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Prostate Cancer Prevention

Because the causes of prostate cancer are not fully understood, it is impossible to prevent prostate cancer with 100 percent certainty. Studies have found several promising possibilities, though, that can help lower the risk of prostate cancer.

Diet and Exercise

Men who eat a diet that is low in red meat and high-fat dairy products and rich in fruits and vegetables have been found less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. In addition, men who exercise most days of the week have been found less likely to be diagnosed, compared with those who get little to no exercise. There have also been a number of studies on the possibility of vitamins, minerals, and other food components to prevent prostate cancer. The items on the list below have shown at least some promising results in studies, but none are yet considered preventers of prostate cancer:

  • lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, watermelon, and pink grapefruit
  • vitamin E, which is found in highest quantities in nuts, oils, and green leafy vegetables
  • selenium, a mineral found in highest quantities in nuts, grains, fish, and eggs
  • soy isoflavones, chemicals found in soybean products, such as tofu, soy milk, and edamame


A class of drugs called 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors commonly used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate) have also been found to prevent or delay the onset of prostate cancer, especially in men older than 55. Some doctors recommend the use of these drugs by men with high risk of prostate cancer. Two 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors are available:

  • dutasteride (Avodart)
  • finasteride (Propecia, Proscar)

Content licensed from:

Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Medically reviewed : Jennifer Monti, MD, MPH

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your health care provider. Please consult a health care professional with any health concerns you may have.
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