Carolinas HealthCare System

There are some prostate cancer risk factors you have little control over, such as increasing age, a family history of prostate cancer and race (African-Americans are more likely to develop prostate cancer). However, avoiding other risk factors you do have control over, as well as increasing healthy lifestyle habits, could provide protective benefits and decrease your odds of developing prostate cancer.

Based on research, risk factors you may want to avoid include:

  • Taking vitamin E supplements
  • Taking folic acid supplements
  • A diet high in dairy and calcium

To lower your risk of prostate cancer, try:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Getting enough folate, a naturally occurring type of vitamin B found in such foods as green vegetables, beans and orange juice
  • Talking with your healthcare provider about the potential benefits of the medications finasteride and dutasteride that are often used to treat age-related enlargement of the prostate. There are risks of side effects with these drugs that need to be discussed as well.

Screenings for prostate cancer remain controversial, with some guidelines not recommending them at all, while others recommend men at high risk or advancing age get screened. Speak with your provider about the pros and cons of getting screened.