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A risk factor is something that increases your chances of developing cancer. Some risk factors such as age or family history cannot be changed. Fortunately, there are also risk factors which can be modified. Lifestyle changes may help lower your risk of prostate cancer:

  • Eating a healthful diet—A diet high in red meat and dairy fat may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Develop a diet that has plenty of fruits and vegetables. Choose whole grains and lean proteins (like chicken or fish). Switch from high-fat dairy to low- or non-fat varieties. Make changes slowly so you do not get discouraged. Eating a well-balanced diet will also help you maintain a healthy weight and body mass index (BMI).
  • Getting regular exercise— Strive to maintain an exercise program that keeps you fit and at a healthy weight. This may include walking or participating in another aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week. Choose exercises you enjoy and make them a regular part of your day. Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
  • Medications—There are some medications associated with reduced risk, including daily aspirin or 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. Your doctor will weigh benefits and risk if you need these medications.
  • Vitamins and supplements—Vitamin E, lycopene, and selenium have been associated with reduced risk, but evidence to support it is inconsistent. Consider changing foods you eat to include these vitamins and minerals in order to get adequate amounts.

Medications, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies have side effects that may do more harm than good. Talk to your doctor about your options before starting any of these.


Can prostate cancer be prevented? American Cancer Society website. Available at: Updated March 11, 2016. Accessed April 13, 2017.

Prevention of prostate cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated June 13, 2016. Accessed April 13, 2017.

Last reviewed September 2016 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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