Be proactive: Protect your prostate

Cancer

By pH health care professionals

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, so this is a good time to think about your game plan for protecting yourself against prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is associated with frequent trips to the bathroom, erectile dysfunction, impotence, and, in more advanced cases, bladder incontinence and urinary flow obstruction. As a result, some men feel embarrassed to talk about it. But knowledge is power, so the sooner you arm yourself with the information you need, the better your odds are of keeping prostate cancer at bay.

Who gets prostate cancer?

Your risk for prostate cancer increases steadily as you age. It affects 1 in 39 men between the ages of 40 and 59, and 1 in 14 between the ages of 60 to 69. It is rare in men under the age of 40 (occurrence is 1 in 10,000, or .01%).

What causes prostate cancer?

Although there is no definitive answer for what causes prostate cancer, evidence suggests that free radical damage to your cells, environmental carcinogens and certain viruses may increase your risk.

  • Free radical damage: At high concentrations, free radicals in the body can damage your cells. This damage may play a role in the development of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
  • Toxins: In 2010, the President’s Cancer Panel reported that “the true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated.” Exposure to carcinogens (chemicals or substances that can lead to the development of cancer) can occur in the workplace, at home, in consumer products, medical treatments and lifestyle choices, according to Physicians for Social Responsibility.
  • Viruses: Two viruses have been linked to prostate cancer -- HPV (human papilloma virus) and the Epstein Barr virus. HPV is usually sexually transmitted and can be effectively prevented by using condoms. The CDC recommends talking to your doctor about the HPV vaccine if you are 26 years old or younger (learn more here). Protect yourself.

What can you do to be proactive about prostate cancer?

Here are a few ways:

  • Know the early symptoms. These symptoms include the following:
    • Need to urinate frequently, especially at night
    • Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
    • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
    • Painful or burning urination
    • Difficulty having an erection
    • Painful ejaculation
    • Blood in urine or semen
  • Keep body fat in check. High body fat is associated with increased prostate cancer risk. This may be because body fat secretes hormones and specialized proteins that can increase inflammation and oxidation in the cells of your body. Inflammation and oxidation can lead to cancer. Reducing excess body fat is critical, and not just for prostate cancer. Toxins love to make themselves at home in fatty tissue. The more fat, the more toxins you may carry in your body.
  • Eat anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-packed foods. Many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents are found in colorful fruits, vegetables, whole grains, spices, and polyphenol-rich drinks such as pomegranate juice and green and black teas. Omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood contain anti-inflammatory properties that can also help reduce your prostate cancer risk.
  • Munch on veggies with protective properties. Certain vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, wasabi and horseradish contain protective “phytochemicals” that may reduce your risk of prostate cancer.
  • Get moving. Endurance exercises such as walking, running, cycling and swimming are particularly effective at increasing the body’s natural levels of antioxidants.
  • Be proactive and get tested. Don’t wait for symptoms to arise before thinking about protecting your prostate health. Get a status update on your prostate health here at Proactive Health Labs.   pH also carries a wide variety of supplements for men’s health to keep you on track.

Be proactive. Remember, the earlier a disease is diagnosed, the more likely it is that it can be cured or successfully managed. Managing a disease early in its course may lower its impact on your life or prevent serious complications.

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.

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