There is no single best way to prevent prostate cancer, but several natural methods can help. These include maintaining a healthful weight, exercising, and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.
After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the type most common among American men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For the majority, prostate cancer is not fatal.
The American Cancer Society estimate that males with prostate cancer have a 5-year survival rate of 99 percent.
Prostate cancer can still carry serious consequences for quality of life and may be life-threatening.
In this article, we describe several natural steps a person can take to reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer.
Can you prevent prostate cancer?
It is not possible to prevent prostate cancer, but it is possible to reduce a person’s risk.
Most natural methods of reducing this risk are safe if a person follows a doctor’s instructions and has no allergic response.
Incorporate these methods into a broader care plan, and speak with a doctor beforehand.
The best ways to reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer are to make positive changes involving diet and exercise, according to the American Cancer Society.
If a person tries to reduce their risk in other ways, these are less likely to be effective without a healthful diet and exercise program.
Natural ways to lower risk
Researchers continue to investigate the potential for medications and natural remedies to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
The following drugs may be effective:
- finasteride (Proscar)
- dutasteride (Avodart)
However, no study to date definitively demonstrates that any drugs can eliminate the risk.
In recent years, rigorous biomedical research has tested the effectiveness of natural remedies. For example, results of laboratory studies have suggested that saw palmetto has beneficial properties. However, it is not an effective treatment for prostate cancer.
Below are some natural remedies that are commonly used to lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Isoflavones are a chemical compound with anti-inflammatory properties. The foods with the highest concentrations of isoflavones are soybean products, including:
Other foods that contain isoflavones include:
A 2016 study concluded that isoflavones could benefit health in several ways, including helping to protect against prostate cancer.
The medical community currently holds that, while isoflavones cannot treat or prevent the disease, they can play a protective role.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are present in fish and other types of seafood. Additional sources include:
- flax seeds
There is some evidence that omega-3s fatty acids may reduce prostate cancer risk.
However, many experts no longer believe that the acids have significant cancer-fighting properties.
Processed tomatoes, including all cooked and canned varieties, contain a compound called lycopene.
Some studies suggest that this compound may reduce the risk of cancers, especially those of the prostate, lung, and stomach.
A review from 2016 found that increased tomato consumption resulted in a reduced risk of prostate cancer, though the authors note that more research is needed.
Grapefruit, watermelon, and apricots also contain lycopene.
In 2016, researchers published a review of 105 studies that considered the effects of coffee on cancer risk.
They concluded that coffee and its antioxidant capabilities may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer and some other types of the disease.