There are a number of lifestyle factors that impact your prostate health, risk of prostate cancer, and other cancers. Even your place of employment can have an impact including stress levels, sleep patterns, and exposure to environmental pollutants and pesticides.
Although nutrition plays a role in the development of prostate cancer, no specific diet can prevent or eradicate this disease. Prostate cancer, like other cancers, is an extremely complex process. Though many risk factors for prostate cancer lie outside of our control, such as increasing age, race, and family history, there is strong and consistent evidence that staying at a healthy weight lowers risk for advanced and aggressive prostate cancer.
While you are in treatment for prostate cancer you may have to make changes to deal with the side effects of treatment. Treatment options for prostate cancer are more effective than ever before. Yet, for many men, the diagnosis and treatment of cancer brings to their attention the need to change their diet and exercise behaviors. While the primary focus of the prostate cancer survivor is to live a life free of cancer, more men are beginning to realize that a healthy diet and regular exercise can be an important step toward preventing other diseases that commonly occur with aging, including heart disease and diabetes. Exciting new data suggest that this same approach may also slow prostate cancer growth.
Tips for Healthy Living
Eat a healthy, plant based diet and limit animal products. Learn more on healthy diets here.
Be physically active. Learn more about exercise here.
Seek to maintain a healthy weight.
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. The American Cancer Society recommends limiting alcoholic beverages to 2 or less per day for men.
If you use tobacco, stop; if you do not use tobacco, do not start.
Protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Get enough good sleep. Good sleep consists of getting 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
Have regular physical exams and talk with your doctor about your risk for prostate and other cancers.
Smoking and Prostate Cancer
Studies show that younger men (under 55) who smoke have a greater chance of prostate cancer spread throughout the body. If you smoke now, consider stopping to improve your overall health. Try to avoid secondhand smoke whenever possible. Several recent studies link smoking with prostate cancer relapse. Click the links below to learn more:
- Prostate Cancer Risks Increased in Past and Current Smokers, Study Reveals in HNGN
- Smoking May Be Linked to Prostate Cancer’s Return in U.S. News and World Report
Continue Follow-Up Care and Appointments
Your doctor and other healthcare professionals can recommend and schedule follow-up care appointments to look for signs of recurrence and/or manage long-term side effects, answer questions about medications, and refer you to other specialists and support resources. Also, ask your doctor or another member of your healthcare team to help you fill out a cancer treatment plan and summary, a form that keeps track of information about your cancer and cancer treatment. You may also want to ask about getting a survivorship care plan to outline your follow-up care. Learn more about survivorship care plans.