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Lycopene beats prostate cancer PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Roman Bystrianyk   
Saturday, 14 August 2004 23:39

Prostate cancer is the most frequent type of cancer in American men. An estimated 189,000 new cases were diagnosed in the United States in 2002, and more than 30,000 men died of the disease. Despite these statistics, most men die “with prostate cancer” as opposed to “of prostate cancer” because the tumor is often relatively slow growing.

According to the August 2004 issue of American Journal of Health-System Pharmacists, the nutrient lycopene maybe quite valuable for prostate cancer prevention and treatment. Lycopene is a member of the carotenoid family and gives tomatoes, fruits, and vegetables their red color. Tomatoes contain a high concentration of lycopene, as do other reddish foods such as watermelon, papaya, and pink grapefruit.

A large 1986 study of over 47,000 health care professionals showed lycopene was associated with a risk reduction in prostate cancer. Other smaller studies show similar positive results in regard to lycopene and prostate cancer.

One case report highlighted a 62-year-old man that was not responding to conventional therapies and eventually entered hospice. His PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen used to measure the progress of prostate cancer) was at 365 ng/ml when he entered the hospice in March of 1999. At this point he began taking 10 mg lycopene a day and 300 mg of saw palmetto 3 times a day. By April of 1999, his PSA had dropped to 139.6 ng/ml and by May it had decreased to 8.1 ng/ml. It has remained between 3.0 and 8.0 ng/ml since that time.

Lycopene is considered to be completely safe. Although the ideal amount to take is not known studies have used between 10 mg/day to 30 mg/day both of which have been associated with improvement. Lycopene or a diet high in lycopene should be part of a plan to prevent prostate cancer and as part of a plan in the treatment of prostate cancer.


Source: American Journal of Health-System Pharmacists, August 1, 2004, Vol. 61, pp. 1562-1566
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