Purpose of review: The number one cause of death in the United States and in most countries around the world is cardiovascular disease. The number one or number two cause of death in prostate cancer patients is also cardiovascular disease. These observations do not serve to belittle the impact of prostate cancer, but are a reminder that the ultimate goal of healthy lifestyle recommendations is to reduce the burden of both of these major causes of death, especially after definitive prostate therapy. Patients need to be encouraged to know their cholesterol levels and other cardiovascular markers including blood pressure, as well as being aware of their prostate-specific antigen values.
Recent findings: Patients should not smoke, they should reduce their intake of saturated and trans fats, increase their consumption of a diversity of fruit and vegetables, consume moderate quantities of dietary soy or flaxseed, increase their consumption of fish or fish oils and other ω-3 fatty acids, as well as maintaining a healthy weight, getting at least 30 min/day of physical activity, and lifting weights several times a week. When in doubt it is important for the clinician and patient to realize that what is healthy for the heart is generally found to be healthy for the prostate. Many of these lifestyle changes, when accomplished on a regular basis, may dramatically reduce the risk of overall early mortality. Despite the simplistic and moderate recommendations in this manuscript, research suggests that few individuals are currently following these suggestions.
Summary: Clinicians need to constantly emphasize these basic changes in order to truly impact the overall health of any patient following definitive prostate therapy.