Media release: Prostate deaths can be reduced

For immediate release

Attention: health, medical, lifestyle editor

Issued: 2 September 2019

The high numbers of Australian men dying from prostate cancer could be significantly reduced with a plant-based diet, according to a leading group of doctors.

About 3,500 Australian men die of prostate cancer each year. It is the most common cancer among men.

About 3,500 Australian men die of prostate cancer each year. It is the most common cancer among men.

The incidence of prostate cancer in Australia is one of the highest in the world. Nearly one-in-two men have a risk of getting some form of cancer in their lifetime. More men die of prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer.

There’s strong evidence to suggest diet plays a key role in the prevention of prostate cancer. Doctors For Nutrition recommend a whole food plant-based diet to have the best chance of avoiding prostate cancer.

Recent work by Dr Dean Ornish* involving men with early stage prostate cancer who followed a low fat plant-based diet (in addition to other lifestyle changes) demonstrated a significant reduction in prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels after one year, and none progressed to requiring conventional treatment in this time.

Excitingly, Dr Ornish has also shown that over 450 prostate cancer promoting genes in these men were switched off, and almost 50 cancer fighting genes were turned on by the lifestyle changes. Their blood was almost eight times more effective at fighting the growth of prostate cancer cells than those who did not make the changes.

A nutrition prescription that will help in the fight against prostate cancer emphasises unprocessed fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans and legumes. This way of eating avoids meats, dairy products, and eggs and minimises refined and processed foods.

A low fat whole food plant-based eating pattern can also help to prevent heart disease, the leading killer of men in Australia, say Doctors For Nutrition.


For Further Information & Comment

Dr Malcolm Mackay is available for comment on 0409 679 718 or via email

Dr Andrew Little is available for comment on 0418 152 007 or via email

Dr Heleen Roex-Haitjema is available for comment on 0432 994 909 or via email

*Dean Ornish MD, a clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, has directed clinical research through the Preventive Medicine Research Institute demonstrating the changes in diet and lifestyle can slow, stop or even reverse the progression of early-stage prostate cancer.

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