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Prostate Health: Things to Know

According to “Prostate cancer is the 2nd most common cancer among men” – if that wasn’t scary enough, there are no real known symptoms of prostate cancer, until the cancer is pretty developed. The promising thing is that when prostate cancer is detected early on, before it has a chance to spread to other parts of the body, it’s fairly treatable. According to the National Cancer Institute, local prostate cancer (meaning cancer that hasn’t spread beyond the prostate) makes up 4 out of 5 prostate cancer diagnoses. Factors that increase your risk of developing prostate cancer include age (this cancer is most common among men over the age of 65), having a family history of prostate cancer, being obese and, for unknown reasons, African American men are more likely than their counterparts to develop this form of cancer. While there is no official way to prevent prostate cancer, there are lifestyle choices that can be made to reduce your likelihood of developing it.

Although there are no symptoms of actual prostate cancer, there are signs to watch for that signal a problem in your prostate. If you need to pee a lot (especially during the night), leak urine when you laugh or cough, are unable to pee standing up, feel pain or a burning sensation when you pee, notice blood in your semen or urine, have a hard time starting or stopping your flow of urine or have a weak urinary stream you may have a growth that is causing a blockage in your prostate. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor right away to determine what the cause is.

Because instances of prostate cancer are lower in countries that eat less red meats and high fat foods, it stands to reason that eliminating these things from your diet might decrease your chances of developing prostate cancer. Mayo Clinic suggests increasing your intake of lycopene, stating, “one nutrient that is consistently linked to prostate cancer prevention is lycopene, which can be found in raw or cooked tomatoes.” Mayo Clinic also suggests exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight as other ways to try and prevent prostate cancer. Their website says “There is some evidence that the men who get the most exercise have a lower incidence of prostate cancer when compared with men who get little or no exercise.”

One of the most important things you can do to maintain good prostate health, is to see your doctor regularly, never ignore potential warning signs, and get proper testing done, as you get older. There are medications available that may decrease your risk of developing prostate cancer. Another reason to work closely with your doctor on this matter is that the ability to detect this cancer early on, if it does start to develop, greatly increases the chances of eradicating the cancer.

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