Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer found in men, affecting around
in the United States. The
estimates there will be 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer and nearly 30,000 prostate cancer deaths in 2014 alone.
What is Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that forms in a man’s prostate gland, the gland responsible for creating & transporting sperm. Prostate cancer most commonly affects men over the age of 65. Statistically, less than one percent of men under the age of 50 will develop prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is very slow moving and often has no symptoms. If diagnosed early, most prostate cancer patients will usually survive the disease. In fact, there more than 2.5 million prostate cancer survivors in the United States.
Who is at Risk for Prostate Cancer?
Certain factors put men at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. These include:
- Age – Prostate cancer risk increases with age, especially in men older than 50.
- Race – Black men have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than white men and are more likely to develop it earlier in life.
- Family history – If a man’s brother or father has had prostate cancer, he has a twofold-increase in likelihood of developing the disease.
- Genetics – Prostate cancer develops frequently due to one or more gene mutations. This most often occurs sporadically after birth.
- Chemical Exposure – Men exposed to the chemical Agent Orange or herbicides used during the Vietnam War are at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
8 Tips to Help Prevent Prostate Cancer
Some risk factors for prostate cancer, such as age and genetics, cannot be avoided. However, there are some lifestyle changes that can be made to help decrease your risk of developing prostate cancer. Here are 8 Tips to Help Prevent Prostate Cancer:
- If you suffer from high blood pressure, stress, high cholesterol or depression, seek medical treatment.
- Avoid over-consumption of supplements and vitamins, especially folate and calcium.
- Decrease intake of fats from foods like red meat and dairy products, which increase testosterone levels and speed up the growth of prostate cancer.
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
- Consume a balanced diet and exercise regularly to help maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants, including tomatoes, spinach, berries and beans.
- Cut back on processed meats, such as hot dogs, bologna and other lunch meats.
- Eat more garlic. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute recently published a study that found men who consume ten or more grams of garlic or scallions per day decrease their risk of developing prostate cancer by approximately 50 percent compared to those who eat less than two grams.
Prostate Cancer Screening
In addition to altering certain behaviors, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test may help detect cancer early on, when treatment is most effective. PSA is a protein created by malignant (cancerous) and benign (noncancerous) prostate tissue. When cancer is present, PSA levels in the blood elevate. However, enlarged or inflamed prostate glands can also increase PSA levels, so physicians will also consider other factors alongside your PSA score. These include:
- The size of the prostate gland
- How fast PSA levels are changing
- Your age
- Medications or herbal supplements being taken that may affect PSA levels
PSA screening tests are recommended for men between 50 and 75 years old, and for men with increased risk of prostate cancer. Ultimately, receiving a PSA screening should be discussed with your doctor as there are many risks and benefits associated with the procedure.
Prostate Cancer Treatment at Wendt Cancer Center
The Wendt Regional Cancer Center in Dubuque, has treated hundreds of patients with prostate cancer over the years. As a leader in cancer care, we provide expert services and state-of-the-art technologies to 11 counties in the tri-state area. To schedule an appointment or for any questions, please call (563) 589 - 2468
In addition to treatment, UnityPoint Health – Finley hospital offers the Tri-state "Us Too" Prostate Support Group for men diagnosed with and survivors of prostate cancer. To learn more, call (563) 583 – 2468.