As men age, their prostate continues to grow bigger and this causes urination issues that occur in half of all men by age 50 and in almost all men by age 80. The three most common prostate problems are inflammation (prostatitis), enlarged prostate (BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia), and prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the United States. About 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Fortunately, despite the fact that prostate cancer only rarely causes symptoms, most cases are caught early and cure rates are extremely high. The other good thing is that prostate cancer is much more slow-growing than other cancers, doubling in size every 2-3 years instead of every 4-6 months.
Although genetics plays a role in the development of prostate cancer, there are also things you can do to prevent it.
Following a heart-healthy, low animal fat, low carbohydrate diet is key to cancer prevention, as are exercise, weight management and stress reduction.
Eat fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants to protect your body from cancer-causing oxidants. Green vegetables contain compounds that help your body break down cancer-causing substances called carcinogens. A nutrient-rich diet may also help slow the spread of cancer.
A nutrient called isoflavones has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer, in at least one 2014 review of controlled studies. Isoflavones are found in tofu (made from soybeans), chickpeas, lentils, alfalfa, sprouts, and peanuts.
Researchers have long studied the link between green tea and prostate cancer risk, with mixed results. A 2008 study showed that men who drink green tea, or take green tea extract supplements, have a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer than those who don’t.
A 2014 study notes there may be a link between animal fats and an increased risk of prostate cancer. In addition to meat, animal fats are found in lard, butter, and cheese. Whenever possible, replace animal-based fats with plant-based fats.
Fatty acid, known as omega-3, may help reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer. Omega-3 is found in certain fish including sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout, and salmon.
Prostate cancer patients who smoke are more likely to have a recurrence of the disease. Smokers also have a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer.
Being overweight or obese is linked to an increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight.