No specific measures are known to prevent the development of prostate cancer. At present, therefore, we can hope only to prevent progression of the cancer by making early diagnoses and then attempting to cure the disease. Early diagnoses can be made by screening men for prostate cancer with PSA and digital rectal examination The purpose of the screening is to detect early, tiny, or even microscopic cancers that are confined to the prostate gland. Early treatment of these malignancies (cancers) can stop the growth, prevent the spread, and possibly cure the cancer.
Based on some research in animals and people, certain dietary measures have been suggested to prevent the progression of prostate cancer. For example, low-fat diets, particularly avoiding red meats, have been suggested because they are thought to slow down the growth of prostate tumors in a manner not yet known. Soybean products, which work by decreasing the amount of testosterone circulating in the blood, also reportedly can inhibit the growth of prostate tumors. Finally, other studies show that tomato products (lycopenes), the mineral selenium, and vitamin E might slow the growth of prostate tumors in ways that are not yet understood.
Recently, studies have shown that certain medications (finasteride [Propecia] and dutasteride [Avodart]) decrease the chances of getting prostate cancer when taken over the long term. These medications are currently used for shrinking the size of the prostate and relieving symptoms associated with benign (non-cancerous) enlargement of the prostate. However, they may have a future role for decreasing the chances of development of prostate cancer in men who are at high risk for the disease.
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