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5 Ways to Help Prevent Prostate Cancer

Foods to eat, medications to consider, supplements to avoid

Cut back on:

  • Simple carbohydrates. Sugary candy and soda, as well as starchy foods such as white bread and white rice are all high-glycemic carbs, which spark inflammation. One recent study found that men who ate the most sweet, starchy food were 64 percent more likely to develop advanced prostate cancer.
  • Corn oil. It's a top source of omega-6 fatty acids, another trigger for inflammation that may promote prostate cancer, says Freedland.
  • Well-done red meat. Well-done meats are loaded with cancer-causing compounds, says Witte. He recently completed a study showing that men who eat well-done beef (especially hamburgers) several times a week may double their risk for aggressive prostate cancer. The increased risk of prostate cancer, he says, was specifically tied to the time and "doneness" of the red meat — the longer meat is exposed to heat, the more carcinogens form.

2. Supplements: Be wary

If you still take vitamin E for prostate cancer, stop. There's no credible data that it or any other vitamin, mineral or medicinal herb prevents prostate cancer, says Moyad, an authority on supplements and prostate cancer. He's about to launch a study of red yeast rice supplements in high-risk men. Red yeast rice lowers cholesterol, which recent studies suggest may promote prostate tumor growth. Stay tuned.

3. Drugs: benefits and risks?

Some doctors give men at high risk for prostate cancer the drugs Proscar (finasteride) and Avodart (dutasteride), which reduce the threat by an estimated 23 percent. These drugs, known as 5-ARIs (shorthand for their chemical name), are normally prescribed for treating symptoms of an enlarged prostate and are not approved for cancer prevention by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The reason: Studies show that men taking 5-ARIs who do end up getting diagnosed with prostate cancer are more likely to have a highly lethal form of the disease.

Next: How sexual activity can help. >>

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