After the World Health Organization (WHO) linked eating red meat to prostate cancer earlier this week, it seems like a perfect time to explore more known risk factors for this disease.
What can happen if we consume too much red meat?
The WHO grabbed headlines by reporting processed meats (like hot dogs and bacon) can raise your risk of cancer. Researchers in this study also made news by pointing out a link between eating too much red meat and your prostate cancer risk. It is also known that eating red meat can harden blood vessels which can lead to cardiovascular disease. In addition, according to a report published by JAMA Internal Medicine, eating red or processed meat can, over time, increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Meat contains a lot of iron which can raise levels of iron in the brain that can ultimately increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a recent study from UCLA. People who eat red and processed meats have an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
How can we prevent prostate cancer?
There is no known way to prevent prostate cancer. However, there are lifestyle choices you can make that can improve your overall health and help you avoid this type of cancer. Cutting calories, fat and refined sugar and increasing intake of fruits and vegetables can decrease your risk. Exercise in such forms such as hiking, biking, running, walking and lifting weights (in addition to other methods) can also decrease the risk. Obesity is linked to increased risk for death from prostate cancer. Losing weight and keeping it off decreases your risk for death. Be sure to not smoke, because prostate cancer risk may double for heavy smokers.
Other risk factors include age, ethnicity, and family history.
Dr. Lawrence Newman, a Las Vegas Urologist, specializes in prostate cancer prevention and treatment. For more information call our office to schedule an appointment today.