Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men (other than skin cancer). In 2020, the American Cancer Society estimates that almost 200,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed. This means that about 1 in 9 men will develop prostate cancer.
There isn’t one sure way to prevent prostate cancer. Many risk factors can’t be changed. Those include age, race, and family history. There are some things you can do that might lower your prostate cancer risk.
1. Maintain a healthy weight
Research has shown that those who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing advanced prostate cancer or prostate cancer that is more likely to be fatal. Some studies have found a higher risk of prostate cancer in men whose diets are high in dairy products and calcium.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Your diet should include foods that are high in nutrients. This includes whole fruits in a variety of colors, vegetables (especially dark green, red and orange, beans and peas), and whole grains. These foods should be consumed in quantities that allow you to maintain a healthy weight.
Avoid or limit red or processed meats, sugary drinks, processed foods, and alcohol. You shouldn’t drink more than two drinks per day.
3. Stay active
Adults should be getting 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. You could also meet your weekly exercise needs through a combination of moderate and vigorous exercise. Meeting or exceeding 300 minutes a week is ideal.
4. Limit calcium intake
Not all studies agree, but some have found a higher risk of prostate cancer in men whose diets are high in dairy products and calcium. This includes calcium from supplements and food.
Prostate Cancer Screening
Another important part of prostate health is regular prostate cancer screenings. Men should begin prostate cancer screening at 40. The frequency of additional screenings will depend on the results of the first exam.
Prostate cancer screening has two parts. The first is a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Blood is drawn from the arm and examined in a lab for levels of PSA. The second part is a digital rectal exam (DRE). During a DRE, a doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to check for abnormalities that could indicate cancer. Both parts of the test are needed to give your urologist a more complete view of your prostate health.