The short answer is yes. There are many lifestyle choices which can contribute to making it more or less likely for a man to develop prostate cancer, or decrease their chances of getting it. Certain lifestyle choices can even affect the severity and symptoms of prostate cancer.
In today’s article, we will look at various studies which have given information on some changes men can make in their lives to improve their chances. Whether you have prostate cancer or are at risk of developing it. There are things you can change in your life now that might make all the difference.
So let’s look into a few factors.
Obesity and higher odds of developing fatal prostate cancer
Unfortunately, many studies have show that obese men are much more likely to develop fatal cases of prostate cancer. Studies have even shown a direct link of higher prostate cancer risk to the widening of waistlines. For instance, any man is 7% more likely of dying to prostate cancer for every 4-inch increase of belly fat. This comes from recent studies.
We highly recommended, if you are an overweight man and you are worried about developing prostate cancer, that you speak to your general medical practitioner. Ask them about how to work towards a healthier weight for you.
The specific study is cited here. It states, that it’s very likely that obesity in men disturbs molecules that increase the risk of fatal prostate cancer. However, this connection is not completely corroborated yet. Since there are many cases in which obese men receive delayed diagnosis for prostate cancer. This could result in their tumors being found later and at more advanced stages.
Research concerning whether weight loss actually decreases the risk of lethal prostate cancer is inconclusive too. However, it is safer to assume that maintaining a healthier weight to one’s BMI can only help. If not at least to prevent such drastic outcomes.
The study looked over data on around 2.5 million men and 19 different published papers. Additionally, there was a recent analysis of 200,000 men. All the measurements tested showed that only a five-point increase in a man’s BMI makes them 10% more likely to die of prostate cancer.
So what can I do?
Well, fortunately, many other studies have shown that men that have made more healthy lifestyle choices throughout their lives are much less likely to contract prostate cancer. In fact, studies have even shown men genetically disposed to developing prostate cancer can counteract a lot of the harm of their genes with a healthy lifestyle.
The same can be true for someone struggling with obesity. It’s never too late to have a go at changing habits and making new lifestyle choices. Studies have even shown that a healthy lifestyle can extend their life expectancy post-prostate cancer diagnosis by a whole three decades.
What defines healthy though? That is a good question. Well in general terms under most of these studies men that make healthier lifestyle choices tend to do similar things. That would include regular exercise, not smoking and eating a healthy and balanced diet. Healthier diets would include reducing the consumption of animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs that are high in processed fats. Instead increasing the intake of plant-based foods: vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans and plant-based proteins like tofu or seitan.
If you can meet these goals, the lifetime risk of dying of prostate cancer could be as low as only 1.6%. Compare that to people who might engage in unhealthy habits which hold a much larger number, 5.3% of dying from prostate cancer. Quite the difference. At the end of the day, our habits are everything.
It’s hard to make a change
With all that said, however, we know changing habits and making new lifestyle choices is no easy task. Habits become deeply ingrained and can go as far back as childhood. So reworking them can be a long and arduous process.
We encourage you to seek support. Not just from your medical practitioner, but also in our community. If you are at risk of developing prostate cancer, have it already or care about someone who is at risk do not hesitate to make use of our resources and reach out. The battle is tough and it’ll go much more smoothly if you don’t go about it alone. Together we are stronger.
If you want to keep up to date with our virtual prostate cancer support group, click on this link.
Check our resources section for further information. Where we can even help you connect with a prostate cancer survivor.
If you have any questions, or just want to talk, call us at our toll-free hotline: 1(833)HEAL-MEN. You are not alone in this journey. We are here to help guide and support you through it, every step of the way.