THE World Health Organization estimates that there will be 15 million new cases of prostate cancer worldwide by 2020 and it is estimated that one in six men in Jamaica will be diagnosed with the disease that if caught early can be effectively treated.
Black men are at a higher risk of developing the disease and family history is a major risk factor — if someone has one person in the family diagnosed with prostate cancer, say a brother or father, their risk increases by two fold, and the more family members affected, the greater the risk.
In an effort to stave off the prostate cancer risk, men should make healthy lifestyle choices by consuming a diet low in fat, and increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables and exercising regularly.
In addition, men 40 and over are being encouraged to get their prostate screening done annually, in order to facilitate early detection and treatment if diagnosed.
Here are some foods men should include in their diets that have known effects on prostate cancer.
Japanese research has suggested that regularly eating mushrooms could help lower a man's risk of prostate cancer.
Led by researchers at University School of Public Health in Japan, one study looked at a total of 36,499 participants between the ages of 40 and 79 and asked them to complete a questionnaire about lifestyle choices such as diet (including mushroom consumption), physical activity, smoking and drinking habits. After following one group of men for 24.5 years and another for 13.25 years, the researchers found that the men who consumed mushrooms once or twice a week had an eight per cent lower risk of developing prostate cancer — regardless of how much fruit and vegetables, or meat and dairy products they ate — compared to those who ate mushrooms less than once per week.
A 2019 study in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found an association with decreased prostate cancer risk and increased fruit consumption, and an association with decreased prostate cancer risk and increased legume and nut consumption.
Another case-control study showed a decrease in the incidence of prostate cancer in men with a high fish intake.
Mediterranean diet patterns (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, nuts, poultry, legumes, fish, olive oil) was associated with a lower incidence of prostate cancer in another study.
A vegetarian diet is best for men trying to minimise their risk of developing prostate cancer. The foods that seem to be helpful are soya products, soya protein, green tea, broccoli, pomegranate and turmeric, which is a component of curry.
A study on tomatoes suggests that if the fruit is consumed several times per week, this could significantly reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Cooked tomatoes are more effective because of the constituent lycopene, which isn't absorbed from raw tomatoes as much as from cooked tomatoes.