My patients frequently ask if there is anything they can do to reduce their risk of prostate cancer. My answer is absolutely!

1 – Quit Smoking

Several studies have demonstrated a strong association between smoking and prostate cancer mortality. The Health Professionals Follow-up Study published in JAMA in 2011 followed 5,366 men with prostate cancer for 20 years. The study found smokers had a statistically significant increased risk of prostate cancer mortality, cancer recurrence after treatment, over mortality and mortality from cardiovascular disease. Another study published in 2015 from Europe evaluated over 6,500 men who underwent surgery for prostate cancer. The smokers had a significantly higher risk of cancer recurrence compared to nonsmokers and those who had quit smoking over 10 years ago.

2 – Lose weight

Several large studies have demonstrated an association between obesity and prostate cancer. A Portuguese study found a 5-fold increased risk of developing prostate cancer in obese men. A study published in March evaluated nearly 2000 men who underwent prostatectomy for prostate cancer. Men with metabolic syndrome (obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes) had a remarkably increased risk of high grade cancer, extra-prostatic disease (spread outside the prostate) and cancer recurrence requiring salvage therapy.

Exercise has been found to reduce prostate cancer risk. The Health Professionals Follow-up Study published in JAMA in 2011 found that men over the age of 65 who exercised more than 3 hours per week had a 70% decrease in risk of developing advanced or fatal prostate cancer and a 35% improvement in overall mortality. A 2013 study from the Durham VA found white men in their 60’s who were moderately or highly active were 53% less likely to develop prostate cancer.

3- Your diet is important

Several studies have shown that your diet can have a profound effect on your risk of developing prostate cancer.

A study just released this past month from the University of Texas showed that a diet rich in plant-based nutrients can “melts away” prostate cancer cells. The key natural ingredients found to be effective are:

  • Ursolic acid from apple peels
  • Curcumin from turmeric
  • Resveratrol from red grapes

It noted that when taken together, these nutrients block the cancer from absorbing glutamine, which is critical for cancer growth and spread.

Another study has found consumption of red meat and processed meat is associated with an increased risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.

A heart healthy diet is beneficial for reducing prostate cancer risk. This includes reduced animal fats, sugar and processed foods and more fruits, vegetables, fish and foods high in lycopene such as tomatoes.

A 2104 trial by the World Health Organization found consistent hard liquor intake increased risk of prostate cancer by 60% but did not find a causal relationship with beer or wine.

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