Many men are now aware of the risk of prostate cancer but they should also know that even though some factors increase their chances of getting this disease they may not necessarily cause it. It can happen that some men with these risk factors never even develop the condition while those with the disease don’t have the risk factors. So while the causes of prostate cancer have not yet been clearly established, studies have found quite a few factors that are time and again linked with an increasing risk of developing this condition.
The primary risk factor is that of genetics. Prostate cancer can run in families. Having a close relative with the disease doubles a man’s chances of developing it himself. The risk increases if more relatives have been affected especially if it was diagnosed at a young age. The risk of prostate cancer increases after the age of 50 while most cases are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. Race also plays a part as Africa-American men are more at risk of developing this cancer.
Some research studies have indicated that those men who eat a lot of fat are more likely to develop the cancer. Further, in a high-fat diet fewer fruits and vegetables are consumed while the consumption of dairy products is likely to be higher, and this may in fact lead to the cancer rather than the actual consumption of fat itself. It has been argued that fruits and vegetables that contain lycopenes, such as watermelon and tomatoes, help to lower the risk. Lycopenes are similar to vitamins and have antioxidant properties that work to prevent DNA damage. Researchers have variously found that the mineral selenium helps to reduce the level of risk while a high-calcium and low-fructose diet are factors that increase the risk of prostate cancer. Also, regular physical exercise and keeping up a healthy weight may help reduce risk. Studies have not yet been able to establish if having a vasectomy increases a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer though research found that if they had it at an age less than 35 then their risk is higher.
Doctors are still undecided about the effects of vitamin supplements. Vitamin E is considered to lower the risk of prostate cancer while vitamin A might increase it. So it’s best to take such supplements with the guidance of a doctor.
Doctors are undecided as to whether diet plays a part but they seem to have established that vegetarians are half as likely to develop this cancer as non-vegetarians. The question is whether the meat may cause the condition or whether because they eat meat, nonvegetarians may be missing out on more healthful foods. A fist and nut diet could be more beneficient as they contain omega-3 fatty acids.
So all in all it would be good to decrease cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet, thus reducing calories; increase the intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; reduce the amount of salt and sweet in your diet; and limit your intake of alcohol. Try and include soy proteins in your diet as they contain phytoestrogens, which help to prevent prostate cancer.
Maintain a strict diet, exercise regularly and follow your doctor’s advice on what kinds of vitamin supplements to take and you may stave off prostate cancer as the kind of lifestyle you lead is also important as a risk factor for this disease.
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