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Preventing Prostate Cancer

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To date, no evidence proves that you can prevent prostate cancer. However, you may be able to lower your risk.

A diet that helps maintain a healthy weight may reduce your risk for prostatecancer. The American Cancer Society recommends:

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  • Limiting high-fat foods
  • Cutting back on red meats, especially processed meats such as hot dogs, bologna, and certain lunch meats
  • Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day

Healthy food choices also include bread, cereals, rice, pasta, and beans.

Antioxidants in foods, especially in fruits and vegetables, help prevent damage to the DNA in the body's cells. Such damage has been linked to cancer. Lycopene, in particular, is an antioxidant that has been thought to lower the risk of prostate cancer. It can be found in foods such as:

  • Tomatoes -- both raw and cooked
  • Spinach
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Beans
  • Berries -- especially blueberries
  • Pink grapefruit and oranges
  • Watermelon

However, it's not clear whether lycopene actually helps prevent prostate cancer, and recent studies have not been able to show that it does. Read more about antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and beans.

Researchers continue studying other ways to lower prostate cancer risk. It’s still too soon, though, to know whether studies are finding new ways to prevent prostate cancer. Here are some examples of what's being considered:

Testing for Prostate Cancer

While testing, or screening for prostate cancer, can find it early, experts disagree on whether it actually helps save lives.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men talk to their doctor before having a test to check for prostate cancer. Men need to understand the risks and benefits of testing. Then, the man and his doctor can decide whether to proceed with testing using a PSA test and digital rectal exam.

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