Q: How can my husband minimize his risk of prostate cancer?

A:  The prostate is an accessory gland of the male reproductive system and also a muscular switch between urination and ejaculation.

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer for men –except for skin cancer. Out of 100 American men, approximately 13 will get prostate cancer during their lifetime, and two to three will die from it.

The most common risk factor is age: the older a man is, the greater his chance of getting prostate cancer.

The risk increases for men who are African-American, of Scandinavian descent or have a family history of prostate cancer.

While there’s no sure-fire prevention strategy, it’s not surprising that doctors at the Mayo Clinic recommend healthy lifestyle choices to reduce your risk of prostate (and other types of) cancer.

Choose a low fat diet

In some studies, men who chose diets high in fat had a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

Foods that are high in fat include meats, nuts, oils and dairy products.

To decrease fat intake, choose leaner cuts of meat and reduce the amount of fat added to foods when cooking.

This has the added benefit of helping with weight control and heart health.

Eat more fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, nutrients and fiber that are thought to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Eating more portions of fruits and vegetables will also leave less room for the more fatty foods.

Try adding an extra serving to each meal. The more colorful your plate, the better.

Limit dairy products

Reduce your daily consumption of dairy products. Milk, butter, cheese (and yes, ice cream) are high in fat, which can correlate to a higher chance of developing prostate cancer.

Less dairy also means less sugar and salt in your diet, which helps cut calories and promote a healthy weight.

Maintain a healthy weight

Men who are obese (a BMI of 30 or higher) are shown to be at greater risk for prostate cancer. Keeping an eye on the bathroom scale and exercising regularly will help you reduce the likelihood of developing prostate cancer.

See your doctor regularly

Prostate cancer screening recommendations differ depending on whether you’re in a high-risk or average-risk group.

High-risk men should consider getting screened for prostate cancer starting at age 40. Men at normal risk can delay screenings until age 55.

The bottom line? A healthy lifestyle can greatly decrease your risk of developing prostate cancer. Eat right, stay active and see your doctor for early detection


One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to, call 321-751-6771 or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging.

Lisa Conway is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Care Manager for Senior Partner Care Services, Viera.