There Are Things You Can Do To Help Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Prostate Cancer
While theres no way to completely cancer-proof your body, adopting these lifestyle habits may help lessen your chance of developing it:
Eat a Mediterranean-style diet. Think plant-based foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes and nuts, and heart-healthy fats like olive oil and fatty fish. According to a study published earlier this year in The Journal of Urology, men who adhere to such a diet have less risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer than those who eat a more Western diet.
Maintain a healthy weight. Research shows that being overweight or obese raises the risk of advanced prostate cancer, according to a recent report released by the World Cancer Research Fund. A study presented this January at the American Association for Cancer Researchs Special Conference also found that men who’ve had prostate cancer in the past have a higher chance of recurrence if they are obese.
Exercise. Men who regularly break a sweat have a slightly lower risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer.
Don’t fall for unsubstantiated hype. You may have heard that taking supplements, such as vitamin E or selenium, may lower your risk of developing prostate cancer, but theres no research to support this. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that popping vitamin E supplements could actually increase your prostate cancer risk.
Prostate Cancer Treatment: When Watching May Be Enough
Your doctor will consider many factors before deciding whether this approach is right for you. This includes:
- Gleason score : This scoring system grades how aggressive a prostate cancer is. It also gives doctors hints as to how likely a cancer is to spread. Gleason scores less than 7 are considered lower risk and might be appropriate for active surveillance.
- Biopsy results : A prostate biopsy is the only definitive way to diagnose prostate cancer today. After a prostate biopsy, your doctor will count how many of the samples contain cancer. For biopsies that show three or fewer samples with cancer, your doctor might recommend watching you before starting treatment.
- PSA results : A PSA test is the standard way doctors assess prostate cancer risk. Doctors use PSA test results along with information about your prostate size to measure your PSA density. If PSA density is less than 0.15, you might not need treatment right away.
- Physical characteristics : Another way your doctor will assess prostate cancer is through a rectal exam. If he or she cant feel a cancer , thats another sign that could point to active surveillance as a possible treatment approach.
Some Men With Prostate Cancer May Not Need Immediate Treatment
If youre diagnosed with early, low-risk prostate cancer, experts now believe you may not need to do anything about it at first.
Sometimes tumors are so small, and grow so slowly, that its reasonable to just monitor them closely, which is a process known as active surveillance, Dr. Smith says.
A landmark study that followed 1,643 men with low-risk prostate cancer found that whether they opted for surgery, radiation therapy or active surveillance, their survival rates were about the same: Each group had a prostate cancer-related death rate of about 1%.
Note, though, that if you do opt for active surveillance, youll still need to be monitored with periodic biopsies, prostate exams and PSA blood tests every six to 12 months, Dr. Smith says. If the cancer should show signs of progression, youll need to start active treatment.
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How To Prevent The Risk Of Prostate Cancer
- Adopting a healthy diet, with the inclusion of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Drinking plenty of water, in order to flush out toxins.
- Exercise at least four times a week.
- Maintaining a healthy body weight.
- Reduce all symptoms of obesity/
- Consulting a specialist, in case prostate cancer has been detected.
Your Risk For Prostate Cancer Depends On Several Factors
Your race and ethnicity plays a part in your risk: When Al Roker shared that he was fighting an aggressive form of prostate cancer that was luckily caught early, it was a powerful reminder that Black men and Caribbean men with African ancestry face a higher risk of both developing prostate cancer and dying from it. In fact, 1 in 7 Black men will be diagnosed during their lifetime, and 1 in 25 will die from the disease.
Age is also a factor in whether a man will develop prostate cancer, especially after age 50. As men age, that risk increases even more, with men over age 65 accounting for about 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer. Family history matters, too, but its not the only thing that counts. If your father or brother has prostate cancer, your risk of developing it more than doubles. But still, most men with prostate cancer have no family history of the disease.
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What Is The Prostate
The prostate is a small gland in the pelvis, found only in men.
About the size of a satsuma, it’s located between the penis and the bladder, and surrounds the urethra.
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.
Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
Symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis .
When this happens, you may notice things like:
- an increased need to pee
- straining while you pee
- a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied
These symptoms should not be ignored, but they do not mean you have prostate cancer.
It’s more likely they’re caused by something else, such as prostate enlargement.
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Its A Good Idea To Ask Your Doctor When You Should Start Getting Screened For Prostate Cancer
Theres not a one-size-fits all approach to when men should begin prostate cancer screening. The American Cancer Society recommends that average-risk men start prostate cancer screening at age 50, while the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that men get screened between the ages of 55 and 69.
Some prostate cancer experts, like Hung, think men should consider screening even earlier.
I recommend that men between the ages 45 to 49 have a baseline PSA test, he says. Depending on the baseline PSA, they should have a PSA test every 1 to 2 years until the age of 70.
Since each man has different risk factors, you and your doctor should discuss your individual situation.
The decision to do a PSA test should be a shared decision between the patient and physician, Hung says.
Prostate Cancer: When To Treat Versus When To Watch
Because certain prostate cancers grow very slowly, your doctor might determine that its not likely to present a significant threat to you. This is particularly true if a prostate cancer is localized, meaning it hasnt spread beyond the prostate.
If thats the case, you and your doctor can discuss getting regularly tested instead of undergoing treatment right away. Doctors call this approach active surveillance. By not rushing into treatment for a cancer that may not cause you any harm, this approach helps many men avoid treatment-related side effects.
Active surveillance , or active monitoring, means your doctor will monitor you closely, watching to see how the cancer progresses, if at all. This is primarily for cancers that doctors classify as:
- Very low risk for causing symptoms
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Gleason Score Vs Grade Groups
The International Society of Urological Pathology released a revised prostate cancer grading system in 2014. The grade group system seeks to simplify Gleason scores and give a more accurate diagnosis.
One of the major problems with the Gleason score is that some scores can be made up in different ways. For example, a score of 7 can mean:
- 3 + 4. The 3 pattern is the most common in the biopsy and 4 is the second most common. This pattern is considered favorable intermediate risk.
- 4 + 3. The 4 pattern is the most common in the biopsy and 3 is the second most common. This pattern is considered unfavorable and may mean local or metastatic spread.
So, although both situations give a Gleason score of 7, they actually have very different prognoses.
Heres an overview of how the two grading systems compare:
|grade group 5||910|
Not all hospitals have switched to the grade group system. Many hospitals give both grade group and Gleason scores to avoid confusion until grade groups become more widely used.
Questions To Ask The Doctor
- What treatment do you think is best for me?
- Whats the goal of this treatment? Do you think it could cure the cancer?
- Will treatment include surgery? If so, who will do the surgery?
- What will the surgery be like?
- Will I need other types of treatment, too?
- Whats the goal of these treatments?
- What side effects could I have from these treatments?
- What can I do about side effects that I might have?
- Is there a clinical trial that might be right for me?
- What about special vitamins or diets that friends tell me about? How will I know if they are safe?
- How soon do I need to start treatment?
- What should I do to be ready for treatment?
- Is there anything I can do to help the treatment work better?
- Whats the next step?
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Five Things Every Man Should Know About Prostate Cancer
Its only about the size of a walnut, but the prostate takes on an oversized place in mens health as they age. In support of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we talked to MultiCare Urologist Douglas Sutherland, MD, to learn the five things every man should know about prostate cancer and why an annual physical is so important for mens health.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, behind skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. In fact, one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. Its also the second-leading cause of cancer death in American men .
But the statistics arent all grim. If caught and treated early, prostate cancer is very survivable. Localized prostate cancer is nearly 100 percent curable. But its also not likely to cause any symptoms. A simple blood test to measure prostate-specific antigens has been shown to reduce the death rate of prostate cancer.
Older men and non-Hispanic Black men are at higher risk for prostate cancer. Family history also plays a part. If your father or brother had prostate cancer, your risk of developing the disease is double what it would be otherwise.
In a twist, obesity seems to reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer overall. But thats not a license to ignore the scale because when an obese man does develop prostate cancer, its usually more aggressive.
Early Prostate Cancer Usually Has No Symptoms
One of the most asymptomatic types of cancer, individuals with early prostate cancer often experience no symptoms. As a result, it’s most commonly diagnosed during routine screening rather than due to a patient’s current symptoms.
Although they’re more commonly experienced during later stages, symptoms of prostate cancer can include:
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty starting or stopping urination
- A weak or interrupted flow of urination
- Burning or pain with urination
- Erectile dysfunction
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood present in urine and/or semen
- Pain and/or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
- Numbness or weakness in the feet and legs
- Loss of bowel and/or bladder control
While these symptoms can indicate prostate cancer, they’re also commonly experienced due to other health concerns such as prostatitis or a condition that causes the non-cancerous growth of the prostate gland called benign prostatic hyperplasia .
Since the early detection and diagnosis of prostate cancer can’t depend on the development of symptoms, routine screening process has been developed. Regular screening of those who are considered at risk of developing prostate cancer enables early diagnosis and more effective treatment. This allows men to live long, active lives following a prostate cancer diagnosis.
If you or a loved one is over the age of 50 or in another high-risk category, be sure to schedule a regular prostate cancer screening exam with your general practitioner every year.
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Some Risk Factors That Prostate Cancer Is Associated With:
Some of the common factors that are responsible for the increase in cancer de prostata are as follows:
- Age of the individual-
Older men tend to have the risk of prostate cancer, due to stress and other bodily conditions.
If your family history shows records of this issue, then some men might also have it later on in their lives. Genes are responsible for taking this cancer ahead.
Overweight and obese men tend to have prostate cancer more.
What Are The Main Causes Of Prostate Cancer
The prostate gland is made up of tiny cells that help in regulating the flow of semen. In fact, the organ is also responsible for transporting this fluid as well. Sometimes, abnormalities start to develop in surrounding cells of the prostate gland. Either the cells divide rapidly or then seem to lower in number. Therefore, if the cells start to accumulate in excess, it can strictly invade the inner tissue lining of the prostate gland. As a result, the abnormal cells are highly responsible for the birth of cancer cells in the prostate.
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Things To Know About Prostate Cancer
Symptoms of prostate cancer are often absent in the early stages, and when they do appear, they can be confused with signs of other diseases. Luckily, this cancer is frequently slow-growing, making survival rates quite high. Read on to learn about some of the signs of prostate cancer, along with how to diagnose and treat it.
What Advice Do You Provide To Your Patients And Their Loved Ones To Help Navigate The Treatment Process After Diagnosis
Dr. Hall: This is a big issue, because we have treatment options that vary. Sometimes we recommend no immediate treatment called active surveillance. Other times we have a discussion around surgery and radiation, and we discuss the pros and cons of each one, but there are potential side effects that can really affect the quality of life, like sexual dysfunction and incontinence. So that means there should be multiple conversations with your physician about how you get back into the game after you’ve had prostate cancer treatment and support groups that can help you to become a survivor to a thriver and end up getting back into your full throes of life. That requires more than one discussion, so you shouldn’t have a one and done with this disease. You should have multiple discussions and support groups to get you through.
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Things Men Need To Know About Prostate Cancer
For men diagnosed with prostate cancer or who are concerned about their risk, it can be a daunting task to navigate the latest research news.
On Saturday, prostate cancer experts shared their knowledge about screening, treatment and clinical trials at the fourth annual symposium for patients and families held at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The event was hosted by the Institute for Prostate Cancer Research â a joint program of Fred Hutch and UW Medicine.
IPCR’s more than 40 scientists and clinician-scientists collaborate to understand the causes of prostate cancer and its progression, develop new ways to prevent and diagnose the disease, and create new treatments to improve survival and quality of life.
To help distill their latest recommendations and research, here are six things men need to know.
Large Research Studies Are Seeking Participants To Help Understand Prostate Cancer In Blacks
In 2018, the National Cancer Institute and Prostate Cancer Foundation launched a large-scale research effort to study underlying factors that put Black men at a higher risk for the disease. The five-year study is called RESPOND . The study will enroll 10,000 Blacks with prostate cancer. Those interested in participating can contact the studys leaders to learn more.
Another study led by Dr. Kantoff and colleagues is called IRONMAN . It is enrolling 5,000 men with advanced prostate cancer from diverse populations to look at genetic differences as well as different treatment patterns across the groups.
A lot of researchers have been studying this topic, but we dont have solid answers yet, so large studies should be very valuable, Dr. Kantoff says.
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Prostate Cancer Treatment: What Active Surveillance Looks Like
To monitor a low-risk prostate cancer, someone on active surveillance could undergo:
- Rectal exam : Every six months
- PSA test : Twice a year. This blood test, commonly used to screen for prostate cancer, measures how much prostate-specific antigen is in your blood.
- Biopsy : Once a year
- MRI scan : Necessary in some cases to show more details of a cancer if your doctor has any questions or concerns from your test results
Prostate Cancer Grade And How This Impacts Treatments
Oncologists use two methods to grade prostate cancer. The Gleason Score is the traditionally used method with scores ranging from 2 to 10. Based on the score, a Grade Group may also be determined between 1 and 5.
Grading is one of the most critical pieces of information that you’ll get from your pathology report. The grade is one of the determining factors in whether treatment should begin now or can be delayed, based on how abnormal the cells look when viewed under a microscope. Understanding the grade of your cancer will help create a treatment plan and determine additional screenings and tests you may need to do in the future.
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