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Prostate cancer: Regular exercise can help you maintain healthy weight

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Dr Rotimi Adesanya

March has been chosen as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in the United Kingdom and other European countries to bring attention to this very common form of cancer that affects so many men. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in men and is the second leading cancer-related cause of death in men.

The prostate is a gland. It is usually the size and shape of a walnut and grows bigger as one get older. The prostate is a small gland in the pelvis, found only in men. It sits underneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine (wee) out of the body. The main function of the prostate is to produce a thick white fluid that creates semen when mixed with the sperm produced by the testicles. The commonest prostate problems are an enlarged prostate, prostatitis and prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer can develop when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrolled way.

Risk Factors

Ages 50 or above- Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and the risk increases as you get older. The most common age for men to be diagnosed with prostate cancer is between 65 and 69 years. If you’re under 50, your risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is very low, but it is possible.

Father or brother has had prostate cancer- Families have many common factors, such as their genes, environment and lifestyle.Inside every cell in our body is a set of instructions called genes. These are passed down (inherited) from our parents. If something goes wrong with one or more genes (known as a gene fault or mutation), it can sometimes cause cancer. If people in the family have prostate cancer or breast cancer, it might increase the risk of getting prostate cancer.

Being black- Blacks are more prone to prostrate cancers compared to the white.

Symptoms

Symptoms include difficulty with urination, but sometimes there are no symptoms at all.

people may experience:Pain are in the bones, pain can occur during urination, difficulty starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine, dribbling of urine, excessive urination at night, frequent urination, urge to urinate and leaking, urinary retention, or weak urinary stream, painful ejaculation and bloody ejaculation.

Test

There is no single test for prostate cancer; the most commonly used tests for prostate cancer are:

  • blood tests….PSA
  • a physical examination of your prostate (known as a digital rectal examination, or DRE)
  • an MRI scan
  • a biopsy

PSA Testing- The blood test, called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testhelp detect early prostate cancer. Men over 50 can ask for a PSA test from a general physician. If you have a raised PSA level, you may be offered other tests like biopsy,MRI scan of the prostate to help doctors decide if you need further tests and treatment.

Treatment

If the cancer is at an early stage and not causing symptoms, your doctor may suggest either “watchful waiting”Some cases of prostate cancer can be cured if treated in the early stages.

Treatments include: surgically removing the prostate, radiotherapy – either on its own or alongside hormone therapy and Chemotherapy

Some cases are only diagnosed at a later stage, when the cancer has spread.If the cancer spreads to other parts of the body and cannot be cured, treatment is focused on prolonging life and relieving symptoms.

Prevention

There’s no absolute prostate cancer prevention, but evidence suggests that lifestyle plays a key role.

Tomatoes, watermelon, and other red foods owe their bright color to a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Some recent studies show that men who consume this fruit and tomato-based products have a lower risk of prostate cancer than those who don’t.

Nutrients and vitamins contained in fruitsand vegetables may lower your risk of getting prostate cancer. Green vegetables contain compounds that help your body break down cancer-causing substances called carcinogens.

Consider soybeans and tea- A nutrient called isoflavones has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer, Isoflavones are found in:tofu (made from soybeans), lentils, peanuts. Researchers have long studied the link between green tea and prostate cancer risk, Studies shows that men who drink green tea, or take green tea extract supplements, have a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer than those who don’t.

Make good choices about fat-The fats from the food below are healthy: olive oil ,fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts or seeds.

Fish and omega-3Fatty acid, known as omega-3, may help reduce risk of developing prostate cancer. Omega-3 is found in certain fish including sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout, and salmon.

Smoking: Prostate cancer patients who smoke are more likely to have a recurrence of the disease.

Exercise…Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight.

 

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