(NaturalNews) Asian men may have a higher chance of surviving prostate cancer than white men, even though they appear on the surface to be at greater risk, according to a study conducted by the California Cancer Registry and published online in the journal Cancer.
Dr. Anthony S. Robbins and colleagues examined data from California men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1995 and 2004. 108,076 of the participants were white and 8,840 were of Asian descent. Asian men were further categorized into more specific subgroups: Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and South Asian. The South Asian category included men from Bangladesh, Bhutan, southern India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sikkim and Sri Lanka.
Robbins said that the current study was one of the first to examine the different survival rates between Asians and whites, and the first to break it down within the Asian group.
With the exception of South Asians, who actually had a worse survival rate than whites, all the other Asian groups had a higher 10-year survival rate. This was particularly surprising to researchers, because the Asian men actually had a higher risk profile than the white men.
"For the groups with better survival, it was paradoxical," Robbins said, "because their risk factor profiles were all going in the wrong direction. You would have thought they would do worse than whites.
"Obviously, the main question we are still trying to explain is why these five Asian groups had better survival. What is behind the 'Asian edge' in prostate cancer? Diet? Lower comorbidity? Less overweight/obesity?"
Western researchers have long speculated that certain elements of the traditional Asian diet make it healthier than the Western diet. These include a lower intake of processed foods and food high in fat and sugar, and a higher consumption of sea vegetables and fermented foods such as tofu, tempeh and Kim Chi. Other factors may be increased consumption of seafood (containing trace minerals) and increased exposure to sunlight, which generates protective vitamin D in the skin.