More than 233,000 men nationwide and as many as 2,500 men in Kentucky are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. It’s the most common cancer in men (after skin cancer). The exact cause of prostate cancer is not known. So preventing the disease is difficult. However, there are things you can do to lower your risk of prostate cancer.
- Discuss screenings with your doctor. Most prostate cancers are first found during a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and or a digital rectal exam (DRE). Talk to your doctor (starting at age 50) about the pros and cons of these screenings. Decide if screening is the right choice for you. If you’re African-American or have a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65, talk with your doctor (starting at age 45). If your risks are higher, men with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age, talk with your doctor even earlier (starting at age 40).
- Eat at least 2 ½ cups fruits and vegetables daily. Fruits and vegetables are filled with vitamins and nutrients that can reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Add a serving of fruit or vegetables at each meal.
- Exercise regularly. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate or 15 minutes of vigorous exercise five or more days a week. Moderate exercise includes such activities as walking, biking on level ground or mowing your lawn. Vigorous exercise includes such activities as running, swimming or riding your bike fast or on hills. Limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down or watching TV.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being obese can increase your risk of prostate cancer. If you’re overweight or obese, work to lose weight. Decrease the number of calories you consume each day and increase the amount of exercise you do.
- Watch for symptoms. Many patients with prostate cancer often have no symptoms at all. Those who do have symptoms may experience a weak flow of urine; difficulty urinating; frequent urination (especially at night); pain or burning during urination; blood in your urine; or pain that does not go away in your lower back, pelvis or upper thighs. See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.