First, the bad news: There currently is no cure for prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 234,460 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, and approximately 10% will die of the disease. About 80 percent of men who reach age 80 have prostate cancer.
Now the good news: While statistically, one man in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, only one in 34 will die of this disease. Nearly 100% of men with prostate cancer survive at least five years after their diagnosis, 93% survive at least 10 years, and 67% survive longer than 15 years. So, the current quest for a prevention of prostate cancer goes hand in hand with how best to live with the disease if it develops. The evidence is overwhelming that diet and exercise play a significant role.
The American Cancer Society suggests a diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits and low in animal fats. Foods rich in Lycopenes, such as tomatoes, spinach, beans and berries are also shown to have preventative properties.
Exercise: “Prostate cancer patients are not routinely advised to exercise. Walking is one tool that prostate cancer patients can use to improve their health and minimize the side effects of cancer and cancer treatments,” said Paula Chiplis, PhD., RN, the lead author of the study and a clinical instructor and senior research assistant at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. “Walking has no harmful side effects, if done moderately, but it can dramatically improve life for men suffering from side effects from some prostate cancer treatments.”
Walking can also dramatically impact your odds of beating the disease. Research from Dr. Alan Kristal at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that obesity more than doubles the risk of dying from prostate cancer. Their research focused on 752 men aged 40-64 recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. During the study, men who had been obese one year before prostate cancer diagnosis were 2.6 times more likely than men with a normal BMI to die of prostate cancer.
"I think this study represents the first good piece of evidence that losing weight may in fact reduce the risk of dying of prostate cancer," Kristal says.
Walking a minimum of 10,000 steps a day (achievable in 2.5-3 hours on a TrekDesk treadmill desk) has already been a proven deterrent to our nation's top three diseases: heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many forms of cancer.