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Lifestyle Choices and Prostate Cancer Prevention

Can Your Lifestyle Choices Affect Your Chances of Getting Prostate Cancer?

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Updated July 08, 2009

Can changes in your lifestyle actually lead to prostate cancer prevention? Every year, more and more research is done showing that there may be associations between certain everyday lifestyle choices we make and the development of prostate cancer.

What are the five most important lifestyle choices you can make to lessen your risk of prostate cancer?

  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Numerous research studies have shown a clear association between obesity and the development of prostate cancer. Scientists are not sure as to why this association exists, but it clearly does.

    Prostate cancer is more common in obese or overweight men. With rates of obesity climbing higher each year, this has become the most important lifestyle-related issue for men concerned about prostate cancer.

    Additionally, obese men have higher rates of surgical complications, experience more problems with radiation treatments, and have lower survival rates than normal weight men.

    The remaining lifestyle choices below including exercise and nutrition considerations are all applicable to the goal of maintaining a healthy weight. Regardless of the specific decisions you make regarding exercise and nutrition, a healthy weight must always remain as a primary goal.

    More information about maintaining a healthy weight is also available.

  2. Don’t Overindulge on Red Meat or Fatty Foods

    Men who eat diets that include a great deal of red meat have been found to have higher rates of prostate cancer.

    It is unclear as to why this is. Some scientists believe that men who eat red meat are ingesting higher levels of certain types of fat and fatty acids that may be harmful to the prostate. Others feel that grilling can add dangerous chemicals to the meat that raise a man’s risk of various cancers including prostate cancer. Still others feel that these men are simply cutting fruits and vegetables out of their diets in order to eat more meat and, thus, losing the benefits gained from these foods.

    Whatever the reason, the data is clear that men who have diets high in red meat also have higher rates of prostate cancer.

  3. Eat the Right Amount and Type of Fruits and Vegetables

    It has been shown that men who eat 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables per day have healthier hearts and lower rates of cancer than those who eat less.

    Tomatoes, in particular, have been shown to lessen a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. Lycopene, a natural chemical found in tomatoes, pink grapefruits, and a few other foods, is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants, like lycopene, act to destroy free radicals in the body that have been shown to change normal cells into cancerous cells.

    Studies have shown that increasing the amount of tomatoes and tomato-based foods (like pasta sauce), also has positive effects on men who already have prostate cancer.

  4. Exercise Regularly

    Regular exercise for at least 30 minutes at a time and at least 3 days per week is essential for prostate and total body health.

    Not only does regular exercise help you to maintain a healthy weight, it also has been shown that men who exercise regularly have overall lower rates of cancer, tolerate cancer treatments far better, and survive their cancer at higher rates.

    More information about exercise and how it can help you to maintain a healthy weight is available.

  5. Look Ahead to the Long-Term

    Lessening your risk of developing prostate cancer is not something that can be done overnight. One weekend of eating the right foods and exercising will not significantly change your chances of getting this disease. However, lifestyle modifications that are carried out through years are a whole different story.

    Fad diets, impossible exercise routines, and unrealistic expectations are not helpful in the long-term. Finding a diet and exercise plan that you can handle and then sticking to it for the long-term will provide the best results for prostate and total body health.

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