Lifestyle and prostate cancer

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Two studies released this month shed light on how health and nutrition can affect prostate cancer patients. One study involved the impact of exercise and the other looked at red and processed meat consumption. In "Can Men Reduce the Risk of Prostate Cancer Through Lifestyle Changes?" published in the Journal of Urology, researchers examined 190 men who underwent prostate biopsy at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. In that group, researchers found that men who exercised moderately, such as walking three to six hours a week, were less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Researchers also found that of the men who were diagnosed, those who exercised had a lower risk of high-grade disease. In another study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers at the National Cancer Institute followed more than 175,000 men for nine years and found that men whose diets were high in red meat and processed meat had increased risks for developing prostate cancer at any stage. Further, researchers looked at cooking methods and found that men who ate meats cooked at high temperatures, such as with grilling and barbecuing, were also linked to increased risk for prostate cancer. A similar connection was found between men whose diets were high in nitrates, which are chemicals used to preserve and cure meats, such as bacon and ham. For more on this topic and ways to grill healthier, check out my article "Good Grilling."While additional studies need to be completed on these topics, these studies provide more evidence that changes in lifestyle can influence our risk of certain cancers. And this is a powerful message--that we can make choices and change behaviors that may give us a better chance not get to cancer, and many other diseases, in the future.