The Best Ways to Avoid Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer Facts

Prostate Cancer Facts

Prostate Cancer is the second most common form of cancer in American men. The figures around prostate cancer are startling — according to the American Cancer Society, 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2014 and nearly 30,000 men will die from the disease. One in seven men will experience prostate cancer in their lifetime.

It mostly affects older men, with most cases occurring in men over 65. However, some men have been diagnosed as young as 40.

Because of these confronting statistics, many men are looking at how to minimize their prostate cancer risk. Here are the best 6 ways to do so.

Drink Green Tea

Eat a Healthy Diet

Diet plays an incredibly important part in maintaining your health and avoiding cancer.  At it’s simplest, your diet should emphasize fruit, vegetables and fish.  It should limit fats, red meat, dairy foods and processed foods.

Studies have shown that men who eat higher levels of fat have a greater risk of getting prostate cancer.  This is particularly true for the fats found in meat, some oils, nuts and dairy foods.

Fat that is found in plants is much healthier and does not contribute to prostate cancer risk.  The fat found in an avocado for example, does not increase your prostate cancer risk.  Choose olive oil instead of butter to reduce the prostate cancer risk from fat consumption.

Studies have shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will decrease your risk of getting prostate cancer.  These foods are nutrient dense and low in fat.  By eating more natural foods, you will be avoiding the chemicals found in many processed foods, further lowering cancer risk.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and certain vegetables can lower your prostate cancer risk.  Certain oily fish like tuna and salmon, are higher in Omega-3s.

 Drink Green Tea

 

Some research has shown that green tea has an anti-inflammatory function within the human body and can lower the risk of certain cancers.  Research has found that people who drink large quantities of caffeinated beverages may increase their prostate cancer risk.  So cut down on the coffee and black tea, and replace it with green tea.

Keep Your Weight Under Control

A major risk factor for prostate cancer is obesity.  Men who have a high body mass index are more likely to get prostate cancer.  By keeping your weight under control, you can also avoid other forms of cancer, including colorectal cancer.

Exercise More

There is strong evidence that regular exercise can lower cancer and cardiovascular disease risk.  That is also true for prostate cancer, with research showing regular exercise can reduce your risk.

Drink Less Alcohol

If you have more than 2 standard drinks per day, you “may” be increasing your prostate cancer risk.  Some research indicates increased risk, but the evidence is not entirely compelling.  However, we do know that alcohol intake can increase the risk of colorectal, breast, liver and esophageal cancer.

Have More Sex

Some research indicates that men who have more sex have a lower risk of prostate cancer.  Men who were not in monogamous relationships had a lower risk of aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

Circumcision May Lower Prostate Cancer Risk

Prostate Cancer Circumcision Link

Prostate Cancer Circumcision Link

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer for men in the developed world with more than 240’000 cases diagnosed in the United States annually. Many men have the cancer without even knowing it, and die from unrelated causes before the cancer has had a chance to metastasize.

Because of the prevalence of this form of cancer, a great deal of funding is going towards finding the various risk factors and new forms of treatment.

One new research paper from Canadian scientists has uncovered a potential link between circumcision and prostate cancer risk. The link is suspected to be related to the lower rates of sexually transmitted disease amongst men who have been circumcised.

The research found that within a sample group of 3000 men, those circumcised as infants were 14 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer, and men circumcised as adults 45 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer.

The research was published in the British urology journal BJU International. Researchers have known for many years that men who have been circumcised have a lower risk of prostate cancer, but are now digging deeper to understand why.

The research participants were between the ages of 40 and 75, with approximately 50% having been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The men were asked in-depth questions about their health, lifestyle, family history of cancer and work history.

Interestingly, the circumcision and prostate cancer link may be stronger in men of a certain racial group. Black men who were circumcised were 60% less likely to have prostate cancer compared to black men who had not been circumcised. However the small number of black men in the study may have skewed the results.

The link is of growing concern because the circumcision rate has been declining in the United States in recent years, dropping by about 20 percent in the last few decades. Researchers suggest this may be due to the procedure not always being covered by insurance or medicaid.

However while the findings warrant more investigation, the format for the study relies upon the honesty of the participants. When it comes to revealing the details of their sexual history and sexually transmitted diseases, some men aren’t always completely honest. Researchers don’t suggest parents should be more or less inclined to circumcise based upon this study.

Dogs Detecting Prostate Cancer

Dogs Detecting Prostate Cancer

Dogs Detecting Prostate Cancer

In an interesting new study, trained dogs have demonstrated they can detect the presence of prostate cancer in a person by smelling their urine with 98% accuracy!

The study is about to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in Orlando.

The lead author of the paper, Dr. Gianluigi Taverna says: “This study gives us a standardized method of diagnosis that is reproducible, low cost and non-invasive” Dr. Taverna is chief of the prostatic diseases unit at the Humanitas Research Hospital in Milan, Italy.

Using these specially trained dogs may reduce the number of invasive procedures that people have to undertake when determining if they have prostate cancer, like biopsies. The ease of the test also means that people at high risk of prostate cancer could very easily have annual high accuracy tests.

The study involved over 900 participants and divided them into a prostate cancer group of about 360 men and a control group who did not have prostate cancer, that consisted of 540 men. The control group were tested to ensure they didn’t have any other form of cancer.

Two young German Shepherds were trained for 5 months and once ready they simple smelled the urine and gave their reaction to presence of scents that indicate prostate cancer.

The dogs learned to spot prostate cancer specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the urine samples. None of the trainers or lab technicians knew which samples were from prostate cancer diagnosed persons, so it was entirely up to the animals and no human “hints” were possible.

The results were astonishingly good with one of the dogs detecting to 100% accuracy the patients who had prostate cancer and to 98% accuracy the people from the control group who did not have prostate cancer.

The second dog was slightly less accurate with 98% accuracy at detecting prostate cancer and 96% accuracy for identifying people without the cancer.

From that large study group of 900 people, the animals collectively had 16 false positives and four false negatives.

Researchers suggest that the data can be used in conjunction with the other variables that the doctor is using to diagnose including size of tumor, tumor stage and patient age. When combined with other technologies like MRI scans, PSA tests and biopsies it could add a valuable tool to the doctors arsenal.

Before the accuracy of the dogs can be validated, there needs to be more testing with different racial groups and men of different ages to determine if there is any other biological factor at play which might undermine accuracy.

Unfortunately the use of dogs might not always be viable in a clinical setting, so researchers are also attempting to determine the biomarkers that the animals are spotting in the urine. They may be able to construct a way to replicate the results in the laboratory with a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry device.

Dogs can detect these smells because they have about 40 times more olfactory cells in their noses. For a long time humans have known about dogs sometimes having the ability to detect illness in their human friends. Recent studies have even shown that dogs can also alert people to incoming epileptic and diabetic seizures, so they can warn of incoming problems.

There are other research projects aimed at seeing how effective dogs are at detecting different forms of cancer including lung cancer, bladder cancer and breast cancer. Studies have also shown that dogs can spot ovarian cancer in blood.

Man’s best friend is once again demonstrating how helpful he can be by alerting us to health problems!

New Prostate Cancer Test Shows Great Results

Prostate Specifc Antigen

Prostate Specifc Antigen

New research has indicated that a less invasive prostate cancer testing procedure is showing good results and may be ready widespread use very soon. Previously doctors looked for elevated levels of prostate specific antingen (PSA) to determine if prostate cancer may be present, but the test was not always reliable. The new test looks for markers in the blood that indicate prostate cancer may be present and looks to be more accurate.

The new blood test looks for three markers in the blood in addition to PSA. The PSA test typically has a misdiagnosis rate of about 32% but the research indicates the new test may have a misdiagnosis rate as low as 9%. The blood markers in question are cytokines proteins, specifically IL-8, TNF-alpha and sTNFR1.

Prostate specific antigens are proteins in the blood that usually increase when men have prostate cancer. This kind of test has been in use since the 1980s but in recent years it’s lack of accuracy has been an issue for many doctors. Some research groups have shown that as many as 70% of men have elevated PSA levels but do not have prostate cancer.

Those men often have to endure a biopsy to confirm the presence of the cancer when it was not necessary. If the number of needless biopsies can be reduced by this new test, it is also a substantial saving for the health care system.

Dr Kailash Chadha presented the findings on the new test to the American Association for Cancer Research recently.

The PSA test also finds cancer that do not need to be treated because they are not life threatening and will not spread to other parts of the body.

The new three blood marker test is much better at determining if the cancer is localized prostate cancer (that will not spread) or high risk prostate cancer that is at risk of spreading to other parts of the body. If the doctor knows the precise nature of the cancer, then that will allow them to make a much better judgement call about further diagnosis and treatment options.

Dr Chadra says that the new test needs more research before it can be released into the medical world, but at this stage the findings are very encouraging. Another study researcher, Dr. Willie was quoted as saying: “What we really need is something that will reduce the number of men getting unnecessary biopsies, and also better distinguish those who should get treated compared to those who don’t need to be treated, Right now, with our current tools, we can’t adequately do that.”

This early stage research contained less than 50 men and most of them were male, so larger groups are required to determine the efficacy of the test.

Prostate Cancer Prevention

Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, so many people are becoming more interested in how to prevent prostate cancer and detect it early. Most people know someone who has been affected by prostate cancer, be it a friend or member of the family.

Because of it’s prevalence, chances are that if you live to an old age you may very well be affected by prostate cancer and quite often elderly people live with prostate cancer for many years until they pass away from a different illness.

To look at avoiding prostate cancer, you must first understand the main causes of the disease. The major risk factors for prostate cancer:

  1. Age: the average age of diagnosis for prostate cancer is around 70 years old. As you grow older your risk of prostate cancer increases
  2. Family History: If you have a close relative who is afflicted by prostate cancer, your chance of having it is doubled. If your relative was diagnosed at a young age (below 55), then your chances are increased even further
  3. Race: certain races are more likely to develop prostate cancer. African Americans are the most likely to develop prostate cancer which Asian men are the lowest. If the races live in a western country, their likelihood of having prostate cancer will increase (see below)
  4. Location: the risk of prostate cancer is much higher in certain countries like the USA with American men having 8 times more chance of having prostate cancer than someone who has lived in rural Japan their whole life. There is some research indicating that inadequate vitamin D from lack of sunlight exposure also increase risk and location plays a role there as well.

Most of those risk factors appear set in stone and there isn’t much you can do about them – until you examine why these risk factors exist. Why do men in western countries suffer from prostate cancer more often? The answer is mostly because of the foods they eat. The western diet is full of foods that produce oxidative damage to the DNA, while the Asian diet is much healthier.

Let’s look at some of the things we can modify to lower these risk factors and recognise the disease in it’s early stages.

  • Maintain a healthy weight. By eating fewer calories each day and maintaining a healthy weight you will be lowering the risk of prostate cancer. Being obese will increase your risk of getting prostate cancer
  • Limit intake of red meat and dairy food. Both of these food groups have been linked to an increase risk of prostate cancer, as well as other cancers like Bowel Cancer. Eat more plants than animals.
  • Avoid trans fats like those found in many types of margarines.
  • Limit your vices. Don’t smoke and only drink alcohol in moderation
  • Don’t intake too much calcium. There is some evidence suggesting that ingesting large amounts of calcium can increase the chances of prostate cancer
  • Eat more fish. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish have some role in preventing prostate cancer
  • Deal with medical problems immediately. High blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and depression should all be treated immediately as they lower survival rates for prostate cancer patients
  • Don’t take too many vitamins. For many people it helps to take a few vitamins but partaking in too many can increase risk of prostate cancer. Eating a better diet can make vitamins unnecessary
  • Relax and enjoy yourself. Sounds like a good idea right? You can actually lower your risk of getting cancer if you lead a lower stress life combined with a healthy diet
  • Eat a balanced and healthy diet. This is the most important point – eat a diverse diet which includes plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and healthy oils
  • Have regular checkups, especially if you are have a higher risk factor. If you are African American or have a family history, you should be more vigilant in have your prostate checked for cancer. Have the PSA test and rectal examination more often if you have increased risk factors

Some studies also suggest that exercising can lower your risk of prostate cancer, but that has been rejected by other studies. In any case, exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight, feel better and live longer so is highly recommended.

These tips can be used to avoid all kinds of cancer, so they won’t just help you avoid prostate cancer, but can help you avoid lung cancer, bowel cancer and heart disease.

Prostate Cancer Explained

Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer


Prostate Cancer could be considered a high profile form of cancer nowadays, with most people being well aware of the condition and knowing that early detection is key. However there are still many men who ignore the condition and don’t get checked as often as they should.

Prostate cancer develops slowly and so it is one of those cancers that is not immediately noticeable. The prostate gland is a small that is located just below the bladder and is responsible for creating the seminal fluid that nourishes sperm. The prostate also has some small muscles that help expel semen during ejaculation.

Cancer that develops in the prostate grows very slowly and because of the location of the prostate, it takes a long time before it begins to spread into other parts of the body. The good news is because of that location, usually the risk of the cancer spreading aggressively is diminished. However in rare cases it has spread aggressively from the prostate to other parts of the body in some patients.

When it spreads, prostate cancer will usually metastasize in the nearby lymph nodules, seminal vessels, distant regions or in the bones.

Like many forms of cancer, early detection is key to stopping this cancer in it’s tracks. You need to catch it before it has metastasized to other parts of the body and is untreatable. Given that the cancer is the 3rd most common for men, it is an important one to look for. It affects older men so it is safe to wait until you are 50 or older before you begin testing for it on a regular basis. You will need to get tested earlier if you have a history of cancer in your family or have urinary symptoms. The urinary symptoms include difficulty going to the toilet, which can be caused by an enlarged prostate.

Certain demographics are more likely to get prostate cancer. This include men with a history of cancer, men who have been exposed to hazardous toxic materials, men who have been heavy meat eaters, men who have abused alcohol and men of African ancestry. Also men who have had sexually transmitted diseases in the past may be more likely to be affected, and men who are obese also have a greater chance of being afflicted.

Prostate cancer can now detected by looking for a Prostate Specific Antigen in the blood. So a simple blood test can identify the condition. A digital exam can also be used to determine the condition of the prostate. If your doctor has found the antigen and determined you have an enlarged prostate, you will need a prostate biopsy to determine if cancer cells are present. The key is always to get tested regularly and early if you fit the increased risk profile.