Prevention FAQ

Mpower Prostate Cancer Registry

Prevention FAQ

The information provided here is general in nature and should not be construed to be medical advice for specific health conditions or a substitute for professional medical care. If you have, or suspect you may have, a health problem, you should consult a licensed health care provider.

Jonathan Wright, MD

Dr. Jonathan Wright specializes in urologic oncology, treating bladder, prostate, kidney, penile and testicular cancers.

What are the best things I can do to reduce my risk of prostate cancer?

The best way to reduce your risk of prostate cancer is to maintain an active lifestyle, healthy weight, and well balanced diet.  There are data showing that 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (finasteride, dutasteride) use is associated with an approximately 25% reduction in the risk of prostate cancer compared to placebo. These medications also improve urinary symptoms in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and are a treatment for male pattern baldness. However, it was also observed that in those who develop prostate cancer, there was more high grade prostate cancer. This is in addition to potential side effects of these medications (erectile dysfunction and gynecomastia). As a result, these medications are not approved by the FDA for prostate cancer prevention owing to concern about these risks. Talk to your doctor about whether these medications are right for you.

How much exercise should I aim to get every day?

The exact type and amount of exercise to do is unknown. A good rule of thumb is 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week of vigorous physical activity. This can include running, walking briskly up a hill, fast cycling, aerobics, competitive sports and games. Data from studies have found than men doing this level of weekly activity had a significantly reduced risk of advanced or aggressive prostate cancer.

Are there any supplements I should take?

At present, there are no recommended supplements for prostate cancer progression. Studies of Vitamin E, selenium, vitamin C and beta-carotene have not demonstrated a risk reduction for prostate cancer. Cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli and brussel sprouts) have been associated with a reduction of prostate cancer risk. These associations have not been proven.

Are there any foods I should avoid?

Eating a well-balanced healthy diet with all food groups represented is important. Many of the items that are “heart healthy” are also “prostate healthy”. There are some data that eating too much red meat, especially overcooked red meat, may increase your risk of prostate cancer. Further, there are also suggestions that fried food may increase the risk of cancer. These are not proven associations.

Are there any behaviors I should avoid?

Avoid tobacco. Maintain a healthy weight. Limit alcohol. Obesity has been associated with aggressive and fatal prostate cancer.