Prostate cancer is one of most common cancers that affect men in all over the world. Even it is the second most common cancer in some west countries. How do you get it and what are the natural ways to prevent it? Unfortunately, there is still no clearly answer for the exact cause of the disease. But experts have confirmed that there are some risk factors of the disease (some conditions /factors that may contribute in increasing the risk of prostate cancer)!
Cancer of prostate can be categorized into a very slow tumor. Typically, it grows very slowly – that’s why there are many patients with it die due to other reasons. Elderly people (older than 50-65 years of age) are at highest risk.
But in few cases, it also can grow rapidly. For this case, the cells of cancer are more likely to spread more quickly – if this occurs, the disease can be very dangerous and potentially life-threatening. And this aggressive prostate cancer can affect men of any age.
Once the cancer cells have spread, there are more complications that can be generated. If they spread to the bones, you have increased risk of having broken and pain bones. If they spread to the nearby sites such as bladder or ureters (smalls tubes that connect kidneys and bladder), you may experience more problems associated with urination. See also how this cancer affects the male urinary system in here, before continuing!
Cancer of prostate that spread to the outside prostate and affect other sites of body is categorized into the advanced stages. And for this case, the cancer may still be able to be controlled and may also still respond to the medical intervention & treatment – but typically it may be no longer to be cured.
In 2004, a study published by researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School found that there may be a contribution of a normally virus that lurks within the male urinary system called ‘BK virus’ in triggering the development of some abnormal cells in the prostate. Some researchers believe that BK virus can affect and infect the normal cells of prostate which then may cause cancer under the right conditions.
The development of cancer involves a lot of process, and the abnormal activities from BK viral protein may be just one step among many factors (either environmental & genetic factors) that trigger the cancer.
The study didn’t point that this virus cause cancer of prostate, but it found that the BK virus has contribution for the transition of normal cells to become uncontrolled growth of cells in the prostate. However, more studies are required to confirm this link.
In general as mentioned before, BK virus normally will not cause any problem in a healthy man. But it may be able to lead to certain diseases of bladder and kidneys if you have certain impaired immune systems.
So, do you now have your answer of how does a man get a prostate cancer? The next section will tell you about risk factors associated with prostate cancer and some major steps you should follow to prevent it naturally and decrease your risk of the disease – keep reading!
Again, it’s still not clear what the exact cause of the disease. Doctors often cannot say with certainty what factors cause this cancer. But experts agree that there are many different genetic and environmental factors involved in developing a cancer, including for prostate cancer. As mentioned before, cancer in the prostate begins when some normal cells become abnormal. This transition is also called atrophic lesions.
Normal cells usually grow normally and then will die on their own and replaced by new cells after a certain period of time. But for abnormal cells, they can grow more rapidly and also will not die on their own. The accumulation of abnormal cells is called tumor.
The following are certain conditions or factors that may increase your risk of having this kind of cancer:
- Did you know that about 4 out of 5 patients who are diagnosed with the disease are older than 65 years of age? This suggests ‘age’ is the unchangeable risk factor. In other words, your risk increases as you get older. However, the disease also sometimes can occur in age range of about between 30s-40s.
- A family history of the disease! Some studies found that men who have a family history of prostate cancer are more likely to experience the same condition. But this doesn’t mean if you have a family member with the disease you will definitely have the same condition – but ‘yes’, your risk is generally higher than other men who don’t have a family history of the disease.
- Then did you know that the disease is more common in countries where the consumption of dairy products and meat (animal fat) are very common? And the disease is less common in countries with high consumption of soybean products, vegetables, and rice. This is the reason of why some experts believe that the way of your diet also may affect your risk. Too much consumption of fat (particularly for ‘bad fat’ that cooked at too high temperature) can create certain cancer-causing substances which then eventually will directly affect the cells of the prostate.
- Environmental factors! These are so complex, because there are many environmental factors in this modern living that can trigger cancer. For instance, men who often exposed to unfriendly chemicals (such as for those who work at rubber /battery manufactures) usually have higher risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Race! Some studies found that the disease is more common in black men. In the U.S, about 60 percents of all cases are in African-American men. But the disease is pretty rare in African men who living in their native countries. Experts believe that there is correlation between this statistic and environmental factors (particularly such as less /much exposure to the sun, high /low fats diet, and exposure to cadmium /other heavy metals).
- Lack of physical activity may also cause an increased risk of the disease. Moreover, it also can put you at greater chance of obesity. And did you know that many obese men who diagnosed with cancer of prostate may be more likely to have the disease at advanced stages – according to an article published on WebMD?!
After knowing some risk factors of the disease, now you should know what you should do to reduce your risk. The following are more pieces of information to prevent and reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer!
The key is full your diet with more fresh fruits and vegetables, and don’t consume meat too much! The Southern Mediterranean diet and traditional Japanese diet are two common diets known to be effective in reducing the risk of prostate cancer.
Both kinds of diet have less red meat. Fish, olive oil, garlic, fresh fruits, vegetables, red wine, and tomatoes are very familiar in Mediterranean diet. Then for traditional Japanese diet, it is high in vegetables, soy, fish, and green-tea – but it is low in fat and calorie.
Here are some major checklists for your healthy diet:
- As mentioned before, too much consumption of animal fat is bad. So, it’s much better to consume it in moderation or restrict it if necessary for better result!
- Trans-fat (such as baked and fried foods) is another kind of bad fat you should restrict from your diet! Many studies found that it is bad for overall health – even many experts believe that it can be a trigger for the growth of cancer. Additionally, trans-fat is also commonly found in margarines.
- Too much consumption of foods high in calcium may stimulate the growth of abnormal cells in the prostate – according to some recent studies. So, make sure you eat these foods in moderation!
- Full your diet with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables! Each kind of fruit and vegetable has unique property that can be a powerful anti-cancer substance for cancer-fighting. Additionally, some best vegetables for cancer-fighting are cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage) and leafy dark-green vegetables.
- Control your calorie intake! In other words, make sure don’t get too much calorie /day otherwise you will be at greater chance of overweight and obesity. As mentioned before, obesity is one of risk factors of prostate cancer.
- Get more your natural vitamin C from your diet! Mango, cantaloupe, berries, sweet peppers, and citrus are some good natural source of vitamin C.
- Tomatoes have a unique anticancer substance called lycopene. Many studies found that lycopene is one of the most powerful substances for cancer-fighting. So, don’t forget to get some tomatoes in your diet! Additionally, other good sources of natural lycopene are watermelon, blueberries (berries), artichoke hearts, grapefruit, beans, and spinach.
- Prostate cancer is relatively less common in Japan. As well we know that fish is very common in traditional Japanese diet. Fish is high in alpha omeha-3 fatty acids which also can be useful to promote good health for your heart. Trout, sardines, mackerel, and salmon are some excellent choices – ensure you eat them at least 2-3 times a week (however don’t consume them too much, because they are also high in calorie). For best result, make sure you don’t fry them. It’s much better to grill (but not charred /burned) and poach them!
- Drinking a cup of green tea for several times a week is also great idea. Green tea is high in antioxidant (another powerful substance to against free-radicals that can cause cancer).
- Excess salted foods, pickled foods, and preserved foods should be avoided if you seriously want to prevent and decrease your risk of prostate cancer!
- Flax seed oil also should be avoided, because it may trigger the abnormal cells of prostate to grow. It’s much better to eat nuts and fresh fish to get your healthy alpha omega-3 fatty acids.
- Avocado oil and olive oil are also recommended. They are high in polyunsaturated fats (good fat) and vitamin E. Furthermore, olive oil is also great source of antioxidants.
- Another source for powerful antioxidant is selenium. It can be found naturally in brown rice, mushrooms, whole-wheat breads, grains, fish, nuts, oats, and wheat germ.
- And again remember that ‘moderation is the key’. Although some foods mentioned before are good for cancer-fighting, but you still need to eat them in moderation (don’t eat them too much)!
- Consult more with a dietitian to get more advice! If you consider taking certain supplements, it’s much better to consult first with a doctor to keep safe (particularly if you have a certain health condition).
It’s undeniable that having plenty of physical activity (regular exercise) is one of the best ways to promote and provide a lot of health benefits for the entire body, including for preventing prostate cancer.
As written before, being lack of physical activity is one of prostate cancer risk factors. So make sure you have a regular exercise. Don’t go too far when thinking about your exercise – the most important thing you should concern is how you do your exercise with fun so thus you can do it regularly!
You can try with ‘moderate walking’. Even some experts believe that walking is the best way of simple exercise to get plenty of physical activity a day.
It should not be a big problem if you stay close on a well-balanced diet and do your exercise regularly. If you are being overweight, do an appropriate weight loss diet and do more exercise (but do not over-exert yourself to get an instant result)!
And if your current weight is ideal, just keep focus to maintain it by maintaining your healthy diet and doing your exercise for most days of the week!
Don’t only focus to the health of your prostate – you need also to maintain your overall health, particularly the health of your heart. There are also many patients with prostate cancer who die due to their heart disease. In fact, heart disease is still the top leading cause of death in men.