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 (conditions /factors that may cause the disease more likely)!
Cancer of prostate can be categorized into a 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. In such 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.
Once the cancer cells have spread, more complications are likely to occur. If they spread to the bones, this may cause broken and pain bones. If they spread to the nearby sites such as the bladder or ureters, you may experience more problems associated with urination, see more here!
In 2004, a study published by researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School found that there might be a contribution of a normal 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 might affect the normal cells of prostate and cancer cells turnover with certain conditions, for example with impaired immune system .
But the development of cancer involves complex processes. And the abnormal activities from BK viral protein is just one thing among many factors (either environmental & genetic factors).
The study didn’t point out whether this virus causes prostate cancer. But researchers found that the BK virus might has contribution for the transition of normal cells to become uncontrolled growth of cells. However, more studies are required to confirm this link.
Again, it’s not clear yet what exactly causes the disease. There are many different factors, including genetic and environmental things, involved in developing a cancer.
Cancer in the prostate begins when normal cells become abnormal. This transition is also called atrophic lesions.
Normal cells grow normally, they will die and replaced by new cells after a certain period of time. But for abnormal cells, they grow more rapidly that can cause an abnormal buildup called tumor.
- Age. Did you know that about 4 out of 5 patients who are diagnosed with the disease are older than 65 years of age? The risk increases as you get older.
- 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.
- Then did you know that the disease is more common in countries where the consumption of dairy products and meat (animal fat) are high? On the other hand, it is less common in countries with high consumption of soybean products, vegetables, and rice. So diet may have a role.
- Environmental factors! These are so complex, because there are many environmental factors in this modern living that can trigger 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.
- Lack of physical activity may also factor into the risk. Sedentary, obese men diagnosed with the disease 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 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 contain 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 other things to rememeber:
- Too much consumption of animal fat is bad. So, do this in moderation, instead.
- 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, too.
- 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.
- Control your calories for healthy weight! As mentioned before, obesity is one of risk factors of prostate cancer.
- Get more for 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, a powerful substance for cancer-fighting. Other good sources of natural lycopene are watermelon, blueberries (berries), artichoke hearts, grapefruit, beans, and spinach.
- Prostate cancer is relatively less common in Japan, where fish is very common in traditional Japanese diet. Fish is high in alpha omega-3 fatty acids to promote good health for your heart. Trout, sardines, mackerel, and salmon are also excellent choice. 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 cause cancer.
- Avoid excess salted foods, pickled foods, and preserved foods!
- Flax seed oil, take it carefully ask your doctor first if necessary! Because it might cause cancer cell growth in the prostate. To keep safe, eat nuts and fish to get your healthy alpha omega-3 fatty acids.
- Avocado oil and olive oil are other goodies. They are high in polyunsaturated fats (good fat) and vitamin E. Plus, they are good source of antioxidants.
- Selenium, an antioxidant! 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 above are good for cancer-fighting, but you still need to eat them in moderation since they also contain calories!
Consult more with a dietitian to get more advice! If you consider taking certain supplements, ask your doctor first!
It’s undeniable that having plenty of physical activity (regular exercise) is one of the best ways to carry a lot of health benefits for the entire body, including for preventing cancer.
As written earlier, lack of physical activity is one of prostate cancer risk factors. So make sure you have 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! Try with ‘moderate walking’, for example!
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 crave for an instant result)!
In case if your current weight is ideal, just keep focus to keep it offby maintaining your healthy diet and doing your exercises 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 heart disease. In fact, heart disease is the top leading cause of death in men.