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On Call: Carrots and prostate cancer

June 1, 2006

On Call

Carrots and prostate cancer

Q. My 77-year-old father is healthy, but his older brother has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Dad says he read that carrot juice will prevent prostate cancer, and he's now drinking it every day. Is he just kidding himself?

A. The most common internal malignancy in males, prostate cancer is a worry for every man. A man's risk does increase as he grows older, and a family history of the disease also increases risk. However, the effect of family history is much stronger if more than one close relative had the disease, especially if it was diagnosed before the age of 60. That's good news for your dad, and he can also be reassured that unless his brother has an unusually aggressive form of prostate cancer, he is unlikely to die from it.

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