Men undergoing external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer (PCa) may be able to reduce the severity of radiation cystitis by taking cranberry capsules, according to New Zealand researchers.

Katelin Hamilton, of the Southern Blood and Cancer Centre in Dunedin, and colleagues randomly assigned 41 PCa patients to take either cranberry capsules containing 72 mg of proanthocyanidins or placebo capsules. Men took one capsule a day at breakfast during treatment and for 2 weeks after completion of treatment.

Men in the cranberry group had a significantly lower incidence of pain/burning than those in the placebo arm, according to an online report in Support Care in Cancer. The incidence of cystitis was lower in the cranberry than placebo groups (65% vs. 90%), but the difference was not statistically significant.

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