Guys, here’s your healthcare quiz for the day: What is the most common form of cancer in men?
The answer is prostate cancer. This is a slow-growing cancer of the prostate gland—a walnut-sized organ in the male reproductive system. Unfortunately, prostate cancer is also the second leading cause of cancer death among men.
Prostate Cancer Awareness Week – September 15-21, 2019 – is a good time to encourage men to get proactive with prostate cancer prevention. That’s why Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) is arming men with this list of the risk factors, prevention strategies and prostate cancer symptoms.
- Know your family history and other risk factors.
Family history, age and ethnic background play a role in your likelihood of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Let’s begin with family history, the strongest risk factor for prostate cancer. A man who has one close relative with prostate cancer – a father or a brother, for example – is twice as likely to develop prostate cancer as a male with no family history of the disease. Age is also a factor in prostate cancer. The disease is rare for men under 40 and most common in men 65 years and older. Ethnicity can affect your likelihood of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. African American men are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease; Asian American males are the least likely.
- Get screened.
Timely screenings are crucial to detecting prostate cancer, which will affect one in seven men. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends discussing prostate exams with your healthcare provider around age 45, if you have a family history of prostate cancer or you are an African American male. Men at lower risk should also discuss screening with their physicians since prostate cancer can occur in men considered lower risk for the disease, too.
- Eat your fruits and vegetables.
There is no specific diet for prostate cancer prevention, however, eating a mostly plant-based diet benefits your overall health. What types of foods should be on your plate and what should you avoid? A healthy diet consists of whole grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and good fats (avocado and nuts). Limiting your consumption of meat and dairy products is also recommended. For healthy, tasty and affordable menu ideas, visit YRMC’s Your Healthy Kitchen on YRMC HealthConnect or Facebook.
- Watch your weight.
Being obese or overweight can increase your risk for prostate cancer. You are considered obese when your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 30 or higher. Use this BMI calculator to learn where you are on the scale. If you’re overweight or obese, it’s time to embrace a regular exercise routine and a healthier diet. Your healthcare provider can advise you on both.
- Signs of prostate cancer in men
Contact your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: difficulty urinating, frequent urge to urinate, pain in the lower back and hips, or blood in your urine.
Take control of your health now by talking to your healthcare provider about prostate cancer.