A healthy prostate is an important part of overall health for men of all ages. If you’re a man at average risk for prostate cancer, research is conflicting and inconclusive on specific actions that can reliably prevent it. But you may be able to reduce your risk and improve your overall health when you do these things.
Start With Your Diet
Some evidence shows that a low-fat diet featuring ample fruits and vegetables can reduce prostate cancer risk, but this has not been proven. For overall health and perhaps a reduced risk of this cancer, add more vegetable servings to each meal, reduce fatty foods and limit intake of dairy products. Adding more whole grains to your diet can help with overall health too.
Keep Your Weight in Check
For prostate cancer prevention, try to maintain healthy weight and a body mass index under 30. Men with a higher number may have a greater risk of developing this cancer. If you’re overweight, reduce calories at each meal and eliminate some snacks to lose weight. If you’re already at your optimal weight, make sure you maintain it. Many men gain weight as they age because of slower metabolism, a less active lifestyle and other factors.
Exercise Almost Every Day
Research has shown a reduced risk of prostate cancer in men who exercise frequently. Exercise can also help reduce weight, improve overall health, and make you feel better. In addition to decreasing prostate cancer risk, you may also reduce your likelihood of heart disease and lower your risk of other cancers too. If you don’t exercise already, check with your doctor before starting, then start slowly, adding more activity each day. Aim for about 30 minutes of exercise most days, and don’t worry if you miss some days.
Get a Prostate Exam
A prostate exam, often part of a regular physical exam, can detect enlargement that may lead to prostate cancer as well as reduced sexual function and other conditions. A blood test is also available that can also help detect this cancer. If your risk is high, preventative medication may reduce it. If you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer, understand that many forms respond well to treatment, and some forms don’t need treatment at all.
By making smart health decisions and getting checked as often as your doctor recommends, you may be able to prevent prostate cancer and achieve the best outcome if you’re diagnosed with it. Prostate cancer is sometimes preventable, usually treatable and often survivable, so don’t ignore your prostate health.