Cancer prevention measures are taken to lower the risk of developing cancer. They help to lower the number of new cancer cases in the population. Eventually this can help to lower the number of deaths also.
To prevent cancer it is very important to know the risk factors then only you can learn about the protective factors. There are some risk factors for cancer that can be avoided, unfortunately others cannot.
In this blog we will discuss the prevention measures of one of the common cancers occurring in men, prostate cancer. Some of its types grow slowly and may require minimal or even no treatment, other types are aggressive and can spread rapidly. Treatment for prostate cancer includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, surgery etc.
It can be prevented to certain extent by avoiding some of the modifiable risk factors.
In this blog will include
· What is prostate cancer?
· Risk factors for prostate cancer
· Prevention of prostate cancer
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is a disorder that leads to the formation of cancer cells in the tissues of the prostate. The prostate is a gland, which is present in the reproductive system of men. This walnut sized gland lies just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It produces fluid, which builds up part of the semen.
The size of the prostate may increase as men age. The bigger prostate size may block the urine flow from the bladder. It may also cause problems in sexual function. This condition is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is not cancer, but it requires surgery to correct it.
The symptoms of BPH or of other prostate problems may resemble the prostate cancer symptoms.
Risk factors for prostate cancer
Following are some of the risk factors for prostate cancer. You can avoid some of them to prevent this deadly disease.
Age: The incidence of prostate cancer is rare in men who are younger than 50 years of age. The risk of prostate cancer development increases as men get older.
Family history: If a father or brother of a man has developed prostate cancer, then he has a twofold-raised risk for it. This risk is even more if the cancer was diagnosed at less than 55 years of age or affected three or more members in the family.
Race: African-American men have more risk of developing prostate cancer. On the other hand, Asian men have the lowest risk of developing this cancer but their risk increases when they migrate to the west.
Hormones: The prostate requires male hormones to perform its functions. The main male sex hormone is testosterone, which assist the body to develop and maintain male sex characteristics.
Testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) through an enzyme inside the body. DHT is vital for normal prostate growth. It also causes enlarged prostate and may also have a role in prostate cancer development.
Vitamin E: It is found that vitamin E when taken alone raises prostate cancer risk. The risk continues even if men stopped administering vitamin E.
Folic acid: Folate is a type of vitamin B, which is present naturally in some foods like beans and green vegetables. Folic acid is an artificial form of folate, which is available in vitamin supplements. A study showed that the prostate cancer risk increased when 1 mg folic acid supplements were administered by men. However, the prostate cancer risk was less in men who had sufficient folate in their diet.
Dairy and calcium: A diet which includes high amounts of calcium and dairy foods may increase the prostate cancer risk.
Improve your diet: It is not known if reducing the fat or increasing fruits and vegetables consumption in the diet aids to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. However, in a Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, some fatty acids raised the risk of high-grade prostate cancer while others reduced the risk of high-grade prostate cancer.
Add green tea and soy: According to research soy may lower Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) levels. The green tea may help to lower the risk of prostate cancer in men who are at high risk.
Maintain a healthy body weight: Obesity increases the risk of prostate cancer. Not only cancer, various health problems can be prevented by maintaining a healthy body weight.
Exercise regularly: Exercise not only helps to reduce the body weight but it also improves the immune function and decreases inflammation.
Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption: Smoking can be the risk factor for various types of cancer. If you drink then do it in a limit.
Stay sexually active: Studies reveal that the men who have a higher ejaculation frequency are less susceptible to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Avoid over-supplementation with megavitamins: If you are able to get required nutrients from your diet including fruits, fish, vegetables and whole grains then you may not need a multivitamin. A study demonstrated an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer in men who administer multivitamins more than seven times in a week.
However, prostate cancer is treatable and can be cured at early stages as there are various treatment options available. But prevention is always better than cure. Taking care of your health and choosing a healthy lifestyle are the best ways to prevent any cancer including prostate cancer. Moreover, being watchful of the prostate cancer symptoms is also very crucial for its early diagnosis before it grows and spreads to other parts of the body.