Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in American men, and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men nationally.
However, its causes are still mostly unknown, which makes coming up with a clear prevention plan difficult.
What we do know is that certain lifestyle adjustments that benefit your overall health go a long way toward preventing cancer, including that of the prostate.
These preventive practices that may reduce your risk:
Focus on healthier foods
A diet that is low in fat and high in plant-based foods has been shown to reduce prostate cancer risk. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that some studies suggest may ward off certain cancers. Healthy fat from plant-based sources, such as nuts, seeds and avocados, and omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish like salmon and tuna have been linked to reducing prostate cancer risks.
Traditional Japanese or Mediterranean diets are good examples of diets protective against prostate cancer.
Incidence of prostate cancer is much lower in Asian men compared to men from western countries. Japanese-American men in Hawaii have an incidence of prostate cancer 10 times higher compared to native Japanese men, but still lower than Caucasian men. It is thought that the adoption of a more-western diet raises the risk of prostate cancer.
Consumption of green tea also has been associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer.
Enhance an exercise routine
Aim to exercise most days of the week. Your workout doesn’t need to be strenuous — it can be as simple as going for a 30-minute walk.
Getting your body moving on a regular basis not only has been shown to reduce your risk for prostate cancer, it also helps you maintain a healthy weight. This is important because men who are obese (i.e., whose body mass index is 30 or higher) may have an increased risk of prostate cancer.
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 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.
Dr. Charles Kim joined Pali Momi Medical Center in 1998 and is board certified in urology. He is the medical director of robotic surgery at Pali Momi and also serves as an assistant clinical professor for the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center.