Saving lives in September – Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Every three minutes, a man will hear, “You have prostate cancer.” These men include our fathers, husbands, brothers, sons, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. September is nationally recognized as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, aiming to raise awareness about this life-threatening disease.

Thanks to early detection and improved treatments, prostate cancer survival rates have improved significantly by reducing prostate cancer death rate by 50%. But more work still needs to be done.   Education on protecting and preventing prostate cancer is essential, so no man must ever hear a diagnosis of this disease. Prostate cancer, besides skin cancer, is the second most common cancer in men. To spread the message about this potentially deadly disease and how to reduce their risk, here are basic prostate cancer facts all men should know:  

Basic facts all men need to know on prostate cancer from the American Cancer Society:

  • Prostate cancer ranks as the second leading cause of cancer death of U.S. men
  • For the year 2023, about 288,300 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer
  • In 2023, it is estimated more than 34,700 men will die from this disease
  • When found early, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent
  • At ten years post diagnosis, 98 percent of men diagnosed early, remain alive
  • Over the course of a man’s life, one out of every eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer

Prevention is key to reducing risk of prostate cancer

Like many diseases, lifestyle habits play a role in inhibiting or promoting the development of a medical condition such as prostate cancer. While there are no guarantees, the more daily healthy habits a man practices, the greater likelihood of dodging prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is a complex disease but it does not have to take over a man’s life. Even though some risk factors such as a family history or being African American are out of a man’s control, men who focus on healthy dietary and lifestyle habits will have better odds of reducing their chance of developing it.

The earlier a man embraces a healthy lifestyle, the greater the likelihood he can either avoid prostate cancer or at least catch it in its earliest stage, vastly improving the chance of survival. Preventative steps all men should take include the following:


Eat a prostate friendly diet

Certain foods do appear to have a positive role in helping to prevent prostate cancer.  Millions of men have often resorted to taking multivitamins and prostate health supplements daily in hopes of prostate cancer prevention.  However, foods in their natural state, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, are excellent choices and should be a man’s first choice for preventing prostate cancer.

Men should include these foods in their daily diet:

  • Tomatoes – Rich in the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes help fight prostate cancer. According to research, consuming lycopene may help prevent the growth and spread of prostate cancer. The absorption of lycopene is enhanced when tomatoes are cooked and blended with healthy fats like olive oil.


  • Cruciferous vegetables – Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, Bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, turnips, kale, arugula, and rutabagas. These cancer-fighting vegetables contain compounds that may detoxify carcinogens stopping cancer cells from growing and dividing. The more these vegetables are eaten, the lower the risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. It is recommended to consume at least ½ cup serving a day of a cruciferous vegetable.


  • Soy – There is limited data on soy and prostate cancer, but studies have shown compounds in soy called isoflavones inhibit prostate cancer cell growth, invasion, migration, and metastasis.  


  • Reduce processed meat – Processed meats include salami, bologna, deli meats, hot dogs, bacon, and sausage. Substantial evidence suggests regular eating of these products increases the risk of chronic illnesses and death. Processed meats often contain preformed N-nitroso compounds, nitrites, nitrates, and added salt, which have cancer-promoting properties.


  • Coffee – For men who drink up to six cups of coffee per day, there is a 60% decrease in the risk of fatal prostate cancer prior to getting diagnosed compared to those who drink less coffee. This association may be due to coffee’s antioxidant effects, which may reduce cancer formation.


  • Fish – Men who consume at least two servings of fish daily have a lower risk of dying from prostate cancer. The data suggest that fish consumption – especially fish brimming with omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring – reduces the risk of prostate cancer.


  • Dairy/calcium – Calcium intake is essential for men, but studies have suggested that high intakes of calcium – more than 1,000 mg per day – can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. Low-fat dairy products are better for men as whole milk may increase the risk of disease progression or prostate cancer death. An eight-ounce cup of milk contains 300 mg of calcium, and one cup of yogurt contains approximately 450 mg of calcium.


  • Vitamin and mineral supplements – Other than a general multivitamin, using any single nutrient supplement is not recommended unless specifically recommended by a physician. No convincing evidence supports the use of supplements to protect against prostate cancer. The one exception is vitamin D, as many men are deficient in this fat-soluble vitamin. Still, again, all men should consult with their physician before taking a vitamin D supplement.

Increase physical activity

Exercise is vital for everyone, but men should remain as active as they can throughout their entire life. Increasing exercise is associated in reducing the risk of prostate cancer and the progression of it. Men should aim for at least 150 minutes each week of moderate-to-vigorous activity such as walking briskly – at least three mph – jogging, swimming, or bicycling. Men should exercise vigorously for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.

Maintain a healthy body weight

Men must be aware of their body mass index (BMI) number. Choosing to eat a nutritious diet and get in regular exercise are effective ways to achieve and sustain healthy body weight.

Quit smoking

Simply put, do not smoke. It may increase the risk of prostate cancer and other cancers, heart disease, hypertension, emphysema, COPD, and other health problems. If you currently do smoke, consult with your physician on taking steps to quit.  

In conclusion

All men should do what they can to prevent their risk of developing prostate cancer. Making small but necessary lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on whether a man may be diagnosed with it or not. Also, wives and girlfriends can influence their loved ones to be seen regularly starting at age 40 for prostate cancer screenings. Their loved ones’ life depends on it.


Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911. 

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