- Dr. Dean Ornish’s approach in managing prostate cancer involves lifestyle changes including a low-fat vegan diet, moderate aerobic exercises, stress management, and psychosocial integration.
- According to a one-year study conducted by Dr. Ornish, this regimen showed a decrease in prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a cancer marker, indicating its potential in combating prostate cancer.
- Despite the promising results, the study’s use of PSA level change as the sole measure of success faced criticism from skeptics, emphasising the importance of considering the quality of life and effects on patients.
- Though the concept of lifestyle modifications as a strategy against prostate cancer is met with skepticism, there remains a potential warranting further investigations.
- Before confirming the effectiveness of such lifestyle changes, larger and longer-term studies are required, preferably over a minimum of five years.
The potential of lifestyle alterations reversing the progress of prostate cancer has always served an intriguing point of interest, albeit met with a degree of skepticism within medical circles.
Novel Approaches in Combating Prostate Cancer
The proposition was put forward by Dr. Dean Ornish, the inception and head of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute based in Sausalito, California. Dr. Ornish, who is recognized for his enduring advocacy for lifestyle changes in managing heart disease, has put forth this concept in numerous scientific journals as well as his five best-sellers.
Dr. Ornish’s Anticancer Strategy
The innovative approach suggests a regimen consisting of a low-fat vegan diet enriched with soy and oxidants, moderate aerobic exercises, stress management, and psychosocial integration. Dr. Ornish claims that this particular regimen showed signs of reducing prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a cancer marker, in a one-year study.
A Glance at the Study
The research comprised 87 early-diagnosed men with prostate cancer who were in a wait-and-see treatment stage. Out of these, 41 men were carefully supervised following the Ornish regimen, while the rest were allowed to follow the regimen voluntarily without any supervision.
After three months, the Ornish regimen group’s PSA levels had decreased by 5%, while the control group experienced a 1% increase. One year later, the difference in PSA levels became more pronounced: there was a 3% decrease in the regimen group and a 7% increase in the control group.
Dr. Ornish emphasizes strict adherence to the regimen for optimal impact. The control group men, who attempted to follow the regimen without success, still managed to keep their PSA levels from rising as drastically as they could have, provided some of the practices were adopted.
The Detractors’ Perspectives
However, the use of PSA levels as the sole indicator of the study’s success faces criticism from skeptics. Andrew Vickers from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York raised concerns about this approach. Vickers emphasizes a more nuanced approach that investigates patients’ quality of life and how cancer affects it. He asserts that while the results might be quite compelling, the study ought to measure aspects that matter to a patient’s life.
Likewise, Dr. B. Jay Brooks of the Ochsner Clinic, Baton Rouge, Louisiana echoed the skepticism about the study’s parameters.
The General Consensus
Despite this, the concept of lifestyle modifications as an effective strategy against prostate cancer remains an interesting proposition that warrants further investigation. As per Dr. Brooks, the research needs to be conducted on a larger demographic and followed over an extended period, preferably five years, before arriving at a concrete conclusion regarding lifestyle changes affecting a confirmed diagnosis.