5α-reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs; e.g., finasteride and dutasteride) for the prevention of prostate cancer, but …
    • Available evidence is not sufficent to support a recommendation that 5-ARIs be used routinely for the prevention of prostate cancer in all men.
    • Optimal timing and/or duration of treatment with of 5-ARIs as prventive agents are not well established.
  • There is no good evidence to support the use of any specific nutritional supplement or diet for the prevention of prostate cancer.

They do note that, “There may be a role for 5-ARI use among motivated men who wish to take a proactive approach to prostate cancer prevention.” This in itself will still be a controversial comment in the eyes of some prostate cancer experts because of the unresolved  association between the use of 5-ARIs in two of the major prostate cancer prevention trials and a small increase in apparent risk for diagnosis with Gleason 8 to 10 prostate cancer.

One Response

  1. Let’s be honest. Annually, there’s a multi-billion dollar economic sector organized around treating “cancer”. The last thing those invested in these economic enterprises want is for “cancer” to be prevented — or redefined. Dutasteride and any other chemopreventive agent will not only have to cause zero risk of harm in every single human that uses it (an impossibility, of course) for those whose livelihood is vested in treatment to accept prevention.

    What is required is a cultural redefinition of “disease” and disease treatment that privileges “patients'” quality of life over the economic exchange of those proffering their wares and services.

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