Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men.

Increased age and family history of the disease are the major risk factors. Prostate cancer is more common among men. The chance of developing the disease dramatically increases at age 55 and is predominant in men over 65.

Early prostate cancer often causes no symptoms. If you have concerns about prostate cancer, ask your doctor about available diagnostic tests and whether they're right for you.

Most men with prostate cancer survive it. Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer, your age, and general health, and may include active monitoring, surgery, radiation therapy or other methods. Talk to your doctor about which treatment is best for you.

There is no sure way to prevent prostate cancer. Many risk factors such as age, race, and family history can’t be controlled. But there are some things you can do that might lower your risk of prostate cancer.

Body weight, physical activity, and diet

The effects of body weight, physical activity, and diet on prostate cancer risk aren't completely clear, but there are things you can do that might lower your risk.

Some studies have found that men who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing advanced prostate cancer or prostate cancer that is more likely to be fatal.

Although not all studies agree, several have found a higher risk of prostate cancer in men whose diets are high in dairy products and calcium.

For now, the best advice about diet and activity to possibly reduce the risk of prostate cancer is to:

Get to and stay at a healthy weight.

Keep physically active.

Follow a healthy eating pattern, which includes a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and avoids or limits red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, and highly processed foods.

It may also be sensible to limit calcium supplements and to not get too much calcium in the diet. (This does not mean that men who are being treated for prostate cancer should not take calcium supplements if their doctor recommends them.)

Vitamin, mineral, and other supplements

Vitamin E and selenium: Some early studies suggested that taking vitamin E or selenium supplements might lower prostate cancer risk.

But in a large study known as the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), neither vitamin E nor selenium supplements were found to lower prostate cancer risk. In fact, men in the study taking the vitamin E supplements were later found to have a slightly higher risk of prostate cancer.  

Soy and isoflavones: Some early research has suggested possible benefits from soy proteins (called isoflavones) in lowering prostate cancer risk. Several studies are now looking more closely at the possible effects of these proteins.

Taking any supplements can have both risks and benefits. Before starting vitamins or other supplements, talk with your doctor.

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