Prostate Cancer is the second most common cancer in U.S. men. The first being skin cancer. One out of every 7 men will develop cancer generally, after age 65. It is rare in men under 40. The good news is death from prostate cancer is rare! About 1 in every 39 men. Often, prostate cancer is found at autopsies unknown in life, to the man who has passed on, as he had absolutely no signs, symptoms or complications from it!
Diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer varies greatly. There is a lot of controversy surrounding how and when to take action if you have been diagnosed. Commonly, your physician will suggest watching and waiting as the first step. Biopsies and other procedures run the risk of causing the cancer to spread past the prostate. Surgery can lead to permanent nerve damage resulting in erectile dysfunction, Peyronies disease and other problems.
Prostate cancer can't be prevented but knowing the risk factors can help in early detection.
- Age - as stated above, rarely diagnosed in men under 40, chances increase by 50 and 6 in 10 cases are diagnosed in men over 65.
- Race/Ethnicity - it is most common in African-American men and men of African ancestry. Unfortunately, African-American men are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than other races. It occurs less often in Asian-American and Hispanic-Latino men. The reasons for these occurrences are unknown.
- Geography - prostate cancer is most prevalent in North America, Northwestern Europe, Australia and the Caribbean islands. Again, reasons for this are not clear. Thoughts are that it relates mostly closely to lifestyle and diet differences in these countries as opposed to others.
- Family History - this isn't't always the case though. Prostate cancer does occur in men with no family history of it. Having a father or brother who's had it doubles the chances of another blood related male in the family developing it.
- Gene Changes - inherited changes in BRCA1 & BRCA2 (the same genes that mutate in breast cancer) can cause development of prostate cancer. Secondly, men with Lynch Syndrome are more likely to develop it.
The following are risk factors that have a less clear link to causing prostate cancer but have been found to play a roll and should be paid attention too.
- Chemical Exposures
- Chronic Prostate Inflammation/Infection
If you think you may already have prostate cancer there are signs and symptoms you should look for. They include:
- Urinary difficulties/changes
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pain in the hips back or chest (accompanied with other symptoms)
- Weakness or numbness of the legs (accompanied with other symptoms)
- Incontinence of the bladder or bowels (accompanied with other symptoms)
Early detection is key to managing prostate cancer! Get your yearly physical exam and your PSA test guys! If prostate cancer is suspected, further testing will be done. Also, pay attention to your body and changes that occur that don't seem "normal" for you. Speak with your health care provider right away if your concerned your at risk for prostate cancer! As a specialist in men's health, I am here as a resource and form of treatment for you as well!
There are various forms of treatment for prostate cancer. Invasive and non-invasive. You, your doctor, your family and your other health care practitioners need to consider all of the options together, to make an informed decision about treatment. Acupuncture and herbology are incredibly powerful forms of prevention, treatment and recovery of prostate cancer! Again, the good news is that it is a treatable disease guys! Prognosis is good!
The conclusion, be aware of your body, get your yearly physicals, eat well, exercise and manage stress. These are the things you can control since you can't control your genes! Acupuncture, herbs, supplements and massage are great additions to a healthy lifestyle now and into the future!
Prostate Cancer Fighting Foods!
- Green Tea
The above foods contain numerous healthy substances that help protect and fight against cancer! They should be in your diet everyday!
Research has shown that diets high in red meat and alcohol can increase one's risk of developing prostate cancer and therefore, should be eaten in limited quantities.
What isn't it good for!? Moderate to intense physical activity is 4-5 days a week and mild exercise the rest of the time, is paramount to overall health let alone, preventing and fighting against cancer!
You don't have to be a gym rat to get the movement you need to stay healthy! Explore various types of exercise to see what you enjoy most because that's what you'll ultimately stick with for the long haul!
A quick word about skin cancer, since it is the #1 cancer in men...
WEAR SUNBLOCK! At least spf 30 daily and reapply, and if you need to be out for extended periods, stay covered up! If you have thin to little hair, wear a hat! This is most important for men in warm to hot climates such as down here in Texas.