Prostate Cancer – Risks and Prevention

The end of Movember is upon us, so I thought it would be good to cover a tidbit on the risks and prevention tips in regards to prostate cancer!

Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

There are four main categories for the risk factors:

  • Age: Men who are over the age of 40 with a family history of prostate cancer and are African Americans, for other men there is an increased risk after the age of 50. 60% of individuals with prostate cancer were found to be over the age of 65.
  • Family History: As mentioned in the point above, family history plays a role in a man’s risks for prostate cancer. Your risk is doubled if any close male blood relative has or had the disease.
  • Race: African Americans have been found to have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world.
  • Diet: If you’re not eating healthily (i.e. all meat, no vegetables), then your risk for developing prostate cancer increases. High fiber diets with low red meat/fatty foods consumption is recommended as an alternative diet to help lower your risks.

Tips to maintain and monitor your prostate

  • After you reach the age of 40, it is recommended that you get your prostate checked every year. Prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer, so it doesn’t always display symptoms. This is why it is so important to get your prostate checked yearly.
  • Exercising regularly to stay physically active is important in maintaining your health. Also, maintaining a healthy body weight is important as obesity appears to play a role in the development of cancers
  • Watch what you eat! I’m not saying that you need to count how many fries you eat, but make sure to incorporate more vegetables and fiber into your diet and try to stay away from the red meats and fatty foods when you can! Fish is also very helpful. Some studies found that diets that were high in calcium were also linked to the development of cancers, so let’s not take too many calcium supplements (if your doctor recommends you take a calcium supplement, stick to how much they tell you to take).
  • There are also drugs that help stop the conversion of testosterone into another hormone (dihydrotestosterone), which has been found to promote prostate growth. This growth can lead to abnormal growth (in order words, too much growth).

And those are the risks and prevention tips for prostate cancer! Know your body, stay safe and have a great weekend! 🙂

 

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American Cancer Society. 2013. Can cancer be prevented?. Cancer.org. <http://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostatecancer/detailedguide/prostate-cancer-risk-factors> November 28, 2013.

Men’s Health Network. 2005. Risk factors. ProstateHealthGuide.org. <http://www.prostatehealthguide.com/cancer_risk.html> November 28, 2013.

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Prostate

When I hear November, I think ‘Movember’. The month of the ‘staches. And just like their moustaches, females are unable to have the type of cancer that the month raises awareness for: prostate cancer. But what is the prostate? What does it do normally? Warning: Children, talk to your parents if you’re reading this. There’s a wee wee on here.

What is the prostate?

The prostate is an organ only found in men. It sits below the bladder and wraps around the urethra (which is a tube that carries urine [and sperm for men] from the bladder to the external environment). It has three lobes: the left, center and right lobes, and is part muscle and part glandular.

Now pick up a walnut. That’s approximately the size of a man’s prostate. That’s pretty small for an organ!

So what does this walnut-sized organ do?

The prostate is important for secreting fluid that is slightly alkaline, which will form part of the seminal fluid. The seminal fluid is the fluid that carries sperm from the urethra to the tip of the penis.

The prostate also helps in male climax (or orgasm). Its muscular portion will help the propelling of sperm and its own secreting fluid into the urethra, where it will then exit.

The Male Reproductive System, including the prostate.

The growth of cells in the prostate is stimulated by the male hormone, testosterone.

And those are the basics of the prostate! Join me next week when we talk more about the prostate.

 

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