Researchers have found a link between chronic inflammation in prostate tissue, (an over reactive response of the body’s immune system) and aggressive prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in American men. The findings were published in August in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Researchers identified 191 men who developed prostate cancer and 209 men without cancer and examined their prostate tissue samples for signs of inflammation. Eighty-six percent of the subjects who developed prostate cancer had at least one tissue sample with signs of inflammation, while only 78 percent of men with no cancer had signs of inflammation. The difference was enough to be considered statistically significant.
Scientists studied a type of prostate inflammation that is asymptomatic, meaning there are no symptoms and men won’t even know they have it. This type of inflammation is extremely common and more studies are needed to see if and how it influences risk for prostate cancer in the future.
Inflammation itself is a normal and beneficial process that occurs when your body’s white blood cells and chemicals protect you from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. You actually need some inflammation in your body to stay healthy. The problem is that sometimes the inflammatory response gets out of control. If your immune system mistakenly triggers an inflammatory response when no threat is present, it can lead to excess inflammation in your body, a condition linked to many diseases, now including prostate cancer.
Unfortunately, as mentioned previously, chronic inflammation is often asymptomatic. It is low-grade and systemic, often silently damaging your tissues over an extended period of time. You can reduce your risk of inflammation. Revising your diet is one of the easiest, most effective ways to affect inflammation.
- Boost your berry intake. Blueberries, cherries, and blackberries are rich in anti-inflammatory flavonoid compounds. When berries are out of season, buy them frozen and toss them into smoothies.
- Fill up on fiber. Incorporate beans, legumes, and whole grains, like quinoa into your diet. Also add nuts – sprinkle almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts on cereal, toss them into salads, or kee some in your desk drawer for a healthy alternative to the vending machine.
- Fine tune your fats. Clear your cupboards of saturated fats and trans fats (avoid margarine and anything with hydrogenated oil in it) and replace them with healthier options, such as extra-virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil.