Men with prostate cancer often experience urinary and sexual dysfunction after treatment. Previous studies have demonstrated a relationship between dietary factors and these symptoms among men with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. However, there are limited data on whether diet after prostate cancer diagnosis, including a Mediterranean dietary pattern, affects urinary and sexual function among prostate cancer survivors.
Men diagnosed with non-metastatic prostate cancer in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (n = 2960) from 1986 to 2012 were prospectively followed for a median of 8.3 years after treatment. Participants completed validated dietary questionnaires every 4 years and a health-related quality of life assessment in 2010 or 2012. We used generalized linear models to examine associations between post-diagnosis Mediterranean Diet Score (including individual score components and dietary fat subtypes) and quality of life domains (sexual functioning, urinary irritation/obstruction, urinary incontinence) assessed using the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite Short Form (score 0-100; higher scores indicate better function).
No statistically significant relationships were observed between the Mediterranean Diet Score after prostate cancer diagnosis and urinary or sexual function. However, the associations did vary depending on pre-diagnosis urinary and sexual dysfunction for urinary irritation/obstruction and sexual function scores, respectively (P-interactions < 0.0001). Men with higher post-diagnosis vegetable intake reported higher urinary incontinence scores (72 vs 76 comparing lowest to highest quintile; P-trend = 0.003). Similarly, higher vegetable intake and lower polyunsaturated fat intake were associated with higher urinary irritation/obstruction scores (vegetable: 80 vs 84 comparing lowest to highest quintile, P-trend = 0.01; polyunsaturated fat: 84 vs 78 comparing lowest to highest quintile, P-trend = 0.005), however these associations were observed only among men with urinary symptoms prior to their prostate cancer diagnosis.
Among men with prostate cancer, diet intake after diagnosis was not significantly associated with urinary or sexual function, although some relationships appeared to differ among men with and without symptoms prior to their prostate cancer diagnosis. Higher vegetable intake and lower polyunsaturated fat intake after prostate cancer diagnosis may be associated with better urinary function. However, this analysis was exploratory, and further research is needed to better delineate these relationships and guide dietary recommendations for men with prostate cancer.
The Prostate. 2017 Dec 01 [Epub ahead of print]
Scott R Bauer, Erin L Van Blarigan, Meir J Stampfer, June M Chan, Stacey A Kenfield
Department of General Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California., Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California., Division of Network Medicine, Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Channing, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts., Department of Urology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.