Polyunsaturated Fat intake and its relation to cancers in men.




International Journal of Cancer

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Consumer Data: Prostate Cancer
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Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer, excluding skin cancer, in men in the United States. It is primarily diagnosed in men over 65, although it may begin much earlier. Some cancers of the prostate are very slow growing, while others behave aggressively. Prostate cancer often metastasizes to other tissue, including the brain, lungs, lymph nodes, and bones. Early detection is critical in order to increase the chances for survival. The cancer can be felt upon digital rectal examination (DRE). These examinations are recommended routinely for all men over the age of 50 and high-risk men should commence at age 40.

Prostate cancer, like BPH, may initially have no symptoms. Eventually there will be an increased number of trips to the restroom for urination, which are hurried and necessary. An increase in the number of trips to the restroom at night, difficulty in starting the urine stream and a decrease in the force of the urine stream will be experienced. Cancer differs from BPH in that the individual will experience fatigue, nausea, weakness, back pain, hip pain, and swollen lymph nodes. There will likely be discomfort in the area between the scrotum and the anus and eventual weight loss. Blood may be present in the urine.

A study published in the International Journal of Cancer stated that dietary and serum fatty acid intake has shown implications in cancers, specifically prostate cancer. However, results have been conflicting. This cohort study involved 2,002 middle-aged men who were free of cancer at the beginning of this trial. Using dietary records and blood samples, researchers calculated the dietary fatty acid intake of these men. After 12.6 years of follow-up, 46 men developed prostate cancer and 151 developed other types of cancer. After analyzing the intakes of fatty acids, men with the greater intake had one-third less risk of developing prostate cancer. This association was also found in other types of cancer, although the link was weaker. Specifically, linoleic acid intake was linked to a lower incidence of prostate cancer. The authors concluded that, “Substitution of linoleic acid for saturated fat in middle-aged men consuming a high saturated-fat diet may decrease the risk of prostate and other cancers, although it is possible that some of the effect may be mediated by nutrients closely associated with vegetable fats.”1


1. Laaksonen D, et al. Serum linoleic and total polyunsaturated fatty acids in relation to prostate and other cancers: A population-based cohort study. Intl J Cancer. Sep 2004;111(3):444-50.