Prostate cancer is a very common disease among males in the United State. If
skin cancer is excluded, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer
among men living in the United States. Prostate cancer may have much
variation in the stage and extend of disease at presentation and in many
people the cancer might linger for a long period of time without causing any
significant problems to the person. Because of this reason, number of men
who would die from prostate cancer is much smaller than the number of men
who would be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
There are several factors that might increase the risk of developing
prostate cancer and by modifying some of these factors it might be possible
to decrease the risk of this disease in some people. Also some attempts at
modification of the external environment may also reduce the risk of
developing prostate cancer.
Chemoprevention: The term chemoprevention is generally referred to the use
of synthetic drugs, vitamins, or other agents to prevent the development of
a cancer. Several drugs have shown potential benefits as prostate cancer
prevention agents. These drugs are still in early stages of clinical trials
and much more studies are required to authoritative state that these drugs
indeed prevent the development of prostate cancer. Some of the drugs which
are in active clinical trial for prevention of prostate cancer include,
difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), isoflavonoids, selinum, vitamin D, vitamin E
Changes in diet and life-style: Diets rich in animal fats might increase the
risk of developing prostate cancer, so theoretically decreasing the amount
of animal fat in the diet might decrease the risk of developing prostate
cancer. Active clinical trials are ongoing focusing on the issues of dietary
modification as a way of prostate cancer prevention. Some of the ongoing
studies might answer the question if food low in animal fats and high in
fruits and vegetables would ultimately decrease the risk of prostate cancer.
Some recent studies have shown that dietary products and diets rich in
calcium might increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. Future
studies may answer the question with regard to benefit of dietary
modification in the context of prostate cancer.
Hormonal prevention: Prostate cancer is treated with suppression of male
hormone testosterone. In theory drugs that would cause a decrease in the
testosterone levels might decrease the risk of prostate cancer development.
Studies are undergoing using some of the male hormone blocking drugs to see
if this strategy would be effective in prostate cancer prevention. An
example of one such drug is finasteride, which causes a decrease in the
amount of male hormone (testosterone) produced by the body.
In summary there are several strategies that might be effectively used to
prevent the development of prostate cancer. Some of these strategies are
more promising than other ones and only more work and research would
ultimately show us, which of these strategies are better and if so if these
strategies could be used in combination.