Approximately 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in his lifetime; the disease is the second deadliest cancer in men. What are some ways to reduce your risk of developing this lethal disease? While there’s no absolute way to prevent the disease because of uncontrollable risk factors, including family history, race, and age, there are some lifestyle changes you can make that could put you at a lesser risk.
The American Cancer Society has outlined a handful of suggestions that could help reduce your chances of developing prostate cancer. Some studies concerning weight have yielded interesting results: while men who are overweight could have a slightly lowered risk of developing prostate cancer, they could have a higher risk of developing a fatal form of the disease. And in terms of physical activity, the available data is more intuitive: regular physical activity suggests a slightly lowered chance of prostate cancer, with vigorous activity perhaps being even more effective–particularly on the disease’s aggressive, advanced-stage forms. Data is more clear when it comes to diet; a multitude of studies have hinted that diets rich in fish as well as some specific vegetables such as legumes, cruciferous vegetables (think broccoli), and tomatoes, could lead to a lower risk of prostate cancer.
In terms of vitamins and other supplements, data tends to be a bit more murky. Several studies have suggested that men with calcium-rich diets could have a higher risk of prostate cancer, while others have refuted these claims. A large study known as the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), showed that men taking Vitamin E supplements actually had a slightly higher risk of developing prostate cancer, while men taking selenium supplements saw no change when they had lower baseline levels of the substance at the study’s start. However, men with higher initial levels of selenium were found to be at a higher risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer.
With the above in mind, the ACS suggests that you:
- Stay at a healthy weight
- Be physically active
- Eat at least 2.5 cups of various fruits and veggies daily
- Consult a physician before taking any vitamins or other supplements
- Be aware of other risk factors you may be susceptible to
Another approach is to get regularly screened; you can do so with us here at Ezra. We offer the latest MRI technology to provide our patients with quick, painless, and accurate prostate cancer screening.