1. Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eating a healthy diet is an important way to help prevent prostate cancer. Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Fruits and vegetables that are particularly beneficial for prostate cancer prevention include cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, kale, and cauliflower), tomatoes, citrus fruits, berries, apples, and pears. Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds that can help protect cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that can help lower the risk of prostate cancer. Citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, are rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Berries are also high in antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage. Apples and pears contain compounds that can help reduce inflammation, which can help protect against cancer. Whole grains are a great source of fiber, which can help keep your digestive system healthy. Eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is key, as different colored produce contain different vitamins and minerals that can help protect your body from disease.
2. Exercising regularly is a great way to help prevent prostate cancer. Regular physical activity helps maintain a healthy weight, which can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Exercise also helps to lower levels of certain hormones in the body, such as testosterone, which has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Additionally, physical activity can help reduce inflammation, which has also been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Finally, exercise helps to boost the immune system, which can help the body better fight off cancer-causing agents.
3. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health, and can also help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. Excess body fat has been linked to higher levels of certain hormones, such as testosterone, which can increase the risk of prostate cancer. Obesity can also lead to increased levels of inflammation in the body, associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Keeping a healthy weight helps to keep hormones and inflammation at healthy levels, which can help protect against prostate cancer.
4. Talking to your doctor about screening for prostate cancer is an important way to help prevent the disease. Regular screenings can help detect prostate cancer early when it is most treatable. The type of screening recommended will depend on your age, family history, and other risk factors. For example, all men over 50 should talk to their doctor about screening for prostate cancer, as should those with a family history of the disease.
The discussion about screening should take place at:
- Age 50 for men at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least ten more years.
- Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father or brother) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65).
- Age 40 for men at even higher risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age).
Your doctor may recommend a digital rectal exam, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, or other tests to help detect prostate cancer. It is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for regular screenings to catch any signs of prostate cancer early.
5. Avoiding or limiting red and processed meat consumption is an important way to help prevent prostate cancer. Red meat, pork, and processed meats, such as bacon and sausage, can contain high levels of saturated fat and preservatives, increasing inflammation in the body and increasing the risk of prostate cancer. Studies have also found that men who ate larger amounts of red meat or processed meat had a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than those who ate less. It is recommended to limit the consumption of red meat and processed meat and instead focus on eating lean proteins, such as chicken, fish, and plant-based proteins.
Overall, there are many things that men can do to help prevent prostate cancer. Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, exercising regularly, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, talking to your doctor about screening for prostate cancer, and avoiding or limiting consumption of red meat and processed meat are all important steps that men can take to reduce their risk. By making these lifestyle changes, men can help reduce their risk of prostate cancer and maintain their overall health.
Kevin Jones is an anesthesiologist.