Sunday, August 21, 2011

How-to reduce your risk of prostate cancer.

As a man approaching 45, I can't help to wonder about cancer and ways to possibly lessen my chances of being a statistic one day.

While reading a booklet a few days ago, I stumbled across some helpful tips for possibly reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer and wanted to share them.

Prostate cancer is cancer that starts in the prostate gland. The prostate is a small, walnut-sized structure that makes up part of a man's reproductive system. It wraps around the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. More than 198,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed annually.

Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer in men of all ages and is the most common cause of death from cancer in men over age 75. Prostate cancer is rarely found in men younger than 40.

Some ways to reduce your risk are as follows:

  • Limit the amount of animal fat in your diet.
  • Eat one or more servings daily of tomatoes or tomato-based foods, such as tomato juice and spaghetti sauce. Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which may protect the prostate from cancer. Other food sources contain lycopene, but tomatoes are the best source.
  • Talk to your doctor about screening tests, especially if you are at high-risk -- African-Americans and men with a close relative who had prostate cancer at a young age.

Men who eat fewer than five servings a day of meat, milk, cheese, etc. have a lower risk of prostate cancer. A great deal of scientific research has been conducted to identify the properties of animal fat responsible for the increase in prostate cancer risk. One explanation is that animal fat might affect different hormone levels and increase the risk of cancer.

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