Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths among American men, so finding ways to prevent its recurrence is vital. A new review of over 800 men who had their prostate glands removed found that the cancer was more likely to come back in subjects with elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, compared to those with healthy levels. The investigators also discovered that reducing these fatty substances may decrease the chances of prostate cancer returning. Lead researcher Emma Allott, a postdoctoral associate at Duke University School of Medicine, noted that prescription medications and dieting are effective ways to manage abnormal cholesterol levels.
Exploring Cholesterol Medications
Zetia (Ezetimibe) is a lipid-lowering compound that reduces the amount of cholesterol and other sterols that your body absorbs. For best results, use Zetia along with diet weight loss, and exercise.
Your doctor may combine Zetia with a statin drug like Atorvastatin, generic Lipitor. It slows your liver’s cholesterol production, which reduces bad low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglyceride levels while increasing good high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Typical side effects include minor muscle pain, diarrhea, and mild nausea. Save by ordering these and additional prescription medications from this Canadian online pharmacy.
Establishing the Returning Cancer Link
Among the 843 men in this study, 325 had abnormal cholesterol levels, 263 had high triglycerides, and 293 had a recurrence of prostate cancer, according to the report in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention journal. The researchers linked every 10 milligram-per-deciliter (mg/dL) elevation in cholesterol above 200 mg/dL to a nine-percent greater risk of returning prostate cancer.
Subjects with triglyceride levels of 150 mg/dL or higher had a 35-percent increased likelihood of their cancer coming back, compared to those with normal levels. The research team also found that increases in HDL, the good cholesterol, benefited some men. For every 10-mg/dL elevation in men with abnormal HDL, the risk for prostate cancer recurrence dropped by 39 percent.
“Understanding the role of high cholesterol as a modifiable risk factor for both heart disease and cancer, the most common causes of death, is of great importance,” Allott said. “These findings suggest that normalization, or even partial normalization, of blood fats among men with high cholesterol and triglycerides may reduce the risk of prostate cancer recurrence.”
Differentiating Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty substance that your liver makes. You also get some cholesterol from the animal foods you eat. According to the Cleveland Clinic, cholesterol is an essential part of your cell walls and nerves. It also plays an important role in body functions such as digestion and hormone production.
Triglycerides are fats in your blood from your diet. Most of the fats that you consume including butter, margarines, and oils are in triglyceride form. Excess calories, alcohol, and sugar turn into triglycerides that fat cells store throughout your body.
Pure cholesterol cannot mix with or dissolve in your blood. So your liver packages it with triglycerides and proteins in lipoprotein carriers, which move this fatty mixture to areas throughout your body. If your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are both high, you have hyperlipidemia.
Adopting Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes
Physicians usually recommend therapeutic lifestyle changes to control lipid levels. According to the Society for Vascular Surgery, diet and exercise can lower total cholesterol by two to six percent. Some people with hyperlipidemia experience a 10 to 20 percent reduction.
The diet changes your doctor recommends may include:
- Reducing your saturated fat intake to seven percent of your daily calories
- Decreasing your total fat consumption to 25 to 35 percent of your daily calories
- Limiting your dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg per day
- Raising your daily soluble fiber intake to 20 to 30 grams from oats, peas, beans, and certain fruits
- Increasing your daily consumption of plant stanols or sterols to 2 to 3 grams by eating nuts, vegetable oils, corn, and rice
Soybean sources including tofu, soy nuts, and many meat substitutes contain a powerful antioxidant that can lower LDL cholesterol. Cold-water fish such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids that may lower triglycerides.
Excess weight can decrease your HDL cholesterol, and dropping those extra pounds can lower your LDL levels. Your physician will help you decide how much weight you need to lose. Also consider your body shape. If you carry extra weight around your middle, you have a greater chance of heart disease than if your weight clusters around your hips, thighs, and bottom.
Consult your physician before starting any exercise program. He may recommend walking briskly for 20 to 30 minutes most days of the week. Start slowly and increase your exercise gradually. Regular physical activity can raise your HDL cholesterol while also lowering LDL and triglycerides. It also can help you lose or maintain your optimal weight and relieve stress.
If you smoke, you need to quit immediately, especially after discovering that you have hyperlipidemia. Smoking can lower HDL, narrow your blood vessels, and injure their walls. All of these effects can speed hardening of the arteries. Combining medications and all of these healthy lifestyle habits can help you manage your lipid levels, which also may lower your chances of recurring prostate cancer.