How to prevent prostate cancer
February 27, 2023
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the prostate gland, which is a small gland in men that produces seminal
Prostate cancer is a prevalent type of cancer that affects men, but it can be effectively treated when detected early. The prostate gland, located between the bladder and penis, is responsible for producing seminal fluid, secreting PSA protein, and aiding in urine control. The exact cause of prostate cancer is unknown, but the risk increases with age.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer may not present symptoms during its early stages, but screening can detect changes that may indicate its presence. The screening process involves measuring levels of PSA in the blood, with high levels suggesting the possibility of cancer.
However, some males may experience symptoms that include difficulty initiating and maintaining urination, frequent nighttime urination, a weak urine stream, blood in the urine or semen, painful urination or ejaculation, and pain in the pelvis, hips, or back.
Advanced prostate cancer may not show symptoms, with the severity of symptoms depending on the size and spread of cancer in the body. In addition to the symptoms mentioned earlier, advanced prostate cancer may also cause bone pain, unexplained weight loss, and fatigue.
Causes and risk factors
The exact cause of prostate cancer is unknown to researchers, but it usually develops due to changes in glandular cells, referred to as prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). Around 50% of males over 50 years have PIN, which can become cancerous over time. Cancer cells can be high or low-grade, with high-grade cells more likely to spread than low-grade cells.
Several risk factors may increase the likelihood of developing prostate cancer, including age, race or ethnicity, family history, genetic factors, and diet. The risk of prostate cancer increases after age 50, and it is more common in Black people than in white people. Those with a close relative with a history of prostate cancer have a higher chance of developing it, and inherited features or mutations in genes such as BRCA1, BRCA2, and Lynch syndrome may also increase the risk. Additionally, some evidence suggests that high-fat diets may increase the risk of prostate cancer.
How to avoid Prostate Cancer?
1. Maintain a healthy diet
A healthy diet is crucial for maintaining good health and reducing the risk of many diseases, including prostate cancer. Some foods that are particularly beneficial for prostate health include:
- Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of cancer. In particular, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage may have a protective effect against prostate cancer.
- Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may help prevent prostate cancer. Cooked tomatoes are thought to be particularly beneficial, as the cooking process increases the bioavailability of lycopene.
- Fish: Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel, may have a protective effect against prostate cancer.
- Green tea: Green tea contains compounds called catechins, which may have anti-cancer properties. Some studies have suggested that green tea may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
2. Stay physically active
Regular exercise is important for maintaining good health and reducing the risk of many diseases, including prostate cancer. Exercise can help regulate hormone levels and reduce inflammation, both of which may play a role in the development of prostate cancer. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. Some examples of moderate exercise include:
- Brisk walking
3. Get screened regularly
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent prostate cancer, early detection is crucial for successful treatment. Men should begin getting regular prostate cancer screenings at age 50 or earlier if they have a family history of the disease or other risk factors. Screening typically involves a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.
4. Limit alcohol consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of several types of cancer, including prostate cancer. Limit your alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day for men.
5. Quit smoking
Smoking has been linked to the risk of several types of cancer, including prostate cancer. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Talk to your doctor about strategies for quitting smoking.
6. Manage stress
Chronic stress can have a negative impact on your health, including your prostate health. Stress can cause inflammation and weaken your immune system, which can increase your risk of developing cancer. Try to find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones.
7. Consider taking supplements
Some supplements that may be beneficial for prostate health include:
Vitamin D: Some studies have suggested that low levels of vitamin D may be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about whether you should get your vitamin D levels tested or consider taking a vitamin D supplement.
Selenium: Selenium is a mineral that may have anti-cancer properties. Some studies have suggested that selenium supplements may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Zinc: Zinc is a mineral that is important for prostate health. Some studies have suggested that zinc supplements may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
What kind of doctor do you need for prostate cancer?
If there are concerns about prostate issues, a physician may refer you to a urologist who specialises in urinary tract problems. If prostate cancer is diagnosed, a specialist in cancer treatment (oncologist) or radiation therapy (radiation oncologist) may be recommended.
People also ask
How can prostate cancer be prevented?
There is no guaranteed way to prevent prostate cancer, but there are some steps that may help reduce the risk:
- Maintain a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet that is low in saturated fats and high in fruits and vegetables.
- Quit smoking or avoid tobacco products.
- Get regular check-ups with a doctor to monitor prostate health and any changes in PSA levels.
- Consider a prostate cancer screening if recommended by a doctor.
What is the main cause of prostate cancer?
The exact cause of prostate cancer is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Age, family history, and race are some of the main risk factors. Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal changes occur in the glandular cells of the prostate, which can become cancerous over time.
Do bananas help the prostate?
Bananas contain nutrients such as fibre, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 which are beneficial for the prostate gland and can help protect it. These nutrients are essential for maintaining the health and proper functioning of the prostate.