The short answer is yes. There are various measures we can take to reduce our risks of developing prostate cancer, and most of them are easy to adopt.
Lifestyle and weight
We know that being overweight or obese increases your risk of aggressive prostate cancer. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help you stay a healthy weight, and can help to lower your risk. Men in Western countries, such as the U.K., are more likely to develop prostate cancer than men in east Asian countries such as China and Japan. When Asian men move to Western countries, their risk of prostate cancer increases. It has been suggested that this is largely down to the influence of the typical Western diet, which contains less fruit, vegetables and fish, and more meat, dairy, sugar, fat and processed foods.
Men who exercise are likely able to reduce their risk of prostate cancer, and this fits with evidence that obesity can increase the risk of prostate cancer. In addition to prostate disease, exercise also has many other health benefits and can reduce your risk of heart disease and other cancers.
Dairy and calcium
Interestingly, there is some evidence that diets very high in dietary calcium may result in a small increase in the risk of developing prostate cancer. Current advice is to have no more than four servings of dairy products a day (a serving is some milk with porridge, in tea and coffee, a matchbox-sized serving of cheese or a small pot of yoghurt).
We know that high cholesterol tends to be seen in people with prostate cancer, but determining whether it is the cholesterol that increases prostate cancer risk or its association with a poor diet is unclear. Whilst prostate cancer has been detected in higher numbers of men with raised cholesterol, it’s hard to establish which came first, the cholesterol or the cancer. Interestingly, there is some evidence that men with raised cholesterol are at greater risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer, the rapidly growing type, but not at an increased overall risk of prostate cancer.
Smoking and alcohol
It should come as no surprise that smoking significantly increases the risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer. However, moderate use of alcohol has not been linked with an increase in the risk of prostate cancer
Should I take supplements?
There are a range of supplements that claim to help reduce the risks of developing prostate cancer. However, there are no credible studies that have shown any benefit from over the counter medications in reducing prostate cancer risk.
What should you do if you are worried about your risk of prostate disease?
- Lead a healthy lifestyle that reduces your risk of prostate disease.
- Do not just get a PSA test.
- Speak to a doctor about symptoms, appropriate screening and testing, and how to interpret the tests we have available.
- If you have had an abnormal PSA in the past, symptoms consistent with prostate disease, or would like to know more – book in – we work closely with a leading local urologist who can determine the best course of action if an abnormal result is obtained.