August 31, 2017
4 Preventive Practices to Reduce Your Prostate Cancer Risk
Though prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in American men – and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in U.S. males – its causes are still unknown.
This makes coming up with a clear prevention plan difficult.
However, we do know that certain lifestyle adjustments that benefit your overall health – eating well, exercising, etc. – go a long way toward preventing cancer, including that of the prostate.
The following are four preventive practices that may reduce your risk.
Focus on Healthier Food
Choosing a diet that is low in fat and high in plant-based foods have been shown to reduce prostate cancer risk.
Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that some studies suggest may ward off certain cancers. They also contain fiber, which helps make you feel full, leaving less room for high-fat junk foods!
While it’s good to limit the amount of fat you eat each day, make sure you do get some fat in your diet from plant-based sources, such as nuts, seeds and avocados.
Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, also are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to reducing prostate cancer risks.
Enhance Your Exercise Routine
Aim to exercise most days of the week. Getting your body moving on a regular basis not only has been shown to reduce your risk for prostate cancer, it also helps you reach or maintain a healthy weight. This is important because men who are obese (in other words, whose body mass index is 30 or higher) may have an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Your workout doesn’t need to be strenuous – it can be as simple as going for a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood.
If you’re busy, try splitting up your workout into three 10-minute segments throughout the day. You also can work exercise into your daily routine by choosing the parking spot that’s furthest away from your destination, or by biking to work.
Say NO to Cigarettes
Research has shown that smokers are more likely to have a more aggressive form of prostate cancer. Also, prostate cancer patients who smoked were more likely to have a recurrence of the disease.
If you’re a current smoker, it’s not too late to stop. Prostate cancer patients who quit smoking for more than 10 years had the same mortality risk as those who never smoked.
You can find more information on smoking cessation programs and resources here.
Talk to Your Doctor
It is estimated that about one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. If you are between the ages of 55 and 69, it’s a good idea to begin discussing prostate cancer screening options with your doctor.
Some men are at higher risk for prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about prostate cancer screening if you are age 40-54 and:
- Are African-American.
- Have a father, brother or son who has had prostate cancer.
Remember, the choice to be screened for prostate cancer is a personal one and is entirely up to you.
Talk to your primary care physician about your risk factors, including your personal and family history. Then, talk about the benefits and risks of testing before you decide if screening is right for you.