Can What I Eat and Drink Affect Prostate Cancer?

September 01,2022 |
Man pouring himself a drink in his kitchen.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer amongst aging men across the world. Thankfully, yearly screenings can help catch it early, which drastically increases the overall rate of survival. If you’ve recently received a prostate cancer diagnosis, it’s important to be proactive about your health. Doing so can help reduce the rate of growth and improve the effects of treatment. In addition to the treatment prescribed by your doctor, maintaining a healthy diet is essential to improving the vitality of your cells. To help, consider the following information on how what you eat and drink can affect prostate cancer. 


What to Know about Prostate Cancer

The prostate is a small gland that sits below the bladder in men. As you age, it continues to grow. In some men, this can result in benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as enlarged prostate. However, benign prostatic hyperplasia is not connected to the development of prostate cancer. It can create other symptoms that may be bothersome, but it is not a direct indication that you will get prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

While BPH isn’t linked with prostate cancer, your risk of developing it does also increase as you age. Prostate cancer is most common among men over the age of 50, which is why it’s important to start regularly seeing your urologist after 40. African American ethnicities are also at a greater risk of developing prostate cancer, although the reasoning behind this remains unknown. Obesity is another risk factor along with a family history of prostate cancer.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

By seeing your urologist for a yearly digital rectal exam, you’ll improve the likelihood of catching early stages of prostate cancer. However, there are some symptoms that warrant a trip to your doctor’s office outside of your yearly appointments. Some of the symptoms of prostate cancer include the following:

  • Decreased force of stream of urine
  • Blood in the semen
  • Hematuria
  • Bone pain
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Unintentional or unexplained weight loss
  • Erectile dysfunction


Treatment and Prognosis

Many symptoms of prostate cancer are similar to other urologic conditions, so try to remain calm until you see your doctor. If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, beginning treatment quickly can help you increase your chances of remission and a positive prognosis. Many types of prostate cancers are slow growing and respond well to treatment, but it’s important to start early for the best outcomes.

Treatment may involve surveillance, surgery, radiation therapy, cryotherapy, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of various options. Your doctor will create a personalized treatment plan with you that’s specific to your type of prostate cancer, stage, and aggressiveness.

How Does Diet Affect Prostate Cancer?

What you eat can have a direct effect on your prostate health, so it’s important to be mindful of your diet. In fact, some experts believe that differences in diets are one of the main reasons for variability of prostate cancer in different parts of the world. Maintaining good nutrition can help reduce your risk of developing prostate problems, and it can also help with your prognosis if you’re diagnosed.

Foods to Avoid

Before going into the guidelines for a healthy diet, consider some of the foods that have a negative impact on your overall health. These also contribute to a higher rate of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses, so it’s in good habit to reduce your consumption of them anyway. Some foods to avoid for prostate health include:

  • Simple sugars
  • White flour
  • Red meat
  • Milk and dairy
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Mayonnaise
  • Baked goods
  • Hydrogenated fats
  • Saturated fats
  • Fried foods
  • Processed foods
  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated soda
  • Sugary drinks


Guidelines for a Healthy Diet

There’s a negative connotation associated with the word “diet” in today’s society. However, diet merely means what you eat on a daily basis. It doesn’t mean that you need to restrict calories or completely eliminate your favorite foods. Doing so is unrealistic and can set you up for failure. Instead, the best way to focus on your health is to approach your diet as a healthy lifestyle change. By eating good food, a majority of the time, you can reap the benefits while still enjoying your favorite dishes. Some of the most important guidelines for a healthy diet include the following serving sizes per day or week:

Five to 10 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables

Whole, nutritious fruits and vegetables are filled with plenty of vitamins and minerals that help your body function its best. Many of them also contain phytochemicals, which can help fight cancerous cells. The more vegetables you include in your diet, the lower your risk of developing prostate cancer. In fact, it was found that men who ate at least 28 servings of vegetables per week had a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer than those who consumed half as many (14 servings per week). Similarly, men who ate three or more servings of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, had a 41% decreased risk of prostate cancer than those who omitted them from their diet. Almost all vegetables can provide you with benefits. Some great fruits to include in your diet are pomegranates, grapes, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits, apples, and berries.

25 to 35g of Fiber

Fiber is also an important part of a healthy diet. It helps regulate your digestive system and improves mineral absorption of your food. Many fruits and vegetables are naturally high in fiber, so by eating enough serving sizes, you can achieve most of the daily recommended value. This can help with prostate cancer, as fiber has been shown to bind to toxic particles and carcinogens within your digestive system. These are then eliminated through your body as waste products. Fiber can also improve hormone balance and regulation and even help slow or reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells. Aside from fruits and vegetables, you can add sprouted bread with high fiber and other whole grains to your diet.

20% of Caloric Intake from Healthy Fats

Fats are usually given a bad rep, but the type of fat that you consume makes a world of difference. While a low-fat diet, as a whole, can help improve prostate health, you shouldn’t eliminate them completely. By reducing fat to only 20% of your caloric intake per day, you can help stabilize testosterone levels that may otherwise contribute to expedited prostate cancer growth. Instead of using high-fat dressings or sauces, opt for vinegar, salsa, and lemon juice to garnish dishes or salads.

Omega-6 fatty acids may lead to a more rapid growth and proliferation of prostate cancer cells. Instead, opt for omega-3 fatty acids, which may help induce cellular death in cancer cells. You can find healthy sources of omega-3 in salmon, trout, sardines, and even flaxseeds.

Nuts are not bad, but they also don’t provide direct prostate cancer-fighting benefits. Instead, they’re considered a neutral ground. If you enjoy eating them as a snack, just make sure you eat a smaller portion size as they’re high in fat content.

Stay Hydrated with Water

Overall hydration is an important part of cellular health. However, what you drink makes a difference. For the best impact on prostate cancer cells, drink primarily water throughout the day. This can help facilitate nutrient transfer, lubricate joints, enhance beneficial chemical reactions, and maintain a healthy blood volume. You should be drinking enough water so that your urine output is a translucent yellow color. You can also have a moderate amount of green tea in the mornings, which contains healthy antioxidants that can help slow prostate cancer growth and reduce the risk of metastasis.

One of the best ways to support your urologic system and prostate gland, in addition to eating a healthy, balanced diet, is to get plenty of exercise and try to lead a healthy lifestyle. Since many of the most common urologic conditions are directly related to age, activity level, diet, and other controllable risk factors, there are plenty of ways to stay proactive about your health and reduce your risk of prostate cancer or other conditions. Seeing your urologist regularly will help you address any issues and undergo the proper treatment early and as needed. To help support a healthy urologic system, Byram Healthcare offers a wide range of urologic products to alleviate symptoms and take control of your life. Browse our product catalog today and enjoy fast, discreet delivery directly to your doorstep.

Byram Healthcare is a member of the National Association for Continence’s Trusted Partners Program, whose mission is to provide quality continence care through education, collaboration and advocacy. We continue to build partnerships in the clinical community to ensure we focus on what’s best for the patient.