September, aka National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, is over but prostate health is a year round concern. Here are some important things to keep in mind…
Although some foods have been linked with reduced risk of prostate cancer, at least for now, proof that they really work is lacking. Therefore, instead of focusing on specific foods, strive for an overall pattern of healthy eating.
- Eat multiple servings (shoot for 5) of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Choose whole-grain bread, pasta, and cereals.
- Limit your consumption of red meat and processed meats.
- Choose fish, skinless poultry, beans, and eggs for healthy sources of protein.
- Consume healthful fats, such as olive oil, nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), and avocados.
- Limit saturated and partially hydrogenated fats.
- Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks, such as sodas and many fruit juices.
- Cut down on salt by choosing foods low in sodium.
- Avoid overeating… Eat slowly and stop when you are full.
In addition to eating healthy, stay active. Regular exercise reduces your risk of developing some deadly problems, including heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. Though relatively few studies have directly assessed the impact of exercise on prostate health, those that have been done have concluded, for the most part, that exercise is beneficial.
In the early stages, prostate cancer does not cause symptoms, which is why it is important to have an annual digital rectal exam (DRE) along with a blood test to check your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. Elevated levels do not necessarily indicate prostate cancer; however, your results may indicate the need for further testing. As with any form of cancer, early detection provides for the best long-term results and most treatment options.
Other, non-cancerous, prostate issues, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and various forms of prostatitis, may cause symptoms including, but definitely not limited to, difficulty urinating, dribbling, pain, and the urge to frequently urinate.
If you have any concerns, are experiencing symptoms, or are in need of your annual DRE & PSA tests, please call the Urology Group of Princeton to schedule an exam.