Prostate cancer exclusively affects men and if your parent is worried about getting prostate cancer because of family history, there are several steps he can take to live more a healthier lifestyle that will not only reduce his risk of developing prostate cancer but will reduce his risk for many cancers.
Eat more healthy foods.
A diet that is low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables might help prevent your parent from developing prostate cancer. Men who eat a lot of high-fat foods such as meats, dairy, nuts, and oil seem to have a slightly higher chance of developing prostate cancer. It doesn’t mean your parent has to eliminate all of the fat in his diet, but he’ll want to review the sources of the fat and choose healthier options. For example, the next time your elder care provider brings your parent grocery shopping (or the next time he places an order online or goes by himself), have him choose leaner types of meat as just one minor adjustment. He can substitute chicken for beef or buy turkey bacon instead of regular bacon.
He should also increase the number of fruits and vegetables he not only eats with his meals but also plans on consuming them for snacks when he’s hungry. Having a bowl full of cleaned fruit on the kitchen table can be a great way to encourage him to grab an apple or banana when he’s hungry instead of a cookie or donut. Your elder care provider can also help by cleaning and cutting up fresh vegetables to keep in the fridge with some hummus or low-fat dip for your parent to enjoy when he feels those hunger pangs between meals.
Some studies have shown that reducing the amount of dairy in the diet may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. While you don’t need to have your parent eliminate it completely, if his regular diet is high in dairy products, you might want to consider removing some from his diet.
Exercise more regularly.
A regular exercise routine is important to overall health by increasing the body’s strength and keeping a person’s weight under control. If your parent doesn’t exercise regularly at this time, talk to his physician about the best way to get him started with an exercise program. The general goal is 30 minutes a day, but your parent can start small with a little walk up and down the block or through the hallways of his apartment complex. If he needs assistance, your elder care provider can walk alongside him, providing encouragement as well as needed support. Finding an exercise routine that your parent enjoys and looks forward to will help him to stay focused on staying active even when you’re not there to help him stay motivated.
Talk to his doctor.
If there is a strong concern about prostate cancer due to family risk or other high-risk indicators (such as your parent’s ethnicity or age), his doctor might have other options to reduce his risk of developing prostate cancer such as medications or a more intense lifestyle changes as well as preventative check-ups.