‘Prevention is better than cure’ is the old adage we’ve been hearing since childhood. No truer words have been spoken, especially when a serious disease such as prostate cancer is involved. With that in mind, this article will describe prevention measures you need to consider if you want to stack the odds in your favor against a disease that is currently the 3rd largest killer in North America among men between the ages of 40-70. Armed with these strategies, you will hopefully never have to hear your doctor utter the dreaded ‘c’ word to you.
The first option is to have screening tests done regularly, at least once per year after the age of 50. If you have a family history of prostate cancer, the first screening test you need to have is after you turn 45. Screening is a test that your doctor performs before symptoms of prostate cancer can develop. In instances where prostate cancer is diagnosed, screening helps to find it at an early stage while it’s relatively easy to treat.
In order to understand how to prevent prostate cancer, you need to evaluate the risk factors and protective factors specific to your individual health profile. Factors that increase the probability of developing prostate cancer are called risk factors while those that decrease it are called protective factors. While some risk factors can’t be avoided (e.g. genetics), an individual’s lifestyle choices (diet, exercise, smoking, etc) for the most part determine whether risk factors increase or decrease. Prostate cancer prevention starts with incorporating simple strategies into your life to keep the disease at bay.
Men who consume a high-fat diet have the highest incidence of prostate cancer. While research studies haven’t conclusively proven that excess fat causes prostate cancer, there are suggestions that by reducing your intake of foods particularly rich in saturated fats (meats and daily products) you will also reduce your chance of contracting prostate cancer. To counteract the effect of these types of foods, simply choose low-fat alternatives. Drinking green tea, consuming omega-3 fatty acids and adding soy-based vegetables to your diet which contain isoflavones (e.g. tofu, kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils) also promote healthy prostate function.
Obesity exponentially increases the probability of contracting prostate cancer. Men who have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of above 30 are considered obese. If you fall into this category, you need to follow a simple formula: reduce the amount of calories you consume per day, replace junk calories (soft drinks, fast food, etc) with calories from healthy food sources (fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish) and include more exercise into your activities.
Anson Burke is a regular contributor to Health92.com where he regularly blogs about men’s health issues such as prostate health, prostate cancer and possible treatments. You can connect with him at http://health92.com