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Prostate Cancer

Lifestyle and Diet May Help Protect You

Although there’s no sure way to prevent prostate cancer, you can make diet and lifestyle choices that may improve your odds of beating the disease. While any man can get cancer in the prostate, a small walnut-shaped gland, it’s more common in older men, African-Americans and those with a family history.

Each day, more than 500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in men.

Early detection is important.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) reports that the 5-year survival rate for men with prostate cancer is nearly 100% in cases where the cancer is still restricted in the prostate.

However, for those cases which are diagnosed late, the chances of 5-year survival are reduced to as low as 34%.

You may lower your risk of getting prostate cancer, as well as other cancers and heart disease, by following these guidelines:
  • Eat sensibly. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Select foods high in folate, a B vitamin found in spinach, asparagus and some beans. Vegetables, such as broccoli, kale and cabbage, also may help protect against cancer.
  • Choose healthy foods. Whole-grains, brown rice and whole wheat bread are smart options. Try to keep saturated fats to a minimum. The highest rates of prostate cancer appear in countries where people eat a lot of fat.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation. This generally means no more than 2 drinks per day for men.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold-water fish, like salmon and mackerel, may reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Green tea contains antioxidants that may prevent cancer and other health problems.
  • Aerobic exercise for 30 minutes daily is a good rule of thumb. Check with your health care provider to develop a physical activity plan.

Men may or may not experience symptoms in the early stages of prostate cancer. According to ACS, autopsy studies show that many older men who died of other diseases also had prostate cancer that never caused them a problem during their lives. These studies showed that as many as seven to nine out of 10 men had prostate cancer by age 80, but neither they nor their doctors knew they had it.

Signs and symptoms include:
  • trouble urinating
  • decreased force in urine stream
  • blood in urine
  • blood in specimen
  • swelling in your legs
  • discomfort in the pelvic area bone pain.

Most prostate cancer is discovered through a routine Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) or a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test.

If you are at average risk, begin talking about testing with your health care provider at 50. If you are African-American or have a father, brother or son who had prostate cancer before age 65, you are considered high-risk and should begin talking to your health care provider at 45. For men at even higher risk (with multiple family members who have had prostate cancer), this talk should take place at 40.

To keep your risk in perspective, stay in regular contact with your personal health care provider about your prostate health. Together, you and your physician can consider prevention strategies that make the most sense for you, given your health and medical history.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please contact our expert physicians in urologic care at Northshore Urological Associates in Hammond at (985) 230-7860 or in Livingston at (225) 686-4960.

You also may call North Oaks Family Medicine – Medical Center Campus at (985) 230-1850, in Hammond on Morrison Blvd at (985) 230-5800 or North Oaks Primary Care Clinic in Livingston at (225) 686-4930.