Achieving good health is a quality of life issue and is within a man’s reach. Men’s health and urology are my specialties. Men who take good care of themselves feel better, look better, and greatly improve sexual health. I want men to know they are the expert of their body and they hold the key to unlocking its full potential by making healthy lifestyle changes as preventative steps. As Ann Wojcicki, American entrepreneur and CEO of 23andMe, once said: “One of the best aspects of health care reform is that it starts to emphasize prevention.”
Age is considered to be one of the biggest risk factors. Over the age of 50, men’s chances of being diagnosed begin to increase as they get older. Most prostate cancers appear in men aged 65 to 69. However, this does not mean that the disease does not occur in men younger than 50. However, the chances are considerably smaller.
Prostate cancer has one of the highest chances to be inherited, of all types of cancers. A recent study showed that men who have brothers that had the disease have twice as high a risk of being diagnosed, as the general population. The likelihood of having the disease increases threefold if both a brother and a father have had it. Men with such history in their families should discuss with their doctors and have regular check-ups after the age of 40.
Studies have indicated a higher incidence of prostate cancer among African American men in both being diagnosed and having an aggressive stage of the disease. Black men have a 28-56% higher risk of developing preclinical prostate cancer, compared to the general population. Among these men, the risk of diagnosis is about the same (35-49%), but, unfortunately, the risk of a cancer metastasis is 44-75% higher than the norm.
If the above-listed factors are uncontrollable, there are many things that a man can do to lower the risk of developing prostate cancer.
A high-fat and high processed carbohydrate diet may contribute to the risk of developing prostate cancer. A healthy diet is known to have a positive impact on the overall health. There are also recommendations regarding foods to eat and foods to avoid in order to maintain a healthy prostate.
There have been studies that indicate that men who are overweight or have abdominal obesity are at a higher risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer.
It is hard to determine an exact correlation between physical exercise and the risk of prostate cancer, but there are some indicators that strongly suggest that vigurous exercise performed since the early 20s of a man have a beneficial impact on disease development, treatment and progression.
Diet is the major risk factor men have control over. There are foods that produce oxidative damage to the DNA and need to be avoided and replaced with prostate friendly food.
Limit fatty foods and reduce to a minimum amount the fat you get from red meat or dairy products. Avoid grilled or fried meats, because, at high temperatures, meat may form chemicals that produce changes in the DNA and, thus, increase the risk of prostate cancer.
Eat more fish, especially for the omega-3 fatty acids. Twice a week, include salmon in your diet. The fatty acids that it contains could prevent the growth of prostate cancer.
There is also an interesting study suggesting that the Mediterranean diet has a role in lowering the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Men who mainly followed the Mediterranean dietary pattern of eating lots of fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes, and olive oil, specifically had a lower rate of prostate cancer.
They are considered the golden vegetable when it comes to prostate health. Tomatoes are full of lycopene and studies have shown that eating tomatoes or drinking tomato juice may benefit the prostate in many ways. It can not only shrink the prostate, but also slow down the progression of prostate cancer. Other sources of lycopene are grapefruit, apricots, watermelon, etc.
Broccoli has a lot of phytochemicals and they are known for reducing the rate of prostate growth. Also, phytochemicals fight against recurrent cancer.
Green tea is more than just a liquid. It contains lots of important nutrients beneficial for the prostate. It is full of antioxidants, including a large amount of a catechin, called EGCG. Catechins are natural antioxidants that limit and prevent cell damage. Also, polyphenols represent 30% of green tea. They reduce inflammation and fight against cancer. One or two cups of green tea per day can improve not only your prostate health, but also your general health.
When talking about prostate cancer, soy has always been a controversial subject because it can change men’s testosterone levels and occasionally increase estrogen levels. Soybean’s components help reduce inflammation, which creates the perfect medium for cancer development. What is more, soybeans are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids that may reduce prostate risk. Besides soybeans, consider including in your diet other soy products. Soybean products include a high amount of isoflavones, a chemical with anti-inflammatory properties.Soy products you should start adding to your diet are Tofu, Soy milk and Miso (Soybean paste).
Why are pomegranates good for prostate? Some research suggests that pomegranate juice or seeds help slow the progression of prostate cancer. Pomegranate is a rich antioxidant-fruit that can help both in the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer. Try adding pomegranate seeds in your salad or yogurt or drink pomegranate juice with no sugar added.
Research has suggested that there is a link between sugar and cancer. People with high glycemic loads have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.What to eat instead?
The consumption of coffee has a protective effect on prostate cancer risk. Researchers have found that drinking at least 3 cups of Italian-style coffee everyday may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer by 53%. Coffee extracts reduce the ability of prostate cancer cells to grow and divide and reduce their ability to spread.
It is already well known that smoking raises the risk of developing many types of cancer, including prostate cancer. Men who smoke have an increased risk of developing an aggressive type of prostate cancer that metastasizes.Heavy drinkers are also more likely to develop an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Being healthy includes drinking in moderation.
Advice: Do not take any supplements without medical supervision. Talk to your doctor about the options available in your case.
Researchers have studied the medications’ potential to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Regular exercise may have a positive impact on men’s health, reducing the risk of cancer. A study found that spending 25 minutes a day engaging in vigorous exercise, such as running, was found to reduce the risk of being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer by 30%. The prostate cancer tumor molecule, TMPRSS2:ERG, is sensitive to metabolic factors that are associated with not engaging in exercise, and this may be the link between this type of cancer and the effect that regular physical activity has on it. Even a low-to-moderate physical activity, such as walking, has a positive impact on prostate health. Scientists recommend engaging in physical activity at least 3-5 hours/week.
You can start by doing physical exercise 30 minutes/day. You can even break this period into 10 minutes intervals. You can include cardio exercises, stretching, and weight lifting. Be careful with those exercises that put pressure on the prostate. For example, if you choose cycling, make sure to have a comfortable saddle. Choose exercises that strengthen your pelvic muscles, such as Kegel exercises.
Even though it is not possible to totally prevent prostate cancer, there are important things that can be done to lower the risk of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer prevention includes lifestyle changes that will positively impact men’s overall health and quality of life.