Preventing Prostate Cancer: What the Research Says
Some risk factors for prostate cancer are unavoidable. These include being older, having a father or brother with this type of cancer, and being African-American. However, an increased risk doesn’t mean you’re destined to get cancer—and there’s still plenty you can do to preserve your health!
Scientists don’t yet know for sure what causes prostate cancer. But some studies suggest that making the following choices may help protect you:
- Get enough folate in your diet. This type of vitamin B occurs naturally in green vegetables, beans, and orange juice.
- Limit red meat and high-fat dairy products. Men who eat too much of either appear to have a slightly higher chance of developing prostate cancer.
- Ask your health care provider about aspirin. Some research suggests that men who take aspirin daily might have a lower risk of getting prostate cancer. But experts caution that more research is needed.
Prostate cancer may cause no symptoms, and possible symptoms are often due to other problems, such as an enlarged prostate. To be safe, though, tell your provider if you experience any of the following:
- Pain during urination
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Pain in the upper thighs, hips, or lower back
- Difficulty urinating
- Blood in the semen or urine
- Painful ejaculation
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends men ages 55 to 69 have a discussion with their doctor about the pros and cons of PSA screening. For men ages 70 and older, the USPSTF recommends against screening.Recommendations from other organizations, including the American Cancer Society, differ slightly. However, all organizations agree that men should discuss the potential benefits and risks of prostate cancer screening with their physicians and make an informed decision.
Work with your health care provider to figure out if screening makes sense for you.
Tailoring Treatment to the Patient
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with prostate cancer, talk with a Nuvance Health doctor about all your treatment options. He or she will he will take the time to customize a plan that fits your individual needs. Visit our cancer care page to learn more about what we have to offer and how to find an oncologist.