June is Men’s Health Month! The second leading cause of cancer death in American men behind lung cancer is prostate cancer, and about 1 man in 41 will die from this disease. 1 Although some men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than others, there are certain lifestyle choices that may lower the risk.
About prostate cancer
All men have a prostate. This small, muscular gland produces some of the ingredients of semen. It is situated just in front of the rectum and below the bladder.
Prostate Cancer is the second most common type of cancer affecting men after skin cancer. About one man in nine will receive this diagnosis during his lifetime. 1
Older men and African-American men are most likely to develop prostate cancer. Around 60% of cases are men aged 65 or older; rarely does a diagnosis occur before age 40. The average age when diagnosis occurs is about age 66. 1
Who has an increased risk of prostate cancer?
Age is the most common risk of prostate cancer. However, African American men are at an increased risk. Those that have a family history of prostate cancer are also more likely to develop the disease.
How can prostate cancer be prevented?
One way men can lower their prostate cancer risk is through a healthy, low fat diet. Diets high in saturated fats such as those found in meat and dairy are associated with a higher risk for prostate cancer.
Other good dietary choices for prevention include eating at least 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day.
Although no one diet is typically recommended for prostate cancer prevention, the Mediterranean Diet is a good choice and has proven to lower a man’s risk of prostate cancer development. 2
Men who are obese (a body mass index of 30 or higher) may have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
Men who exercise regularly may have reduced prostate cancer risk. Always discuss a new exercise program with your primary care physician. In general, a well-rounded exercise program including a half-hour of physical activity most or all days of the week delivers many health benefits.
If you are a man who struggles to fit exercise into your day-to-day routine, you needn’t perform this activity all at once. You can break daily exercise into 10-minute segments.
For those with an increased risk of prostate cancer, medications may also be necessary for risk reduction. You can discuss this possibility with your doctor. If you think you have a high risk of prostate cancer, a CCMH Provider would be happy to review these concerns with you. To learn about cancer care available on the CCMH campus at the Leah M. Fitch Cancer Center, visit Ccmchealth.com/Cancer-Care.
1 The American Cancer Society. Prostate Cancer. 2018.
2 Relevant, Julie. Fox News. 10 foods that can help prevent prostate cancer. 12 September 2016.
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