Understanding Prostate Cancer -- Prevention

How Can I Prevent Prostate Cancer?

There is no evidence that you can prevent prostate cancer. But you may be able to lower your risk.


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

  • Limiting high-fat foods
  • Cutting back on red meats, especially processed meats such as hot dogs, bologna, and certain lunch meats
  • Eating at least 2-1/2 cups 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

It's not clear whether lycopene actually helps prevent prostate cancer, and recent studies have not been able to show that it does.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD on July 11, 2018




American Cancer Society: "Can prostate cancer be prevented?"


American Cancer Society: "Diet and physical activity factors that affect risks for select cancers."


Mayo Clinic: "Lycopene."

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