Like any cancer, prostate cancer is complicated. Scientists are still unraveling the mystery of why some men get it and some men don’t. Still, research in recent years has suggested some things that can help prevent this common cancer. Equally important, research has demonstrated that some things once thought to help prevent prostate cancer actually make no difference.
We know that a man’s risk of prostate cancer is determined, in part, by things he can’t change: age, race and family history. Prostate cancer is most common in older men, in men with a family history of prostate cancer, and in black men. But cancer risk is also clearly connected to things you can change, which is what I’ll focus on here. The steps I outline below may help reduce your risk of prostate cancer, and they may reduce your risk of other cancers and heart disease, too!
You may have heard news reports about certain medications that may reduce prostate cancer risk. Medicines such as some anti-cholesterol drugs, or drugs like Finasteride (that lower dihydro-testosterone levels) may, in fact, prove beneficial.
Now, here are some things that have NOT been shown to reduce prostate cancer risk and should be avoided because they may produce undesirable side effects or actually increase your risk:
One final suggestion: get yearly checkups. An annual prostate checkup can't reduce your risk of cancer, as perhaps some of the tips I mention above can. But if prostate cancer does develop, a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test may discover the problem early, when treatment can be most effective.