As we continue through September, which is Prostate Cancer Awarenes Month, we’re asking two local doctors in Colorado Springs this question: Are there preventative steps you can take to ward off prostate cancer, like eating certain foods or taking some kind of supplement?
Dr. George Meyers [uchealth.org], MD, a family medicine physician at UCHealth Primary Care – Rockrimmon, [uchealth.org] says, “I get that question from patients a lot, as far as, ‘Hey, what about these dietary supplements or what about these other options.’ ”
Dr. Gary Bong, MD [ppuro.com], is a urologist with Pikes Peak Urology [ppuro.com] in Colorado Springs and says: “There have been lots of studies trying to look at diet-related prevention for not only regular prostate health but also prostate cancer.”
Dr. Bong says there are things you can find on the market when it comes to urinary issues. “There are plenty of herbal medications out there, Saw Palmetto for example, is the most common herbal medication that’s used for urinary symptoms.”
But for prostate cancer prevention, Dr. Meyer says, “I think there are many different opinions on this. There are no specific studies saying taking this supplement or being on this particular diet will definitely prevent prostate cancer.”
It’s not that studies haven’t been done, says Dr. Bong. “There was a very large trial that was looking at selenium and vitamin E for protection against prostate cancer. Unfortunately both showed an increase in the risk of prostate cancer, so it was the opposite of the desired outcome. They actually had to stop the study early because going on higher doses of selenium was actually giving them a heart attack, so it was back to the drawing board.”
Both Dr. Bong and Dr. Meyers agree the best thing you can do when it comes to prostate cancer prevention is to be aware of your prostate health by having your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels monitored through blood work.
Dr. Meyer says, “I think screening is more important as far as prostate cancer prevention.”
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