Prostate problems may be preventable: a number of preventive measures are being investigated through clinical trials. New medication, vitamin supplements, and even the food we eat may help reduce the risk of cancer and other prostate problems.
Dietary Suggestions, Lycopene and Antioxidants
Prostate cancer has been linked to both obesity and consumption of fatty foods. Eating a diet high in fruits, grains and vegetables can help maintain healthy weight levels and control fatty food intake. Of course, losing weight is easier said than done.
Lycopene is an antioxidant that prevents damage to the body’s DNA. Eating foods high in lycopene antioxidants may help prevent cancer. Tomatoes, watermelons and grapefruits are good sources of lycopene. Limiting alcohol, and caffeine is also recommended.
Maintaining Urinary Health
If you suffer from BPH or prostatitis, pay attention to your bladder. Don’t let your bladder get too full or wait to urinate: this increases the chances of urine remaining in the bladder and causing infections. Urination can be slow and difficult with prostate problems, but try to empty your bladder as thoroughly as possible when you urinate.
The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT)
In 2001, the selenium and vitamin E cancer prevention trial (SELECT) began to investigate the prostate-protecting properties of selenium and vitamin E. Previous clinical trials suggest that selenium may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by sixty percent, and vitamin E by as much as thirty percent. (Vitamin A supplements, on the other hand, raise the risk.)
SELECT is the largest prostate cancer prevention clinical trial ever done. In the first year alone, 13,951 men were recruited. When completed in 2013, SELECT researchers expect to have studied 32,400 men at 435 sites in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
If you’re interested in taking part in SELECT, the trial is open to men 55 years and older, with an exception made for African American men. As prostate cancer rates are higher amongst the African American community, and develop earlier in life, African Americans can enter the trial at age fifty.