Food Habits, Lifestyle Factors, and Risk of Prostate Cancer in Central Argentina: A Case Control Study Involving Self-Motivated Health Behavior Modifications after Diagnosis: Beyond the Abstract

Current researches suggest that positive lifestyle modifications after cancer diagnosis may enhance conventional oncological treatment, survival and patient’s quality of life. In spite of the abundant information available today, many health questions from patients and their family usually arise soon after prostate cancer diagnosis. This may include questions associated with the treatment but also on health education topics associated with diet, physical activity, sleep and others aspects of the lifestyle.

This research has explored in combination several lifestyle factors of men diagnosed with prostate cancer and other cancers in central Argentina and their predisposition for lifestyle changes after cancer.

We found that before diagnosis, men from both cases reported a greater mean consumption of meats and fats and lower intakes of fruits, green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains than the controls. Additional lifestyle aspects significantly predominant in cases included a reduced quality of sleep, emotional stress, low levels of physical activity, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, living in rural areas, and being exposed to environmental contaminants.

After diagnosis, cases significantly reduced the intake of meats and fats, and reported other dietary modifications with increased consumption of fish, fruits (including red fruits in prostate cancer), cruciferous vegetables, legumes and nuts.

Even though favorable dietary changes, and less alcohol intake and quit smoking have occurred in a significant number of men of this study, other lifestyle behaviors such as those associated with low levels of physical activity, inadequate sleep, high use of antidepressant and sleep medications, and lack of emotional support would need to be addressed in order to improve patient’s quality of life and treatment outcomes.

This research provides data that men diagnosed with cancer may be prone to modify previous unhealthy lifestyle behaviors and supports worldwide trends in which a combination of lifestyle factors could potentially be targeted by multidisciplinary health teams throughout oncological treatment.

Written by: Sandaly O. S. Pacheco 1,2,†, Fabio J. Pacheco 1,2,†,* , Gimena M. J. Zapata 1,3, Julieta M. E. Garcia 1,3, Carlos A. Previale 1,3, Héctor E. Cura 4 and Winston J. Craig 2,5

† These authors contributed equally to this work.

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1 Center for Health Sciences Research, School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Universidad Adventista del Plata, Libertador San Martín, 25 de Mayo 99, Entre Ríos 3103, Argentina

2 Institute for Food Science and Nutrition, Universidad Adventista del Plata, Libertador San Martín, 25 de Mayo 99, Entre Ríos 3103, Argentina

3 Division of Clinical Oncology, Sanatorio Adventista del Plata, Libertador San Martín, 25 de Mayo 255, Entre Ríos 3103, Argentina

4 Division of Radiation Oncology, Unidad de Terapia Radiante Entre Ríos, Paraná, Além 654, Entre Ríos 3100, Argentina

5 Department of Public Health, Nutrition and Wellness, School of Health Professions, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI 49104, USA