One of the most common pieces of advice pertaining to the prevention of serious disease which doctors have extend to patients for time immemorial, is maintaining a proper diet, and taking part in routine exercise. This goes for heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and cancer, the three biggest killers the world over. Now, a new study out of the University of California-San Francisco reinforces this, though this time when considering potentially lethal prostate cancer.
This was actually an analysis of two other, large studies: the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Physicians’ Health Study. UCSF researchers assigned a point system, adding one point to each healthful habit that lessened the chance of developing such cancer. One point was given for those who quit smoking or were nonsmokers within the last decade. If BMI was lower than 30, if they took part in vigorous exercise, had a high intake of tomatoes, ate fatty fish often, and a low intake of processed meat, their scores increased significantly.
Two metrics were calculated. The first was a diet only score which ran from zero to three. The second was a total score which went from zero to six. The data of 42,701 men from the Health Professional Study, and 20,324 men from the Physicians’ Health Study were utilized. 913 cases of deadly prostate cancer were identified from both. In the first study, those men who had a score of either five or six had a 68% decreased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer, compared with those who had a minimal score.
With the second study, men who had a five or six had a 32% decreased risk of life-threatening prostate cancer, compared to those with a minimal score. When mere dietary factors were evaluated, those who had a score of three in the first study had a 46% decreased risk of such cancer, compared to those with a lower score. And in the second study, those with a three had a 30% decreased risk than those whose score was far lower. From this, researchers believe that 47% of overall cases could be prevented with mere diet and exercise. Even so, all men need to remain vigilant. Those age 50 and older should talk to a doctor about periodic screening. Those at risk should do so starting at age 45.