How to check for prostate cancer at home
Prostate cancer is only preceded by skin cancer in the leaderboard for causes of cancer among men in the United States. This fact is a solid argument for any man to stay vigilant and consult with doctors at the first sign of a serious condition.
However, what is the red flags that would prompt anybody to make a doctor’s appointment the following day? This is what we are here to discuss today. Read the following article to gain a better grasp on the symptoms of prostate cancer, how to identify them by yourself, and what treatments you can commence on the spot, right from your home.
3 reasons to check for prostate cancer at home regularly
Why should you add another tedious task to your to-do list at home? Checking for prostate cancer at home can actually be a life-saving routine. Apart from confirming that the quality of life remains the same, this habit can maintain a harmonious lifestyle. Here are more reasons for considering it.
1. Better odds for a swift recovery
The earlier the condition is discovered, the more successful the recovery process is going to be. Prostate cancer is highly treatable so long as its presence was intercepted early enough.
The best-case scenario regarding prostate cancer patients is for the tumor to remain within the tissue of the prostate gland. Once the cancer cells leave this area to spread further within the body, the care plan would have to resort to more invasive procedures.
2. Prevention safeguards a healthy life
Medical oncologists not only are using their credibility to influence people into taking preventive measures. There is never too early to start monitoring and improving the physical condition of the body. On the contrary, the right time is the present moment.
3. Live worry-free
The burden of a heavy conscience can have repercussions for the general wellbeing of a person. The knowledge that somebody is susceptible to prostate cancer and not taking steps into mitigating this situation can lead to poor sleep quality, stressful and recurrent thoughts, self-doubt. This is why it is better to act on any suspicions rather than leave them to develop into unhealthy habits.
Who should start checking for prostate cancer?
All men should start inquiring about prostate cancer screening. Nonetheless, there are certain demographics who are exposed to higher risks of developing cancer cells at the level of the prostate gland. Those with the following signs should consider starting to check for prostate cancer at home:
- Men who are 66 and older;
- Men who are at least 40 years old, with a case of prostate cancer in their family at an early age (younger than 65);
- Men with a high-fat diet;
- Men who lead a sedentary lifestyle;
- Men with a body fat percentage indicate obesity.
Identify the risk for prostate cancer by its symptoms
To start checking for prostate cancer at home, people should first watch out for any signs or symptoms that might indicate the incursion of such an affliction. Here are the most common signs to keep in mind:
- Frequent urination;
- Urination with the interrupted flow;
- Blood in the urine;
- A recent fit of erectile dysfunction;
- Sharp pain when taking a seat;
- Discomfort when sitting down.
These are the main symptoms for the early evolution of a prostate tumor. However, there are different manifestations when the cancer cells are spreading outside the prostate gland, denoting stage 3 or 4 cases of prostate cancer. Usually, at this point the ailment exhibits the following symptoms:
- Back pain;
- Bone pain at the level of the hips, ribs, or back;
- Change in bowel habits.
At any onset of these symptoms, it is highly recommended to call the doctor for an appointment. In case the visit is scheduled at a later date, there are some ways to check for prostate cancer at home.
How to test for prostate cancer at home
First of all, it is highly unrecommended to reach a diagnosis without being in the care of a doctor. Self-diagnosis can lead to false conclusions and treatments that are ineffective.
In case of suspicions of prostate cancer, a doctor is the only specialist who can identify and confirm the nature of an illness. However, men can check for prostate cancer at home by remaining watchful around any sign of symptoms.
The PSA test
Certain laboratories offer at-home kits that test for prostate-specific antigen, also known as a PSA test. This is a blood test that can confirm the quantity of a certain substance secreted by the prostate gland.
The readings of this test can indicate the presence of cancer cells, but it is not conclusive. Further investigations are required in order to support the findings of a PSA test.
Usually, healthy men reach PSA levels of under 4 nanograms per milliliter of blood. Nonetheless, high PSA readings can be indicators of other circumstances, such as old age (in time, it is normal for PSA levels to rise incrementally), prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland), or the use of certain medications. In other words, PSA levels of over 4 ng/ml can be just an indicator to make a doctor’s appointment rather than a confirmation of any diagnosis.
Apart from the PSA test, there remains only one other option of testing for prostate cancer: the digital rectal exam (DRE). This procedure requires an expert to perform it. Only a doctor, versed in identifying any signs of ailment by the size of the prostate gland, can perform a DRE without damaging any tissue.
A DRE implies penetrating the anus with a gloved finger in order to investigate the prostate and any growth on it by feel. During the examination, the doctor can intercept lumps, hard growths or any other signs of abnormal indicators.
How to cure prostate cancer at home
In case the diagnosis reads prostate cancer, patients can decide a care plan together with their oncologists in such a way as to include treatments and lifestyle changes at home. Usually, any step patients perform at home in order to combat cancer is called complementary therapy.
Common house prostate cancer treatments have as their main goal an alleviation of side effects. These measures are highly recommended as long as they supplement the standard medical procedures that can actually cure prostate cancer and neutralize the tumor.
Improvements to the diet
While diet changes are not fighting cancer directly, these corrections can support the quality of life even after the diagnosis. Patients are usually prompted to embrace more plant-based dishes, with a focus on nutritious foods.
Moreover, foods high in antioxidants are also frequently found in these special diets. Tomatoes, green tea, pomegranates, and other sources of antioxidants form the basis of such diets.
In case patients find it difficult to commit to the new eating habits, doctors can refer them to a dietitian. Their expertise is going to make the transition smoother and easier to implement.
Increase in physical activity
When the body is fighting off a serious ailment, there’s a lot of pressure on the heart. In addition, a strong body can better navigate through the continuous strains of a care plan than a sedentary one.
This is why prostate cancer patients are advised to aim at a moderately active lifestyle at home. Whether it’s a brisk 30-minute walk or a yoga session, any start is beneficial for a usually inactive individual. In time, patients can move on to more complex exercises as their muscles get stronger.
If other conditions are interfering with their mobility, such as heart problems or joint pain, doctors can recommend a physiotherapist. These specialists have the capacity to formulate physical training customized according to the health condition of each patient.
To this date, there is no official documentation to attest any link between essential oils and a cure to prostate cancer. However, patients are still encouraged to apply essential oils topically or inhale these aromatic plant extractions in order to alleviate stress and diminish anxiety.
Moreover, including essential oils into the usual self-care routine can lead to pain relief. These compounds can also fight back inflammation and stimulate the sensory system.