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How Can Prostate Cancer Be Prevented?

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Unfortunately, not all cases of prostate cancer are preventable, but there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of prostate cancer. Like many cancers, prostate cancer risk reduction strategies include maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall — including eating a balanced diet and not smoking — and getting regular prostate cancer screenings. Here, board-certified urologists Drs. Ahmad and Ali Kasraeian of Kasraeian Urology in Jacksonville, FL provide a useful summary of prostate cancer risk reduction tips, screening recommendations, and other important information about prostate cancer that may be helpful for you.

Can prostate cancer be prevented?

For some men, including those with a strong family history of prostate cancer, it may be impossible to prevent the disease from developing. Rather than prevention, we often use the terms risk stratification — meaning to know your risk factors — and risk reduction, along with early detection. By knowing if you are at higher-than-average risk of developing prostate cancer and why, you can potentially lower your risk of developing the disease by addressing those risk factors. For risk factors like a genetic predisposition to developing prostate cancer, early PSA screening, more frequent screening, more sensitive tests, and other screening and diagnostic tools can help to identify prostate cancer in its earlier stages when treatment is typically less invasive and more successful.

What are the risk factors for prostate cancer?

When it comes to certain cancers, there is often a "smoking gun" that is known to be closely tied to the disease. For example, tobacco use is strongly correlated with many cases of lung cancer. However, prostate cancer does not necessarily have as obvious of a known cause — with a few exceptions, like having multiple first-generation relatives with prostate cancer. Some of the things that can increase a man's likelihood of developing prostate cancer include:

  • Age
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Family history of prostate cancer and certain other cancers
  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

How can I lower my risk of prostate cancer?

If any of the prostate cancer risk factors above apply to you, be sure to use these tips to reduce your risk of prostate cancer:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Reduce red meat and animal fats in your diet
  • Quit smoking
  • Lower alcohol intake
  • Exercise regularly
  • Lose weight if recommended by your physician

Generally speaking, we often say that what's good for heart health is also good for prostate health and risk reduction.

Does a PSA show if you're at risk for prostate cancer?

The PSA blood test is one of the most important tools in prostate cancer screening, though it is not diagnostic on its own. Normal PSA levels can vary somewhat from person to person based on age and other factors, and the PSA can fluctuate — even spike in some cases — in the same man at different points throughout the month or year. However, having an elevated PSA or a PSA that is trending upward may be a sign that you could have prostate cancer and will typically result in a repeat PSA, more frequent monitoring, imaging studies, biomarkers, the ExoDx urine test, or even a biopsy. Dr. Kasraeian will closely monitor your PSA throughout your course of care and discuss any abnormal PSA findings with you should they occur.

When should I start getting a PSA test?

Screening guidelines vary between institutions and can also differ based on personal patient factors, like race and family history. Following a thorough consultation and review of your personal and family history, Dr. Kasraeian will recommend what age to start having your PSA checked. In general, men who are at "average risk" should begin annual PSA screenings at age 45, while men with an elevated risk of prostate cancer based on lifestyle, race, family history, or other factors should begin screening at age 40.

Take charge of your health with prostate cancer prevention in Jacksonville, FL

When detected early, prostate cancer is highly treatable, though most men who are in the age group for prostate screening do not adhere to an annual PSA schedule. If you are interested in learning more about your risk for prostate cancer, or if you already know you are likely to develop prostate cancer and want to discuss risk reduction and screening recommendations, don't hesitate to call Kasraeian Urology to schedule a consultation with either of our Jacksonville, FL board-certified urologists Drs. Ali and Ahmad Kasraeian, today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.