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Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men (after lung disease). It is also the most heritable cancer, meaning if your father had it, there’s a high chance you’ll have it, too.
But being genetically predisposed to prostate cancer is not a death sentence, nor does it mean that the outcome is out of your control.
If you are at increased genetic risk for prostate cancer, you’ll want to hear about recent research that spells out exactly what you can do to dramatically decrease the odds that you’ll develop lethal prostate cancer.
Lethal prostate cancer CAN be avoided
A new study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital confirms that men who are at genetic risk of developing prostate cancer are not helpless against having the disease turn into a death sentence.
Dr. Anna Plym of Brigham’s Division of Urology led the study, which looked at data from participants in two cohort studies — the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and the Physicians’ Health Study.
Findings showed that men who followed a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle were equally likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
But those who followed a healthy lifestyle had close to a 50 percent reduced risk of developing lethal prostate cancer.
“Having a high genetic risk is often viewed as something very deterministic, but our findings suggest it may not be,” says Dr. Plym.
“Through lifestyle modifications, early screening, and early treatment we may be able to deal with high genetic risks, and this is an important message for men to have.”
Healthy choices slash risk by 45 percent
Dr. Plym and her colleagues examined data from 12,000 participants in the two cohort studies. All were at high genetic risk of prostate cancer.
By following up with these subjects, they obtained detailed information about each person’s lifestyle factors, including diet.
The researchers defined a “healthy” lifestyle as one that included:
- Vigorous physical activity
- No smoking
- A healthy diet rich in tomatoes and fish and low in processed meat
- A healthy weight (body mass index less than 30)
Those men who conformed to this healthy lifestyle had a 45 percent reduction in the risk of lethal prostate cancer, compared with those who did not.
Men with a high genetic risk score who followed a healthy diet had a lifetime risk of around two percent for lethal prostate cancer. According to the study authors, this is a bit lower than the average risk for the average man with no genetic predisposition.
What you can do now to lower your risk
Whether you have a genetic predisposition to prostate cancer or not, remember that this is the second leading cause of death for men in this country. The time is NOW to do what you can to reduce your risk of losing your life to it.
Start with the findings of the study discussed here. I’d recommend ditching processed meat right away. If you haven’t heard, processed meat’s disease links are notorious. If you enjoy sandwiches, roast a chicken and cut slices to keep ready in the fridge.
If you just can’t say no to the occasional hot dog, look for a brand that offers all-natural, uncured beef franks with no chemical nitrites or nitrates added. Once you put chemical nitrates in your body, it turns into N-nitroso compounds, which have been linked to cancer.
But foods that contain natural nitrates, like spinach, beets, celery, parsley, green beans and carrots, also contain antioxidants like vitamin C — which helps prevent the formation of N-nitroso compounds. These nitrates can be beneficial to your health in many ways, including helping the body produce nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that affects blood vessels, blood pressure and blood flow.
Research has discovered that saturated fats feed prostate cancer. So do what you can to stick to healthy fats, like the ones you’ll find in the Mediterranean diet (which is also great for guarding against prostate cancer).
Japan has the lowest prostate cancer rates in the world, and that’s no accident. Take a look at the Japanese diet and lifestyle choices that account for this.
Lastly, here are more diet tips for dodging prostate cancer.
Editor’s note: Discover how to live a cancer prevention lifestyle — using foods, vitamins, minerals and herbs — as well as little-known therapies allowed in other countries but denied to you by American mainstream medicine. Click here to discover Surviving Cancer! A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Causes, Treatments and Big Business Behind Medicine’s Most Frightening Diagnosis!
A Healthy Lifestyle in Men at Increased Genetic Risk for Prostate Cancer — European Urology