With close to 200,000 new cases diagnosed in the United States each year, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men besides skin cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – an enlargement of the prostate – is not malignant, but it can obstruct the passage of fluid through the urethra and result in a weak stream; this can cause excessive daytime or nighttime urination or a complete inability to urinate (retention).
While the risks of developing prostate cancer or BPH do increase with age, maintaining a healthy prostate is an important step toward preventing prostate disorders from developing; it can also prevent prostate enlargement from getting worse. Here are some tips to maintaining a healthy prostate.
Follow a Healthy Diet
A healthy, balanced diet is important for your overall well-being, but there are specific foods that can also benefit prostate health. Foods rich in zinc (fish, poultry, lean meat, and vegetables), selenium (fish and wheat germ), and lycopene (fruits and vegetables, including watermelon) contain powerful antioxidants that are crucial for male reproductive health.
It has also been suggested that consuming soy, as well as sulforaphane found in leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and broccoli, are also beneficial for prostate health. They are believed to help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer by inhibiting the development of cancerous cells.
When planning your menu, try to avoid high-fat foods such as fatty meats, butter, and cheese, as these have been linked to an increased chance of developing prostate cancer. Overcooking meats should also be avoided, as this produces carcinogens that increase the risk of cancer. Avoiding processed foods and alcohol can also prove beneficial.
Maintain Proper Weight and Get Exercise
Being overweight or sedentary can lead to obstructed blood flow and can increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer and erectile problems. Regular exercise and weight control are therefore essential to maintaining good blood flow, and can help the prostate to function at its best.
Even a few hours of exercise every week can improve prostate health by helping to reduce stress (linked to prostate health problems), modulate hormones, and improve metabolism. Add small ways to exercise, such as playing with the dog or walking a little more than usual.
The smoking habit may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer through exposure to carcinogens and by affecting circulating hormone levels. Prostate cancer patients who are smokers are more likely to die from the disease or to have a reoccurrence of prostate cancer later in life.
Men with an increased risk of prostate cancer – which includes those with a family history of prostate or breast cancer as well as men who may have been exposed to toxic chemicals throughout their lives or at work – should begin screening for prostate cancer sooner than men with lower risk. Talk to your urologist to determine when screening should start for you.
Experienced Urologist in Phoenix
It is very important to discuss any unusual symptoms with your urologist at the earliest opportunity to ensure you receive the correct diagnosis and treatment. Symptoms of prostate problems, such as a frequent urge to urinate, pain or burning during urination, blood in the semen or urine, and/or frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, pelvis, hips, upper thighs, or rectal area, are just a few of the many signs that are indicative of prostate issues.
At Ironwood Urology, board-certified urologist Dr. Desi Avila and our caring, compassionate staff aim to provide the best urologic care and treatment to patients with a variety of urological problems ranging from BPH, cancer, kidney stones, and urinary incontinence. We use the latest technology and techniques to diagnose and treat urological conditions in both men and women.