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Proactive about Prostate Cancer?

If you’ve noticed an unusual amount of facial hair on men lately, it likely isn’t just because of the colder weather, but to promote awareness for men’s health. This is why November is also affectionately known as Movember!

Women have October for breast cancer awareness and men have November for prostate cancer awareness.

According to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, ‘Prostate cancer ranks as the most common form of cancer among men in the United States and is second only to lung cancer in the number of annual cancer deaths among U.S. men.’i

Generally prostate cancer is slow growing, but, the disease does have aggressive forms that can be life-threatening.

However, you don’t have to ‘wait and see’ if you get prostate cancer, you can take a proactive approach by understanding your risk factors and taking the necessary steps to optimize your health!

Risk Factors

  • Age – Prostate cancer generally affects men 55 or older.
  • Obesity – A diet that leads to obesity, including deep-fried foods have been shown to cause an increased risk in prostate cancer.ii
  • Ethnicity – Black men tend to have a higher risk of prostate cancer, the reason is still unclear according to the Mayo Clinic.iii
  • Family history of cancer

You can find more information on risk factors on the American Cancer Society website. Even if you fall in an ‘at-risk’ category, it doesn’t guarantee a prostate cancer diagnosis – diet, environment and lifestyle play a big role in either preventing disease or promoting health.

Preventive Measures

  • Physical Activityiv
  • Increase intake of vegetables
  • Antioxidants – vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, selenium, zincv
  • Curcumin
  • Quercetinvi
  • Maintain a healthy weight

Symptoms that may warrant a doctor’s appointment:

  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Urinary incontinence or inability to urinate
  • Pain during urination
  • Erection difficulty or painful ejaculation
  • Recurring pain in the hips, thighs, or lower back

Another component to a proactive lifestyle is testing or screening for prostate cancer, just be sure to ask your doctor first about the best approach for your risk level.

Testing

The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test used to screen for prostate cancer is known to have a high false-positive rate that can lead to unnecessary prostate biopsies and overdiagnosis of low-risk prostate cancers.

However, according to a recent study from The Lancet Oncology, a new model, known as STHLM3 could reduce unnecessary biopsies without compromising the ability to diagnose prostate cancer with a Gleason score of at least 7 and could be a step towards personalized risk-based prostate cancer diagnostic programs. vii

Those diagnosed with a low-risk prostate cancer may not need treatment, in fact, a study published in the Journal of Urology found that men with low-risk prostate cancers who chose active surveillance including diet, exercise, and stress management intervention had a better perceived quality of life than those who received treatment.viii

No matter where you are at on the prostate cancer spectrum, the better you informed you are the more equipped you will be to take control of your health.

Start spreading Movember awareness today!

References:

i https://www.fredhutch.org/en/diseases/prostate-cancer.html

ii https://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2013/02/janet-stanford-finds-deep-fried-foods-increase-prostate-cancer-risk.html

iii http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prostate-cancer/basics/risk-factors/con-20029597

iv Arch Intern Med. 2005 May 9;165(9):1005-10.

v International Journal of Cancer, Volume 116, Issue 2, pages 182–186, 20 August 2005

vi Carcinogenesis. 2001 Mar;22(3):409-14

vii Lancet Oncol. 2015 Nov 9. pii: S1470-2045(15)00361-7. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00361-7. 

viii Urology. 2006 Jan;67(1):125-30

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