Preventing prostate cancer—like preventing many other diseases—requires you to tend to your overall health, not just one specific factor. Since the body functions as a whole, you’ll need to keep up with all aspects of your health to try to prevent this disease. While there are certain risk factors one cannot control such as age, family history, and race, you can still help prevent prostate cancer by making healthy life choices.
1. Eat Well and Exercise
Eating well and exercising will help you to maintain a healthy weight, which is also important for preventing prostate cancer. Your healthy diet should include minimal meat and dairy, especially red meat, as these animal products can increase your risk for cancer. Make sure to eat plenty of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. With 90% of pesticides remaining on conventional produce even after washing, organic or local vegetables and fruits are the best option. Also incorporate omega-3s into your diet—this includes fish, nuts, seeds, and oils. Getting enough healthy fats has been shown to help protect the body from prostate cancer.
Your exercise routine does not need to be rigorous to have a positive impact on your health. Even a simple 20-30 minute walk every day can help you reduce stress, maintain a healthy weight, and stay in shape. Talk with your doctor about what exercise routine would suit you best, and as always, listen to your body. It will let you know if you overdid it or if a certain workout routine is not making you feel good.
2. Limit Smoking and Drinking
We know that smoking is bad for us, but drinking is much more commonly accepted. Having an occasional drink won’t hurt your body, but daily drinking or having a drink several times a week can hurt your body in the long run, and even impact your chances of getting prostate cancer. While smoking once in a while probably won’t greatly increase your risk for prostate cancer, it’s best to eliminate this practice if possible. Talk with your doctor about options for quitting if you’re a daily smoker. There are many options today that can help you kick the habit for good, including patches, gum, support groups, and more. Limiting your consumption of alcohol and eliminating smoking will help you achieve wellness and reduce your risk for prostate cancer.
3. Reduce Stress
Reducing stress is key to being healthy. When you’re stressed, your body is in a constant state of pressure, sometimes known as the “fight or flight” primal response, which can be very taxing on both your body and your mind. Stress can lead to a variety of health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, depression, cancer, and increased aging. While stress by itself does not cause any of these symptoms, the body’s response to stress can factor into your risk for any of these health problems. Staying relaxed can help you prevent prostate cancer in addition to other health problems. Reducing stress could involve exercising, meditation, or a combination of the two, such as the popular practice of yoga. Talking with a friend, going for a walk, and taking time for yourself can all help reduce your stress and protect you from getting prostate cancer.
4. Get Regular Check-Ups
If you have other health problems that are going untreated—such as heart disease, diabetes, or odd symptoms you’ve yet to have checked out—you’re increasing your risk for prostate cancer. In order to prevent prostate cancer, get regular check-ups with your doctor to ensure that you’re healthy and treating any other health-related problems you may have. The better you manage your health, the more you help prevent prostate cancer. Your doctor can also talk with you about other prevention techniques we discussed—getting enough exercise, eating healthy, and quitting smoking. Getting regular check-ups with your doctor is something that can help you prevent prostate cancer by treating your other health problems and helping you on your journey to wellness.
Preventing prostate cancer involves adopting healthy practices that will positively impact your life and health for years. By getting enough exercise, eating healthy and reducing your intake of meat and dairy products, reducing stress, and talking with your doctor, you can reduce your risk of getting prostate cancer.