Studies Point to Factors That May Lower Prostate Cancer Risk

by Lois Etienne on February 15, 2011

in Senior Health and Safety

Question: As a 78-year-old man, I’ve heard that the incidence of prostate cancer goes up as men grow older.  What can you tell me about preventing this disease?

Western diets that are high in fat and red meat have been found to increase the risk of prostate cancer, experts have noted.  In addition, the calcium found in dairy products has been shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer by reducing the body’s levels of Vitamin D, which helps protect against prostate cancer, according to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition.

Growing evidence shows that changing diet and behavior can lower a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer, according to several studies reported by the National Prostate Cancer Coalition, the details of which follow.  Be sure to consult your doctor before dramatically changing your diet or adding any vitamin supplements:

Five servings or more of fruit per day can cut the risk of prostate cancer in half. Fruit helps, in part, by containing fructose which stimulates the body’s ability to create Vitamin D, a nutrient believed to reduce prostate cancer risk.

Fish oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids, believed to have great potential for both cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention. Some scientists believe that rates of cancer in the modern world are largely tied to the drastic imbalances in our diets between Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in salmon and other fatty fish; and in cold-water fish such as tuna, trout, striped bass, sardines, and herring.  They also are available in supplement capsules.

Consuming about 50 milligrams (75 IU) of Vitamin E may reduce risk of prostate cancer by one-third and the death rate by 41 percent. Vitamin E, found in food including pecans and sesame seeds, may also stimulate the immune system—which can help minimize the growth and spread of cancer.

A healthy lifestyle also includes exercise and a good mental outlook.  Companionship can be an important component of staying healthy as well.  Maintain hobbies and regular visits with family and friends.

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