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Prostate Cancer: Prevention

There is no sure way to prevent prostate cancer. Some risk factors for prostate cancer are not within your control. These include your age and family history. But you can do some things that may help lower your risk of getting prostate cancer.

A healthy lifestyle may help to lower your risk for prostate cancer. This includes:

  • Eating fruits and vegetables every day. Make sure to include tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Also include beans, peas, and lentils. 

  • Not eating high-fat meats or high-fat dairy foods. These include hamburgers, sausage, cheese, and ice cream. Instead eat lean meats, fish, and low-fat or nonfat dairy foods.

  • Not getting too much calcium in your diet. Too much calcium may raise your risk for prostate cancer. Normal amounts of calcium in dairy foods and drinks are fine. But talk with your healthcare provider before you take calcium supplements.

  • Staying at a healthy weight. Obesity is linked to a higher risk for a more deadly type of prostate cancer.

  • Getting physical activity. Be active for at least 30 minutes on most days.

If you are at high risk

If you are at high risk for prostate cancer, your healthcare provider may talk to you about medicines that can lower your risk. Medicines called 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors have been shown to lower prostate cancer risk. These include the medicines finasteride and dutasteride. But they can have side effects that may limit their use. They are most often used to treat an enlarged prostate that does not have cancer. This is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of these medicines for you.

Online Medical Reviewer: Alteri, Rick, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Gersten, Todd, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2017
© 2013 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.