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Lifestyle Habits That May Protect Men From Lethal Prostate Cancer

Data from 2 huge studies was analyzed and found that vigorous exercise and other healthy habits seems to cut the chance of developing aggressive and lethal prostate cancer up to 68 percent in men over 60. The beneficial lifestyle habits are: weekly vigorous exercise or activity to the point of sweating, at least 7 servings of tomatoes a week, at least one serving of fatty fish per week, reduced intake of processed meat, and being a long-term non-smoker. Interestingly, vigorous activity or exercise to sweating - ideally up to 3 hours a week - showed the biggest association with a 34 % reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer.From Science Daily:

Working up a sweat may protect men from lethal prostate cancer

A study that tracked tens of thousands of midlife and older men for more than 20 years has found that vigorous exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits may cut their chances of developing a lethal type of prostate cancer by up to 68 percent.

While most prostate cancers are "clinically indolent," meaning they do not metastasize and are nonlife-threatening, a minority of patients are diagnosed with aggressive disease that invades the bone and other organs, and is ultimately fatal. Lead author Stacey Kenfield, ScD, of UCSF, and a team of researchers at UCSF and Harvard, focused on this variant of prostate cancer to determine if exercise, diet and smoke-free status might have life-saving benefits.

In the study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the researchers analyzed data from two U.S. studies: the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study that tracked more than 42,000 males ages 40 to 75, from 1986 to 2010; and a second, the Physicians' Health Study that followed more than 20,000 males ages 40 to 84, from 1982 to 2010.

To gage the effects of lifestyle habits, the researchers developed a score based on the results of the health professionals survey, then applied it to the physicians' study. They assigned one point for each affirmative response to questions about regular intense exercise that induced sweating, body mass index (BMI) under 30, tobacco-free status for a minimum of 10 years, high intake of fatty fish, high intake of tomatoes and low intake of processed meat.

The researchers identified 576 cases of lethal prostate cancer in the health professionals' group and 337 cases in the physicians' group. Participants with 5 to 6 points in the health professionals' group had a 68 percent decreased risk of lethal prostate cancer and a 38 percent decreased risk was observed in the physicians' group for the same comparison.

"We estimated that 47 percent of lethal prostate cancer cases would be prevented in the United States if men over 60 had five or more of these healthy habits," said Kenfield, assistant professor in the Department of Urology at UCSF Medical Center, and formerly of the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, where the study was initiated.

"It's interesting that vigorous activity had the highest potential impact on prevention of lethal prostate cancer. We calculated the population-attributable risk for American men over 60 and estimated that 34 percent of lethal prostate cancer would be reduced if all men exercised to the point of sweating for at least three hours a week," Kenfield said.

The researchers also calculated that lethal prostate cancer among American men over 60 would be cut by 15 percent if they consumed at least seven servings of tomatoes per week and that 17 percent would be spared this diagnosis if they consumed at least one serving of fatty fish per week. Reducing intake of processed meats would cut the risk by 12 percent, they reported. In contrast, the population-attributed risk for smoking was 3 percent, largely because the majority of older American men are long-term nonsmokers.

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