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  1. Health and Nutrition News

  2. Jun 8, 2023

Plant-Based Diets Support Well-Being and Mental Health Among Cancer Patients

Plant-based diets have important preventive effects against multiple forms of cancer, but they also benefit patients who already have cancer, according to two new studies from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Men with prostate cancer experienced a higher quality of life as they ate more healthful plant-based foods.1 Meanwhile, women with breast cancer who were randomized to 8 weeks of eating a whole food, plant-based diet had better cognitive function than those receiving usual care.2 

Previous studies have found important benefits of diets that are low in fat and rich in vegetables and fruits for women previously diagnosed with breast cancer and a healthy, low-fat vegan diet for men with prostate cancer.3-5


  1. Loeb S, Hua Q, Bauer S, et al. Association of plant-based diet index with quality of life in patients with prostate cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2023; 41(16_suppl):5037-5037. doi:10.1200/JCO.2023.41.16_suppl.5037  
  2. McGuire J, Campbell T, Gilmore N, et al. A whole-food, plant-based dietary intervention and cognitive function in women with metastatic breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2023; 41(16_suppl):e24160-e24160.
  3. Chlebowski RT, Blackburn GL, Thomson CA, et al. Dietary fat reduction and breast cancer outcome: interim efficacy results from the Women's Intervention Nutrition Study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2006;98:1767-76. doi:10.1093/jnci/djj494
  4. Pierce JP, Stefanick ML, Flatt SW, et al. Greater survival after breast cancer in physically active women with high vegetable-fruit intake regardless of obesity. J Clin Oncol. 2007;25:2345-51. doi:10.1200/JCO.2006.08.6819 
  5. Ornish D, Lin J, Chan JM, et al. Effect of comprehensive lifestyle changes on telomerase activity and telomere length in men with biopsy-proven low-risk prostate cancer: 5-year follow-up of a descriptive pilot study. Lancet Oncol. 2013;14(11):1112-20. doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70366-8 

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