Prostate cancer or maintaining a healthy prostate is not a subject most men enjoy discussing. However, as the number one cancer among men and the ability to take action to prevent it, it seems to be one of the most important subjects to discuss during Men’s Health Month.
The Good News
It can be preventable.
Although the effects of body weight, activity and what you eat aren’t totally clear, there are studies suggesting that certain actions can help you maintain a healthy prostate.
- Eat lots of vegetables and fruit.*
- Stay physically active, even as you age.
- Get out in the sun. That means Vitamin D. Men with healthy Vitamin D levels have a lower prostate cancer death rate.
- Eat less red meat.
- Cut back on smoking and drinking. Since both of these put more stress on the body and cause you to be less healthy in general, they can also have an effect on a healthy prostate.
- Keep a low BMI (body mass index). A recent study suggest that an increased BMI is associated with a higher rate of prostate cancer.
- Early detection can sometimes save lives. Although it seems the jury is still out on whether early detection is the best for everyone**, catching prostate cancer before it spreads to other organs is very important. This would mean finding it even before you notice any symptoms.
- When prostate cancer is detected in stage 1 (the local stage), the 5-year survival rate is almost 100%.
The Not So Good News
It is uncomfortably common in men.
- Prostate cancer makes up 13% of all new cancer cases
- 14% of men will likely be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point.
- It is estimated that over 27,000 people will die of prostate cancer in 2015
- African-American and Caribbean men of African ancestry are more likely to have prostate cancer occur.
- *Later this week, we’ll discuss the best foods and drinks to have encourage a healthy prostate.
- In 2012, over 2.5 million men were estimated to be living with prostate cancer in the US.
The Promising News
New research continues.
With numerous new studies regarding preventable actions a man can take and how to maintain a healthy prostate, there is promise that rates could drop. The US has already seen death rates drop considerably, even though it seems unclear whether this is due to prevention or effective treatments.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, stimulation of the prostate and prostate massage have been known to encourage a healthy prostate. MedAmour offers several products available for prostate stimulation and even a wonderful book for both men and their partners.
*Later this week, we’ll discuss the best foods and drinks to have to encourage a healthy prostate.
**The Prostate Cancer Foundation states that “Ultimately, decisions about screening should be individualized based on a man’s level of risk, overall health, and life expectancy, as well as his desire for eventual treatment if he is diagnosed with prostate cancer. ” Experts vary in their recommendations of when to be screened from 40 years old to 55. Check with your doctor about what is best for you.