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Prostate cancer prevention: Ways to reduce your risk


Oct. 7, 2014 Mayo Clinic

f you’re concerned about your risk of prostate cancer, you may be interested in prostate cancer prevention.

There’s no sure way to prevent prostate cancer. Study results often conflict with each other and most studies aren’t designed to definitively prove whether something prevents prostate cancer. As a result, no clear ways to prevent prostate cancer have emerged.

In general, doctors recommend that men with an average risk of prostate cancer make choices that benefit their overall health if they’re interested in prostate cancer prevention.

Choose a healthy diet
There is some evidence that choosing a healthy diet that’s low in fat and full of fruits and vegetables may contribute to a lower risk of prostate cancer, though this hasn’t been proved concretely.

If you want to reduce your risk of prostate cancer, consider trying to:

  • Choose a low-fat diet. Foods that contain fats include meats, nuts, oils and dairy products, such as milk and cheese.In some studies, men who ate the highest amount of fat each day had an increased risk of prostate cancer. While this association doesn’t prove that excess fat causes prostate cancer, reducing the amount of fat you eat each day has other proven benefits, such as helping you control your weight and helping your heart.

    To reduce the amount of fat you eat each day, limit fatty foods or choose low-fat varieties. For instance, reduce the amount of fat you add to foods when cooking, select leaner cuts of meat, and choose low-fat or reduced-fat dairy products.

  • Eat more fat from plants than from animals. In studies that looked at fat consumption and prostate cancer risk, fats from animals were most likely to be associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Animal products that contain fats include meat, lard and butter.

    You might consider using plant-based fats instead of animal fats. For instance, cook with olive oil rather than butter. Sprinkle nuts or seeds on your salad rather than cheese.

  • Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat each day. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and nutrients that are thought to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, though research hasn’t proved that any particular nutrient is guaranteed to reduce your risk.

    Eating more fruits and vegetables also tends to make you have less room for other foods, such as high-fat foods.

    You might consider increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat each day by adding an additional serving of a fruit or vegetable to each meal. Consider eating fruits and vegetables for snacks.

  • Eat fish. Fatty fish — such as salmon, tuna and herring — contain omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fatty acid that has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. If you don’t currently eat fish, you might consider adding it to your diet.

    Another way to add omega-3s to your diet is by eating flaxseed.

  • Reduce the amount of dairy products you eat each day. In studies, men who ate the most dairy products — such as milk, cheese and yogurt — each day had the highest risk of prostate cancer. But study results have been mixed, and the risk associated with dairy products is thought to be small.
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