The Bottom Line: Be Proactive
Regardless of your diet but, really, keep it healthy! the best thing you can do is be aware of your personal risk factors for prostate conditions and consult with your doctor on how to monitor or address these. Some of the risk factors for prostate cancer include:
- Age: Men over the age of 55 are more at risk and over half of prostate cancer cases occur in men over the age of 65.
- Family history: Know which other men in your family have had prostate cancer and which women have had breast cancer.
- Obesity: Again, a healthy diet can have a big impact.
Besides regular exercise and a healthy diet, be sure to talk to your doctor about regular prostate screenings. Early detection is key, so keep these risk factors and potential symptoms in mind and consult your doctor regularly to put yourself in the best position for early detection.
Screening for prostate cancer is simple and only involves an office visit, physical exam and blood test. And its a condition that, if detected on routine screening, can often be treated and cured.
Maintaining Good Nutrition During And After Treatment
Maintaining a healthy diet can help you prepare for and recover after cancer treatment. It may also help to prevent the prostate cancer from coming back.Watching your weight may also reduce your risk of dying from prostate cancer. Recent studies have indicated that the risk of dying from prostate cancer is more than double in obese men diagnosed with the disease compared with men of normal weight at the time of diagnosis. Obese men with local or regional disease have been shown to have nearly four times the risk of their cancer spreading beyond the prostate or metastasizing.
Prostate cancer treatment may affect your appetite, eating habits, and weight, but it is important for you to maintain a healthy weight, get essential nutrients, and remain as physically active as possible. If you have difficulty eating due to side effects from treatment, there are ways to make eating more comfortable. Working with a registered dietitian/nutritionist can help make sure you are getting the nutrition you need.
Unfortunately it is possible for the side effects of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy to cause you to lose your appetite, eat less and lose weight. On the other hand, some treatments, such as androgen deprivation therapy may cause weight gain for some men.
, Prostate Cancer and Nutrition featuring Margaret Martin, RD, MS, LDN, a nutrition educator from PearlPoint Nutrition Services.
Which Foods Could Harm Your Prostate Health
Theres nothing thats terribly harmful as long as you eat low or moderate amounts, Dr. Crylen said. Saturated and trans fats have been linked to an increased risk of many cancers, including prostate cancer. So, its smart to limit foods that contain them, such as red meat, processed or cured meats such as bacon and sausage, fried or fast food and excessive amounts of dairy.
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What Types Of Treatments Are Used For Prostate Cancer
If youre diagnosed with prostate cancer, your doctor will help to develop a treatment plan thats right for your individual situation. Its possible that a combination of different treatment options may be used.
They may recommend something called expectant management if your cancer doesnt cause symptoms. During this time, they may monitor your cancer using a variety of tests. Treatment will begin when you develop symptoms or when test results find the cancer is growing.
Other potential treatment options can include:
- Surgery. If you only have cancer in your prostate, your doctor may suggest surgery to remove the tumor or your prostate.
- Radiation therapy. In radiation therapy, high energy radiation is used to kill cancer cells.
- Cryotherapy. During cryotherapy, a special probe is used to freeze and kill cells in your prostate, including cancer cells.
- Hormone therapy. This treatment focuses on blocking hormones that can encourage cancer growth.
- Chemotherapy.Chemotherapy drugs can kill cancer cells or slow down their growth.
- Immunotherapy.Immunotherapy harnesses your immune system to help treat prostate cancer. A type of immunotherapy called sipuleucel-T may be used to treat some types of prostate cancer.
- Targeted therapy. Targeted therapy blocks the activity of certain proteins on or in cancer cells. Drugs called PARP inhibitors may be used to treat some types of prostate cancer.
Whole Grains: Good For The Whole Body
The next time you step up to the deli counter, remember this: Bland white bread can’t compete with hearty whole wheat in taste or nutrition. Maybe you’ve heard about revised federal nutrition guidelines that recommend half of all the grains you eat — rice, cereal, and even chips — should be whole. That’s why even sugary kids’ cereals and frozen pizzas are loading up on whole-grain ingredients.
Whole grains deliver plenty of fiber, but while diets high in vegetables and fruits have been linked with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer, it isn’t yet clear how dietary components, such as fiber and certain types of fats, affect colorectal cancer risk. Still, whole grains contain other substances that might battle cancer, including lignans, which act as antioxidants, and saponins, which could keep cancer cells from multiplying. Look for bread labeled “100% whole wheat” rather than simply “wheat bread,” which likely contains refined grains. For even more lignans, choose a whole wheat bread sprinkled with flax or sesame seeds.
World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research: “Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective.”
HelpGuide.org: “Cancer Prevention Diet.”
National Cancer Institute: “Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention ” “Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention ” “Questions and Answers About Lycopene ” and “Garlic and Cancer Prevention.”
Cancer.net: “Food and Cancer Prevention.”
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Tomatoes: Potential Weapon Against Prostate Cancer
The red coloring in tomatoes makes a juicy, ripe one hard to resist — and makes them a potential weapon against prostate cancer and heart disease. That red hue comes from a phytochemical called lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, which is most concentrated in tomatoes. Several studies suggest that a lycopene-rich diet is connected to a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
However, researchers aren’t yet sure if the sources and types of lycopene act differently on cells and whether other dietary and lifestyle factors play a role in reducing prostate cancer risk.
In laboratory tests, lycopene has stopped other types of cancer cells from growing, including breast, lung, and endometrial . Researchers speculate that lycopene protects cells from damage that could lead to cancer by boosting the immune system. And they suspect lycopene stops the growth of tumors by interfering with abnormal cell growth, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.
To get the most benefit from lycopene, eat cooked or processed tomatoes, including tomato juice and pizza sauce. Processing makes the cancer-fighting compounds more available to your body because heat breaks down the plant’s cell walls. And including processed tomatoes in dishes with oil such as pizza and pasta with sauce boosts the availability of lycopene. Want more of this compound? Munch on some watermelon, pink grapefruit, or red bell peppers.
Why Prostate Health Matters
An important part of a mans reproductive system, the prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate produces fluid that contains enzymes, minerals and proteins that nourish and transport sperm.
Maintaining prostate health is important for men of all ages, but as you get older and risk increases for complications like incontinence, sexual dysfunction and prostate cancer, its even more essential.
The most common forms of prostate disease are:
Prostatitis. Inflammation and swelling of the prostate. Symptoms include tenderness and pain during urination and/or ejaculation. May be caused by bacterial infection, stress or chronic inflammation.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia . Enlarged prostate gland caused by an overgrowth of cells around the prostate, which is more likely in men age 50 and older.
Prostate cancer. Cancer that occurs in tissues of the prostate gland. Prostate cancer affects about 1 in 8 men in the United States.
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Diet & Exercise Tips For Prostate Health
“What can I eat to reduce my risk of developing prostate cancer?” This is one of the most common questions physicians hear from men concerned about prostate health. Undoubtedly, many hope that their doctor will rattle off a list of foods guaranteed to shield them from disease. Although some foods have been linked with reduced risk of prostate cancer, proof that they really work is lacking, at least for now.
How To Add More Legumes And Soybeans To Your Diet
To add more legumes and soybeans to your diet, consider swapping meat for plant protein in at least some meals. This could mean trying Meatless Mondays or moving toward a plant-based diet.
Try making a black bean burger with lots of veggies. Alternatively, homemade hummus made with blended chickpeas makes a delicious dip for vegetables or whole grain bread.
Finally, tofu is an excellent source of soy. Try flavoring tofu with sauces and baking it or browning it on the stove, or adding it to stir-fries.
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Foods That Help Fight Prostate Cancer
If you are looking for information about the best foods to fight prostate cancer, you’ve come to the right place. This section of HealWithFood.org’s Guide to Preventing Prostate Cancer presents 15 awesome prostate cancer fighting foods that may help reduce your risk of developing this dangerous disease which affects millions of men around the world .
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What you eat can drastically affect many aspects of your health, including your risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The development of cancer, in particular, has been shown to be heavily influenced by your diet.
Many foods contain beneficial compounds that could help decrease the growth of cancer. There are also several studies showing that a higher intake of certain foods could be associated with a lower risk of the disease.
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How To Add More Tomatoes To Your Diet
Incorporating more tomato-based recipes into your diet is simple.
There are many nutritious tomato dishes to try. For example, adding some sun-dried or fresh tomatoes to salads, eating your eggs with sliced tomatoes or salsa, and enjoying tomato-based soups are excellent ways to boost your lycopene intake.
In the summer months, you can buy fresh, local tomatoes to add to sandwiches and chop into salads.
Drinking plain tomato juice each morning is another good option. Just make sure to pick a low sodium variety.
What Are The Other Risk Factors For Prostate Cancer
In addition to some of the factors weve discussed above, there are several other known risk factors for prostate cancer. These include:
- Age. Your risk of prostate cancer increases as you get older. According to the ACS, around
- more common in African American men. More research is needed to determine why.
- Geographic location. Its unknown exactly why, but prostate cancer is more common in regions of the world like North America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Australia.
- Genetic changes. Some inherited genetic changes, such as those in genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2, may boost your risk of prostate cancer. Additionally, men with an inherited condition called Lynch syndrome are also at a higher risk.
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Stay Active To Support Prostate Health
In addition to eating a healthy diet, you should stay active. Regular exercise pares down your risk of developing some deadly problems, including heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. And although relatively few studies have directly assessed the impact of exercise on prostate health, those that have been done have concluded, for the most part, that exercise is beneficial. For example:
Get more information and the latest news about prostate health at www.HarvardProstateKnowledge.org.
Image: jacoblund/Getty Images
Can Any Foods Help With My Prostate Cancer
You may have heard that certain foods might help slow down the growth of prostate cancer or lower the chance of it coming back after treatment, including:
- soya beans and other pulses
- tomatoes and lycopene
- cruciferous vegetables
With all of these foods, there is some evidence to suggest they might be helpful for men with prostate cancer, but other studies havent shown any effect. This means we cant say for sure whether any of these foods can help. Until theres more evidence that any individual food has an effect on prostate cancer, its best to have a balanced diet that contains all of the food groups.
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Foods That Can Help Prevent Prostate Cancer
Baked salmon on the grill with fire
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among men and there will be more than 180,000 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed this year alone, the American Cancer Society estimates.
Its well known that diets high in saturated fats like those found in meat and dairy are associated with a higher risk for prostate cancer.
And although one particular diet has not been shown to prevent prostate cancer, men who follow a vegan diet had a 35 percent lower risk than those who followed a non-vegetarian, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, or semi-vegetarian diet, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
We have enough data to support that eating properly can significantly reduce the risk of prostate cancer, said Dr. Geo Espinosa,anaturopathic and functional medicine doctor in New York City and author of, Thrive, Dont Only Survive.
Here are 10 healthy foods that can help decrease your prostate cancer risk.
1. Broccoli Experts agree eating a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens and kale is one of the best ways to ward off prostate cancer. Cruciferous vegetables are not only low in carbohydrates, which have been linked to cancer, but theyre rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals that may prevent cell changes that can lead to it.
Which Specific Foods Can Help Keep Your Prostate Healthy
There are no specific foods guaranteed to keep your prostate healthy. Having a more plant-forward diet rich in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, bok choy, brussels sprouts and radishes that also incorporates some soy and flax seed is a great start, Dr. Crylen said. You dont have to become a vegetarianjust nudge your diet in the right direction.
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How To Add More Fish To Your Diet
Adding more omega-3s to your diet can be as easy as cracking open a can of sardines or tuna. Not everyone is so enthusiastic about fish, though. Plus, it can also be expensive.
If you havent enjoyed fish in the past, try a different type. Each one has a unique flavor. The flavor is also milder if the fish is fresh, so you may enjoy fish more if you buy it from a fish counter and make it that day.
Cod, flounder, and trout have milder flavors. Try topping your fish with a lemon sauce or adding it to another prostate-friendly food. For example, you could try baked cod in a tomato sauce.
To stretch your dollar, you can also add fish to dishes like pasta, soup, salad, or sandwiches. That way you wont need as much fish to make a complete meal.
You can also ask your healthcare provider about taking omega-3 supplements.
Fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, contain healthful omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds may help keep the prostate healthy, though more studies are needed.
Does Sex Prevent Prostate Cancer
Not that guys need any encouragement to show themselves some loveif you catch our driftbut researchers are looking into the correlation between ejaculation and reducing guys chances of contracting prostate cancer. No, really!
Whether its through masturbation or sex, some research alludes that it may help flush out your system, clearing away harmful chemicals that might build up in semen. That being said, to see any difference, you will be looking at boppin the baloney around 21 times a month. So have fun with it.
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Side Effects And Nutrition
Cancer treatment often causes side effects, such as nausea, mouth sores, and taste changes that may make it difficult to eat or drink. Follow these tips to help you get the nutrition you need:
- If water tastes unpleasant to you, take in more liquid though items such as soup, tea, milk or milk substitutes such as almond milk, or a sports drink. Or, flavor your water by adding fresh cut fruit.
- If food tastes bland, try seasoning it with flavorful spices such as garlic, cayenne, dill, and rosemary.
- Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of trying to eat large amounts of food at one time.
- Enhance your protein intake with protein from foods such as fish, egg whites, cheese, beans, or high protein smoothies.
- Suck on mints, chew on gum, or try fresh citrus fruits if you have a metallic taste in your mouth. Brushing your teeth before eating, using plastic utensils, and cooking in glassware can also help.
- If you have mouth sores or a gum infection, use a blender to make vegetables and meats smooth. Try juicing or making smoothies.Some side effects are often treated with medication, so talk with your doctor or another member of your health care team for more information.