Nutrition and exercise guidance for cancer survivors


In an article just published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the American Cancer Society has updated its guidance to cancer survivors about things like diet, exercise, and the use of dietary supplements in managing quality of life and survival during and after treatment for cancer.

The basic guidance offered by the article (which is accessible in full to any interested reader) is pretty straightforward, as one might expect:

  • Eat a healthy diet that emphasizes fresh vegetables and fruits over red meat, fried foods, and processed foods.
  • Lose any excess weight that you can.
  • Take regular, daily exercise.
  • Don’t place excessive reliance on supplements that are not prescribed by your physician.

The article includes a section specifically on issues related to diet and exercise among survivors of prostate cancer which contains the following specific guidance:

Men in whom prostate cancer has been diagnosed should strive to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, pursue a physically active lifestyle, and consume a diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits and low in saturated fat, with reliance on dietary sources of calcium that are within moderate levels. Such dietary suggestions, however, need to be considered within the context of an increased risk of fractures from antiandrogen therapy and physical activity patterns. Although the evidence relating these recommendations to prostate cancer recurrence is limited, there are likely substantial other benefits, most prominently decreasing cardiovascular disease risk, which is the major cause of death in prostate cancer survivors.

This will be a useful article for many, specifically including support group leaders and other prostate cancer educators. The American Cancer Society last updated these guidelines in 2006. PDF printouts of the full text of the article are available if you click here.

3 Responses

  1. Excellent. I was about to ask this site for the most reliable dietary information. I shall read this carefully.

  2. I find it really difficult to avoid developing a gut while on ADT. I try to work out as much as possible and most likely work out more than most guys my age (almost 56) but it just seems to happen anyway, even though I really don’t gain that much weight.

  3. Bill:

    I think we can safely state that you “work out” a lot more than most guys of your age. On the other hand, at 8 years older than you, I can reliably advise you that I now have a hard time avoiding developing a gut even though I don’t have to deal with the ADT.

    The loss of one’s six-pack abs (for those of us who ever hand them, let alone those of us who managed to keep them well into our 40s) is an almost inevitable part of the aging process. Very few men in their mid to late 50s are able to retain the waistlines that we had in our 30s. I realize that this can be emotionally distressing for those of us who still meet high standards when it comes to our fitness … but none of us are going to stay 35 for ever, and most certainly the ADT is unlikely to help!

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