What You Need to Know About Men’s Prostate Health
September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Most men do not know what their prostate is or what it does. However, 30 million men suffer from prostate conditions that negatively affect their lifestyle.
The prostate is a gland that functions in the reproductive system in men. It is walnut-sized gland that is found just under the bladder. The prostate undergoes many changes during the course of a man’s life. The gland generally remains stable until men reach their mid-40’s when, in most men, the prostate begins to enlarge.
- 50% of men in their 60’s and nearly 90% of men 70 or older have symptoms of an enlarged prostate (BPH).
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men and the third leading cause of cancer deaths in men.
- Over 230,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year and more than 30,000 men will die from it.
- 9 out of 10 men who are diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer can go on to live a healthy life after proper treatment.
- Men at higher risk include African-American men older than 60, farmers, tire plant workers, painters, and men exposed to cadmium.
- The lowest number of cases occurs in Japanese men and those who do not eat meat (vegetarians).
- Prostatitis is an issue for men of all ages and affects 35% of men aged 50 and older.
3 Common Prostate Conditions
- Enlarged Prostate (BPH) – or benign prostatic hyperplasia. BPH is very common among older men, affecting about 60% of men over age 60 and 80% of men over age 80. A few known causes and risk factors are hormonal changes, late activation of cell growth, age, family history and heart disease risk factors.
- Prostatitis – a common condition that causes inflammation of the prostate gland. Almost half of adult men will be treated for in sometime in their life and it is the most common prostate problem for men under 50. Prostatitis is not considered a disease and it does not lead to prostate cancer. There are a number of treatment options available but the most efficient relief is early detection.
- Prostate Cancer – Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer in men of all ages and is the most common cause of death from cancer in men over age 75. Following a vegetarian, low-fat diet or one that is similar to the traditional Japanese diet may lower your risk. This would include foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Healthy Food for Your Prostate
Recently, doctors have realized the importance of food nutrition and diet to maintain a healthy prostate life. Men who gain a significant amount of weight are one of the leading factors in whether a man develops prostate cancer in his life.
- Maximize the amount of vegetables and fruits in your diet.
- Red and leafy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and spinach are linked to prostate cancer resistance (cruciferous vegetables).
- Buy whole foods. Whole foods have very low food processing and preservatives which gives you the closest thing to fresh vegetables. Often, the food in the grocery store is too processed and filled with preservatives to give your body the nutrition it needs.
- Drink teas, liquids and broths. Teas are healthy for the body because they are easy to digest and remove toxins built up in the prostate gland – they also contain nutrients not found in water. You can find teas specific for prostate health or drink regular black or green tea.
- That’s right, beans—an excellent source of protein and fiber, which is essential for proper prostate function. The protein found in beans should be maximized while limiting the protein found in red meats. It is also found that a diet high in red meat may be a risk factor for heart disease, colon cancer and prostate cancer.
It is important to remember that most prostate changes are not cancer but should be monitored and screened by your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, allow us to help you find one.