September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. In observance of this month, MD Anderson encourages men to start making healthier choices for prostate health.
It's true no doctor can guarantee you won't get cancer if you make these healthy choices. But, the research is clear on this point --making healthy choices now means you'll be less likely to develop the disease later.
And, even if you do get prostate cancer, being in tip-top shape can up your odds of successfully treating the disease if needed.
Follow the advice below for better health.
Get your heart pumping daily
What are you doing to stay active every day? It's an important question because 30 minutes of exercise can help lower your cancer risk. And, for those who get prostate cancer, a recent study says exercise improves your chances of survival.
Luckily, exercise doesn't have to mean going to gym.
Activities, like mowing the lawn or playing golf, can count as exercise. The trick is to be able to talk but not sing when doing these activities.
Not an exercise newbie? Shoot for at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise. This means you should be able to say only a few words between breaths.
Eat good-for-you foods
Think more plant-based foods and less animal-based proteins. Fill up on foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. Eat smaller servings of red meat, like beef, pork and lamb (aim for no more than 18 oz per week). And, try to avoid processed meats.
Your goal is to use food as your main source of nutrients, not dietary supplements. The current research on supplements, like selenium and vitamin E, and prostate cancer prevention is very confusing. Until more is known, your best bet is to stick with a healthy diet.
Stay as lean as possible
Are you at a healthy weight? For most men, a healthy weight is a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9; anything higher than that is considered overweight or obese.
As men get older, their metabolism slows down. And, staying at a healthy weight can seem like a constant battle. But, avoiding weight gain is one of the most important things you can do to protect your body from cancer.
Need to lose weight? Put in the extra effort to eat less and exercise more.
Start small and get informed
Making these changes may seem a little daunting for some. So, start small and focus on one day at a time. The earlier in life you start the more cancer prevention benefits you'll reap.
Get more tips on how to build a cancer-fighting body in this month's issue of Focused on Health.
You'll learn about five foods that fight cancer, find ways to fit exercise into your day, and get tips to cut stress fast. And, you'll get our men's checklist and women's checklist for lifesaving tests at every age.
You also can join us on Sept. 22 for our annual Prostate Health Conference at MD Anderson. Our men's health experts will share insight on the PSA screening controversy and answer your prostate health questions at this free event.
For more prostate cancer prevention tips, follow us on Twitter and join our conversations on Facebook.