4 Tips to Decrease Your Risk of Prostate Cancer

September 15, 2022

two men jogging in park

Did you know that other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men?

The American Cancer Society estimates 268,490 new cases of prostate cancer and about 34,500 deaths from prostate cancer in the United States in 2022. You can’t control certain risk factors. Those include age, family history, race, the size of your prostate and BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations.

Still, you can make some choices that help decrease your risk of getting prostate cancer.

Screening for Prostate Cancer Can Save Lives

For many, prostate cancer is not a very aggressive disease and can be managed easily. As the chief of urologic oncology at Memorial Healthcare System, I’d like to share a few insights about early detection and screenings and why these are so important. If you do have prostate cancer, the key is to catch it early and start a treatment immediately.

Men should start screening at age 45, which entails a blood test and quick prostate exam. Screening guidelines will then be catered to the individual's risk. Treatment options depend on the stage and grade of prostate cancer, and our urologists can offer prolonged cancer-free survival with the right treatment.

4 Things to Avoid to Prevent Prostate Cancer

Oftentimes it's more about what not to do to prevent prostate cancer. Here are four suggestions on what to avoid to reduce your risk:

1. Smoking

In addition to raising your risk of heart and lung disease as well as cancers of the bladder and kidneys, smoking could boost the odds that you’ll develop aggressive prostate cancer which may spread through the body.

2. Obesity

Overweight men have a higher risk of developing advanced prostate cancer or prostate cancer that is more likely to be fatal. That means you should watch your body weight. There's no clear evidence that any specific diet decreases the risk of prostate cancer. But we do know obesity is associated with worse prostate cancer.

3. Eating Poorly

Eating a heart-healthy diet and exercising regularly is more likely to help keep individuals alive because most people with prostate cancer die from other conditions such as heart disease.

So eat plenty of fruits, veggies, and whole grains; and avoid or limit red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages and highly processed foods.

4. Taking Selenium or Vitamin E

Both vitamins have been found to increase the odds of developing prostate cancer.