The prostate gland is found beneath the bladder and above the penis. It’s about the size of a large walnut and is responsible for producing the fluid that combines with sperm to create semen.
Cancer of the prostate gland is the most common male cancer worldwide and the fourth most common cancer overall. It’s a very slow-growing cancer so it’s rarely diagnosed in men below the age of 50 – in fact, the majority of cases occur in those over 65.
The incidence of prostate cancer has increased in recent years but this is largely due to improved detection, especially through the PSA blood test. Lifestyle however remains the most effective way to minimise your prostate cancer risk.
Prostate cancer risk factors under your control
There are several lifestyle choices you can make to keep your prostate cancer risk as low as possible – as well as boost your health and wellbeing in so many other ways;
keeping physically active
maintaining a healthy weight
consuming tomato-based foods and drinks on a regular basis
eating foods rich in the mineral selenium
avoiding occupational exposure to pesticides and substances containing arsenic
Your fixed risks
Some prostate cancer risks factors are less controllable. If any of these apply to you then you should ensure that you are particularly careful about positively managing your high risk priorities and also keeping up your low-risk areas;
a personal history of Lynch syndrome or prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland)
having a family history of prostate cancer
your mother having a personal history of breast cancer
Above all, if you’re over 50 then keep an eye out for possible early signs of prostate cancer – have a chat with your doctor if you’re at all worried about any of the following;
having to rush to the toilet to pass urine
passing urine more often than normal, especially at night
difficulty passing urine, including straining to pass it or stopping and starting
a sense of not being able to completely empty the bladder
and especially if you experience;
pain when passing urine
blood in your urine or semen
Remember – catching cancer before it develops further or worse, spreads elsewhere dramatically improves your chances of treating it successfully.
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