September is prostate cancer awareness month. Prostate cancer affects over 2.5 million men in the United States. This type of cancer is one of the main types of death-causing cancers for men of all races.
Elderly men in senior care services may be living with a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Most prostate cancers grow slowly, but there have been instances of very aggressive forms of this kind of cancer. Prostate cancer doesn’t always appear with symptoms. Some men never undergo any type of therapy.
Diet and genetics have both been implicated as factors in causing prostate cancer. The treatment for this disease depends on the level of severity of the cancer.
At the first sign of symptoms, it’s best to go see a doctor and get checked. Even though this cancer doesn’t always have accompanying symptoms, the yearly PSA checks should also be a good screening tool. Some of the symptoms a man may experience include:
- Difficulty or pain while urinating.
- Blood in the urine or semen.
- Chronic constipation; other intestinal problems.
- Lower back pain or pain in the upper thighs or hips.
- Night urges to urinate; leaking or dribbling urine.
Become more educated:
- Know what the treatment options are and which is best suited to you and your stage of cancer.
- Educate yourself on the state of the art and new treatments becoming available.
- Some new technologies can be used to avoid a biopsy that might not be necessary. Some fancy ultrasound techniques allow doctors to see into the prostate.
Some ways to prevent prostate cancer include:
- Eat lots of tomato sauce, and yes ketchup counts too. The lycopene content in tomatoes (especially cooked tomatoes!) has been shown to lessen risks of developing this disease. Try to eat cooked tomatoes in some form every day. This is good news to men who love pizza, pasta and lasagna!
- Engage in physical activity, especially aerobic exercise. Cancer is no match for oxygen.
- It’s widely believed that cancer is fueled by sugar, even if it was initially triggered by something else, like mutations, toxins, heavy metal exposure etc. Cut down on dietary sugars and eat as healthy as possible.
- Men over 50 years of age should have annual PSA testing. The PSA test can detect signs of cancer in the early stages.
- If high levels of PSA are found, get a repeat test before scheduling treatment. Levels can naturally fluctuate.