5 Things You Can Do During Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s important to learn about prostate cancer in order to better fight against it. Armed with the proper information and tools, you can be well-equipped to better understand the facts about prostate cancer, who it affects, and what you can do about it. Today, the Unity Healthcare team in Lafayette, IN, is here to do just that—we’ll let you know about 5 things to help increase your prostate cancer education, so keep reading.

What is Prostate Cancer and Who Does It Affect?

Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer, and it’s mainly found in men over 65, and rarely found in those under 40. The American Cancer Society estimates that that in 2017, there would be approximately 161,360 new cases of prostate cancer and 26,730 deaths from the disease. It’s the third leading cause of death from a form of cancer in the U.S., after lung and colorectal cancer. While 1 in every 39 men will die from prostate cancer, most diagnosed with the disease won’t die from it. Prostate cancer starts when the prostate gland cells are out of control and multiply rapidly. It usually starts in the glandular cells and is known as adenocarcinoma. There will be small changes in the prostate gland cells and usually happens slowly and without symptoms until the disease advances. If diagnosed before metastasis, it can usually be successfully treated; if it spreads, it becomes more dangerous. In the rare case that symptoms present themselves, it typically involves issues with urination. Without proper diagnosis or treatment, it can spread to the bones. That said, while there’s no surefire way to entirely prevent prostate cancer, it is possible to learn more about prostate cancer prevention and treatment.

How to Minimize, Prevent, and Treat Prostate Cancer

• Make Changes to Your Diet: There’s some evidence that suggests a diet change can help lower the risk of prostate cancer, so choosing a low-fat diet may help. Eating more fat from plants and animals is another alternative. Increasing how many fruits and vegetables you consume daily is thought to minimize the risk. Fatty fish, like salmon or tuna have omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a reduced prostate cancer risk. However, it’s important to remember that there’s no one nutrient that’s been concretely linked to minimizing the risk.
• Keep Your Weight at a Healthy Level: If you’re obese (defined as having a body mass index of over 30), you could have a higher chance of suffering from prostate cancer. Try to cut down on the number of calories you eat and get 20-30 minutes of exercise at least 3 times a week. If you’re at a healthy weight, maintaining it will help to minimize your risk.
• Get Screened: Screening helps find cancer before symptoms show, making it easier to treat. For prostate cancer, it can often be found when the blood is tested for the amount of prostate-specific antigens. If the tests show abnormal results, a second opinion or further testing can be done. If found, it will most likely be at an earlier, more treatable stage than if it had been found further down the line when symptoms started presenting themselves. Prostate cancer screening helps to find it early, but there can be limits.
• Take Vitamins, Supplements, and Medications: If you’re at a higher risk for prostate cancer, your doctor may suggest prescribing some vitamins, minerals, supplements, or medications that may decrease your risk. There can be conflicting information on them, such as with selenium, soy, and isoflavones. Drugs that may reduce the risk include 5-alpha reductase inhibitors.
• Effective Treatment: If you have prostate cancer, asking questions is the best way to understand the disease – find out the state and grade, understand your insurance, and get an overview of treatment. Depending on the form, there are different options available. Active surveillance, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or bone-directed treatment are some of the therapy methods available. Generally, they’re only used one at a time, but they can be combined. You may not need to be treated right away, so make sure you understand the pros and cons of each option.

I Want to Stay Educated!

Do you want to keep ahead of the curve with your prostate cancer education? Want to get screened? Or considering different treatment options? Whatever it is, come to Unity Healthcare: with our innovative technology and extensive array of both treatment and diagnostic services, we’re confident we can find a solution for whatever you need. Located in Lafayette, Indiana, we have over 100 physicians and have satellite offices throughout North Central Indiana, so we can definitively provide you with unparalleled healthcare services. For more information or to make an appointment, call us today at (765) 447-8133. We look forward to hearing from you!