Approximately 13% of men in the United States will get prostate cancer during their lifetime. Genetics and age play a large part in those statistics, but lifestyle choices may also impact risk. In this article, we are going to share 10 ways you can help reduce your risk of Prostate Cancer. Certain lifestyle changes may reduce the risk of developing more aggressive forms of prostate cancer, and may bring improved outcomes for individuals diagnosed with prostate cancer. Keep reading to learn more about the things you can do to help lower your risk of cancer and live a longer and healthier life.
Tip #1 – Eat well
Aim for an anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy diet. This type of diet consists mostly of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins like chicken or fish, legumes, beans, and whole grains while minimizing highly processed foods, unhealthy fats such as trans fats, and refined carbohydrates such as those found in a white bread or sodas. There is some evidence that certain foods may have an anti-cancer effect. These foods include tomatoes and tomato sauces, vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, antioxidant-rich items such as berries and green or black teas, and foods containing healthy fats like olive oil or avocados.
Tip #2 – Stop smoking
Smoking is associated with an increased risk of many cancers. Quitting smoking may significantly reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Even if you have smoked for many years, it isn’t too late to reap some benefit from quitting.
Tip #3 – Get moving
Research has shown that men who regularly exercise are less likely to get prostate cancer. Even a small amount of moderate or vigorous exercise can help. Exercise can also benefit men who have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Men who exercise have less occurrence of aggressive types of cancer and tend to live longer than those that don't.
Tip #4 – Watch your weight
Obesity is one of the strongest dietary/lifestyle factors associated with prostate cancer. Multiple studies conclude that obese men are at greater risk of developing a more aggressive form of prostate cancer.
Tip #5 – Don’t overdo vitamins or supplements
While taking a daily multivitamin is likely safe, research has suggested that excessive doses of some vitamins and minerals, specifically vitamin E and calcium, can increase the frequency and severity of prostate cancer.
Tip #6 – Manage stress
Try to find opportunities to relax and have fun. Reducing stress in the workplace and home has been shown to lead to a longer, happier life. It may also increase your rate of survival after a prostate cancer diagnosis.
Tip #7 – Protect yourself from toxic chemicals
Some studies link certain chemicals to increased risk of prostate cancer. Combustion byproducts from fires, industrial waste, and agricultural chemicals from farming are examples of these chemicals. The greatest concern is long term exposure. If you work around these types of chemicals, make a point to use protective equipment to reduce your exposure.
Tip #8 – Enjoy (safe) sex
There is evidence that regular sexual intimacy is associated with a lower rate of prostate cancer.
Tip #9 – Consume moderate or less alcohol
Some studies have found that there is a dose-dependent relationship between alcohol and prostate cancer. These studies show that heavy, long-time drinkers may be at higher risk than their non-drinking or moderately drinking counterparts.
Tip #10 – Know your risk factors and talk to your doctor
Family history, age, and race are 3 risk factors that you cannot change. The rate of prostate cancer sharply increases at age 55, meaning older men are at much higher risk. Black men are more likely than their white counterparts to have prostate cancer, and to be diagnosed at a younger age and with more aggressive types of prostate cancer. If you have a brother or father with prostate cancer – or your mother or sister has a history of breast cancer – you may carry a gene in your family that increases your risk of certain cancers. While it might seem scary, understanding your risk factors can go a long way in terms of saving your life. You and your doctor can examine your risk factors and discuss when to start screening for prostate cancer. Risk factors can also determine how often screening should be performed, giving you better odds of catching cancer early. Because prostate cancer is often very slow growing, catching it early and treating it results in excellent survival rates.
There are many things in life we cannot control; however, lifestyle choices are something we can control. Making small positive changes can add up, resulting in a better quality of life. Take time to care for yourself, you are worth it!
Disclaimer: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For medical advice, please speak with your healthcare provider.
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