Living with Prostate Cancer
Article date: January 31, 2013
More men in the US are diagnosed with prostate cancer than any other cancer type except for skin cancer. About 2.8 million men in the United States are estimated to be living with the disease. It can be a serious disease, but most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it. More than 90% of men have their prostate cancer found early, when it’s easiest to treat. At 10 years after diagnosis, their survival rate is very close to that of other men the same age.
Increasingly, studies show that staying at a healthy weight, eating well, and maintaining an active lifestyle after a prostate cancer diagnosis might lower the risk of dying from prostate cancer. Healthy habits, such as not smoking, might also improve survival. Benefits may also include a lowered risk of heart disease.
If you’re living with prostate cancer, you may be able to live longer and healthier by making some changes to your eating and exercise routine.
Lifestyle changes can be helpful
The American Cancer Society recently updated its recommendations for cancer survivors, some of which can be helpful for men with prostate cancer:
Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid weight gain during prostate cancer treatment, whether you are at a healthy weight or overweight.
- Weight loss after recovery from treatment may benefit survivors who are overweight or obese.
- Research has linked obesity to a greater risk of death from prostate cancer.
Be physically active.
- Studies show that exercise is generally safe during cancer treatment and can improve many aspects of health, including muscle strength, balance, fatigue, cardiovascular fitness, and depression.
- Physical activity after a prostate cancer diagnosis is linked to living longer. In a recent study, men with localized prostate cancer who got at least 3 hours of vigorous activity per week were about 60% less likely to die from the disease.
- Talk to your doctor first to make sure you’re healthy enough to begin an exercise routine, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while. Then, start slowly and work your way up.
Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- The most health benefits are associated with a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, and fish; low in refined grains, red meat (beef, pork, and lamb), and processed meat (such as hot dogs, sausage, and bacon); and low in high-fat dairy products.
- A diet high in saturated fat, including red meat (beef, pork, and lamb) and high-fat dairy products, has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Check with your doctor before taking any supplements.
- Studies thus far have not shown that taking vitamins, herbs, and other nutritional supplements helps cancer patients live longer. In fact, it may even shorten life.
- A follow-up study from a clinical trial that included 35,000 men found that those who took vitamin E supplements were actually slightly more likely to develop prostate cancer. The study didn’t look at men who had prostate cancer already, but the findings aren’t encouraging.
Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff
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