Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. It can occur in the prostate gland, a small walnut-shaped gland that produces seminal fluid. It commonly affects men over 40 years of age, but it can affect males of any age.
Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and is initially confined to the gland. It doesn’t produce symptoms in the early stages; therefore, even if a man has prostate cancer, he may not be aware of it until it has grown and spread. However, some aggressive types spread fast and need early treatment.
What are the risk factors of Prostate cancer?
Some identified factors increase the risk of developing prostate cancer in a man. Most of these risk factors are irreversible.
- Genetics: If one of the family members has prostate cancer, there is a higher chance of getting it. Genetics plays a role; if the gene runs in your family, you better be cautious.
If there’s a family history of genes that increase breast cancer risk, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2, or if you have a strong family history of breast cancer, your risk of developing prostate cancer can be high.
- Age – As you get older, your risk of developing prostate cancer increases. The risk dramatically increases when a man is 50 years or older.
- Race: African American men have a higher chance of developing prostate cancer than others.
Unfortunately, you cannot do anything regarding these risk factors because you can’t change them. However, there are some things that you can do to lower your risk of developing prostate cancer. Practicing these lifestyle modifications not only lowers your risk of getting prostate cancer but reduces the risk of many other cancers as well.
How can you prevent getting prostate cancer?
- Diet plays a significant role when it comes to preventing prostate cancer. Research has shown that prostate cancer deaths are highest in countries where the fat intake is high. If you reduce your fat intake, your risk of getting prostate cancer also reduces. Fast foods, fatty meats, fried foods, whipped cream, animal fats, desserts, and mayonnaise are high in fats and unhealthy if you eat them regularly. Make sure you reduce your fat intake to lower your risk of prostate cancer.
- People who consume diets rich in Omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, and Herring have an overall low risk for developing cancer.
- Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer.
One comparative study found that a group of men who consumed 28 or more servings of fruit and vegetables per week showed a lower rate of developing prostate cancer than a group of men who consumed 14 servings or less.
- Soy foods and legumes have plant-based chemicals known as Phytoestrogens. They mimic the effects of natural estrogen, which is produced naturally in the body. Studies have shown that the estrogen hormone reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer. Therefore, increased consumption of soy products and legumes will protect you against prostate cancer.
- Drinking green tea regularly has been shown to reduce the risk of developing cancers, including prostate cancer. Green tea contains plenty of antioxidants that fight against cancer cells and the accumulation of toxins.
Being obese or overweight increases the risk of developing any cancer, including prostate cancer. Therefore, if you’re obese or overweight, strive to lose the extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight.
Here is how you can do it;
- Eat a balanced nutritious diet, with regular small meals
- Cut down on your fat intake
- Engage in regular aerobic exercises – Moderate exercise like jogging, brisk walking, swimming, and cycling for at least 30- 60 minutes a day for 3-4 days a week will help you lose weight and keep you fit.
If you cannot lose weight by yourself, get the help of a dietician or a nutritionist.
Smoking is a risk factor for all types of cancers. Quit smoking at once. Simply reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke each day won’t help. You may seek help from your doctor or a psychologist. Nicotine patches can help you to quit smoking.
Taking good care of yourself and modifying your lifestyle helps lower your risk of developing prostate cancer. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and reducing your stress levels will go a long way in keeping you healthy and protecting you against cancer.
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