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Reducing Your Risk of Prostate Cancer
There are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of prostate cancer:
Watch Your Diet
Studies have found an association between diets high in fat and an increased risk of prostate cancer. Also, eating foods rich in lycopene seems to lower a man’s risk of prostate cancer. Lycopene is a phytochemical that is found in certain fruits and vegetables, like grapefruits and tomatoes. Also, lycopene supplements are available at drug and health food stores, but their efficacy is uncertain.
Exercising regularly may reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Choose exercises you enjoy and make them a regular part of your day. Strive to maintain an exercise program that keeps you fit and at a healthy weight. For many people, this includes walking or participating in another aerobic activity for 30 minutes per day. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Talk to Your Doctor About Medicine
Daily aspirin therapy and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (eg, finasteride [Proscar, Propecia], dutasteride [Avodart]) may reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about your options.
What About Cancer Screening?
In the past, medical organizations recommended the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test as a screening tool for prostate cancer. But this has become a controversial topic because studies have found very little benefit with this screening test. Because of this, organizations like the US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommend against the PSA test, highlighting the potential harms, like having to undergo unnecessary surgery.
What should you do? The USPSTF does highlight the importance of having an open discussion with your doctor about the risks and benefits of the PSA test, as well as your risk factors for prostate cancer.
Detailed guide: prostate cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/ . Accessed October 9, 2008.
How did the USPSTF arrive at this recommendation? US Preventative Services Task Force website. Available at: http://www.uspreve... . Published May 2012. Accessed July 27, 2012.
Prostate cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/prostate . Accessed October 9, 2008.
Prostate cancer screening. EBSCO DynaMed website. http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated May 30, 2012. Accessed July 27, 2012.
Screening for prostate cancer: current recommendation. US Preventative Services Task Force website. Available at: http://www.uspreve... . Published May 2012. Accessed July 27, 2012.
1/13/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Lippman SM, Klein EA, Goodman PJ, et al. Effect of selenium and vitamin E on risk of prostate cancer and other cancers: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA. 2009;301:39-51.
2/19/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Mahmud SM, Franco EL, Aprikian AG. Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and prostate cancer risk: A meta-analysis. Int J Cancer. 2010 Jan 20. [Epub ahead of print]
Last reviewed September 2012 by Igor Puzanov, MD
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