AR-News: [US] Cancer study eyes veggies, meditation
unclewolf at olypen.com
Fri Aug 15 15:52:04 EDT 2003
When Peter Troiano was diagnosed with prostate cancer five years ago, he underwent surgery, then radiation. But within a year, tests showed he still had cancer.
Rather than face a third round of treatments, this time with male hormone-blocking drugs, the 68-year-old builder from Western Massachusetts took an alternative path: He entered a study that seeks to find out if eating a low-fat, vegetarian diet, plus meditation, can reverse the course of the disease.
``I really enjoy it and I think it has helped me,'' said Troiano, who lives in Housatonic. ``The fellows in the study with me are all really into it. They enjoy it and are convinced it is helping them.''
After eight months on the program, run by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Troiano's level of prostate-specific antigen, a blood marker for prostate cancer, has not increased, staying at 1 nanogram per milliliter of blood. It suggests that his cancer has stabilized.
The study, which is still enrolling patients, is following up on a tiny one involving 10 patients like Troiano that showed the diet and meditation program slowed the rate of PSA increase in eight of the men. In the other two, PSA levels actually declined.
The study will enroll 60 men who have had prostate cancer return after primary treatment.
The men - and their wives - will attend classes on nutrition and meditation, with an eye to getting them to adopt the lifestyle changes for the rest of their lives.
``It's a diet that eliminates all fats from animal sources,'' said Dr. James F. Carmody, a UMass psychiatrist involved in running the trial.
The program is similar to the one advocated by Dean Ornish, the California cardiologist who showed that diet and lifestyle changes could reverse heart disease. Last year, Ornish reported a small study showing such changes could also reverse prostate cancer in men with early-stage disease.
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