According the American Cancer Society, one man in seven will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime. In 2011, the cancer incidence rate in the United States was reported to be 128.3 men per 100,000, while the rate in Nevada was 126.6 per 100,000. Because 60 percent of cases are diagnosed in men who are 65-years-of-age or older, younger men have the luxury of time to lower their risk of developing the disease in the first place. So how do you go about it?
The Nevada State Health Division hit the nail on the head when they identified obesity, physical inactivity and poor diet as the primary risk factors for all types of cancer, including prostate cancer. Therefore, increasing activity, eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight are the order of the day. Every day.
This advice isn’t exactly breaking news, but the tangible benefits from doing so tend to get overlooked. The Nevada Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Section of the Nevada State Health Division is working to get the word out that chronic diseases like cancer are often preventable. Sierra Nevada Cancer Center is doing its part to reinforce the message and reduce the occurrence of cancer.
So let’s take a look at how Nevada’s men can turn the idea of being healthier into a lifestyle.
Lowering Your Risk Is Just A Walk In The Park
It’s springtime in Nevada, which means beautiful weather and a great excuse to head outside. Just by walking, you can decrease your risk of prostate cancer, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reported on by the Harvard School of Public Health. The study reported that men who walked at a fast pace for 90 minutes or more per week reduced their risk of death from any cause by 46 percent. Men who took their game up a notch (jogging, biking, swimming, tennis) for at least three hours a week lowered their risk of death from prostate cancer by a whopping 61 percent.
According to Dr. Perez, MD, PhD, MRCP, MRCPath founder of Sierra Nevada Cancer Center in Carson City, Nevada, physical activity is one of the simplest ways to lower your cancer risk. “There are prostate cancer risk factors we cannot affect as individuals,” warns Perez. “Family history, age, genetics – but we can manage our weight and physical activity.”
Adding physical activity to your life will address two of the biggest risk factors: inactivity and obesity, so it’s really two benefits for the price of one lifestyle change.
Have A Healthy Appetite
Eating a balanced diet is another piece of the risk-lowering puzzle. What you put into your body is naturally going to affect your insides, and your prostate gland is no exception.
According to WebMD, two diets in particular are associated with a lower incidence of prostate cancer: The traditional Japanese diet, which includes vegetables, soy, fish and green tea; and the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fish, olive oil, fruits and vegetables, and garlic. Neither of these diets is high in red meat.
Dr. Perez explains you don’t need to overhaul your entire eating regimen to bring cancer fighting benefits into your diet. “It’s really about making health-conscious choices,” Perez explains. “Choose vegetables more often. Choose fish instead of red meat more often. You don’t have to give up everything you love.”
With spring’s arrival, ‘tis the season for an abundance of fresh produce and other health-conscious foods. Work a weekly trip to the farmer’s market near you, keep healthy foods stocked, and watch how much easier it’ll be to make smart choices.
An Ounce Of Prevention, Give Or Take
It’s clear that the rate of prostate cancer, and almost all cancers for that matter, can be greatly reduced simply by choosing to live healthier. Diet and exercise should no longer be considered something for ‘some day’. They are the key to reducing your risk of prostate cancer—and today’s the perfect day to start.
While prevention is key in the fight against cancer, early detection also plays an important role. If you’re in the high-risk category for prostate cancer or haven’t been screened in more than a year, schedule a visit with your primary care physician. To learn more about risk factors and prevention, our prostate cancer section is a wealth of information. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, Dr. Perez can give you the exceptional care you need and the expertise only a specialist with his elite training can provide.