Most men are already aware of the risk of developing Prostate Cancer so let’s talk about some things you may not know as well for September’s National Prostate Awareness Month.
First, in addition to prostate cancer, if you have a family history of breast (female or male) pancreatic, melanoma or other cancers, you may be at an increased risk due to your genetic background. If your family is from the Ashkenazi European Jewish decent, there is a higher risk that you are a carrier of the BRCA genetic mutation which could increase your risk for any of these types of cancers. Men with a BRCA genetic mutation may be twice as likely to develop prostate cancer. It’s important to note that both Male BreastCancer and Female Breast Cancer within the family may warrant genetic testing to be completed to determine if you have an increased risk of also receiving a Prostate Cancer diagnosis.
Prostate cancer is a malignancy of the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Often there are not many symptoms that occur so an early diagnosis is not often the case. This allows for the cancer cells to spread to other areas such as the lymph nodes, bones and the lungs. Prostate cancer may be found from a doctor’s examination as well as by a blood test for the PSA level. The prostate – specific antigen is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. When the PSA level in the blood is elevated it may be a signal of prostate cancer but it is not always the case and additional testing may be needed. When Prostate cancer is found in its early stages while contained in the prostate gland, it can be treated with very good chances of survival. Approximately 85% of American men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are in an early stage and it is usually found to be slow growing.
In addition to genetics, there are a few job hazards that have been associated with a higher diagnosis of prostate cancer such as welders, battery manufacturers, and others often exposed to metal cadmium.
So besides your genetics, and your occupation, what can you do to help with some preventive measures? Because hormones play a role in the cause, choosing a diet lower in fat, especially from red meat, assist with the amount of testosterone in the body which can speed the growth of prostate cancer. Add cruciferous foods to your daily intake such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage as well as tomato sauce to help reduce your risk. As in most cases, keeping a healthy body-weight along with an exercise regimen are helpful. In addition some of the following supplements are suggested to assist with the prevention of prostate cancer; Green Tea, Lycopene, Vitamin D, Selenium, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), Melatonin and Cruciferous supplementation.
Remember, if you have a family history of breast and/or prostate cancer, please make sure to let you doctor know and discuss if genetic testing should be considered. Know your risk, take charge of your own body and your health and in addition to your yearly physical, check up and blood work for prostate cancer, please check your breast for Male Breast Cancer too! Both, when found early can make all the difference in saving lives.
Modah Ani- I Am Thankful
Editor; Vicki Singer Wolf, Co-founder