What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate Cancer has been a hot topic in cancer research, looking for ways to prevent prostate cancer through diet and medication. Over 230,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 30,000 of them die from it. Before we learn the latest on prostate cancer prevention, here are some facts about your prostate.

What is a prostate gland?

The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut and found inside men’s bodies, between the penis and the bladder. Its main function is to provide seminal fluid, which is a milky substance that nourishes the sperm.

Latest research show that the prostate is expendable in the body. Men can live comfortably without this organ with no negative effect on fertility. However, the prostate gland is subject to several sickness. Aside from prostate cancer, men are also prone to enlargement of the prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (which is non-cancerous but very painful) as well as inflammation of the prostate or prostasis (the most common urinary tract infection in men).

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death among men after lung cancer. Symptoms include frequent urination or urges to urinate, especially at night; weak or dribbling urine stream; painful or burning sensation while urinating; pain in the lower back or pelvis; and blood in the urine.

In some men, these cancer cells remain small and dormant, not posing any health concern. However, in other men, these cancer cells grown into large and life-threatening tumors at a very quick pace. These cancer cell can even grow further to affect other parts of the body as well.

Who are prone to prostate cancer?

The exact cause why men get prostate cancer is still unclear, but there are risk factors for developing this condition.

Prostate cancer is unusual in men under 50, but incidence of the disease increases dramatically after that age, reaching up to 15% chance between the ages 60 to 79.

Your risk of prostate cancer also increases if one or more of your male relatives has prostate cancer.

African-American men are 65% most likely to suffer from prostate cancer, and twice as likely to die from it. On the other hand, Asians are less likely to develop this disease.

A diet high in saturated fats and meat, as well as obesity, create a higher risk of developing this disease. Meanwhile, a diet that is high in soy and fibers is often credited for lowering the risk of prostate cancer in men.

However, even if you do not have any of the risk factors listed, it is best to follow a healthy lifestyle to further lower the chances of prostate cancer. 

How to lower the chances of prostate cancer?

The risks may be frightening, but there is a lot that you can do to guard your prostate from developing malignant cancer cells.

Get regular health checkups. As with many other health conditions, prostate cancer are most treatable when detected early. If you are at risk or developing prostate cancer or if you are over 50 years old, consult your doctor about annual prostate cancer screenings that consists of a blood test and a physical exam.

Consider changing your diet. Prostate cancer has been found to have higher risks in men who include a lot of fat, especially saturated ones, and cholesterol in their eating. It is best to eat well, such as taking in more fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants like tomatoes. Also, eat more fish rich in fatty acids like salmon, herring, and mackarel.

Take dietary supplements for prostate health. Several herbal ingredients have been found to be beneficial in prostate health and may reduce the symptoms of difficult urination, such as saw palmetto, African pygeum bark, pumpkin seed, and lycopene. Also, a regular intake of selenium and vitamin E, or either one of those, may help to prevent prostate cancer.

Limit intake of sweets and salt. Over consumption of sugars and salt can be detrimental to you prostate, as well as your whole body.

Exercise. Although it has not been established whether obesity and incidence of prostate cancer go together, obesity might affect the level of hormones that are related to increased prostate cancer risk.

Keep in mind that the following lifestyle to prevent prostate cancer can actually help you protect against other diseases as well such as heart disease and colorectal cancer.