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Prostate Cancer: Prevention

Prostate cancer can sometimes be associated with known risk factors for the disease. Many risk factors are modifiable, though not all can be avoided.

Diet and Lifestyle

The effect of diet on prostate cancer risk is under study. A diet high in fat, especially animal fat, may be associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. More studies are needed to determine if a low-fat diet with more fruits and vegetables helps prevent prostate cancer. Studies show that a diet high in dairy products and calcium may be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, although the increase may be small.

Screening

Unlike many other cancers, prostate cancer often grows very slowly. Because of this, many undiagnosed prostate cancers would never become life-threatening.

The American Cancer Society recommends that doctors offer a PSA blood test and digital rectal exam yearly, beginning at age 50, to men with no major medical problems who are expected to live at least 10 more years.

Men at high risk should begin testing at age 45. High risk men include African Americans and men who have a close relative—father, brother or son—diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65.

*Sources: National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society

Last updated: 5/26/2010 3:10:56 PM