1. Love Thyself
As if masturbation didn’t already provide enough of a payoff, a recent Australian study found that DIY sex may also help prevent prostate cancer. The study of 2,338 men showed that the guys who masturbated five or more times a week were 34 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer by age 70 than those who handled matters less often. “Seminal fluid contains substances that are carcinogenic,” says Graham Giles, Ph.D., the lead study author. “Regular ejaculation may help flush them out.” And in case you’re wondering, no, masturbating more than once a day won’t offer more protection, and yes, straight-up sex works, too. But before you have unprotected nookie with your partner, be sure she’s been tested for cytomegalo-virus, a type of herpes recently found in cancerous prostate tissue.
2. Be Happy Your Going Bald
Turns out the hair-loss drug Propecia has one impressive side effect. In a National Cancer Institute (NCI) study of 18,882 men, researchers found that the men who took 5 milligrams (mg) of Propecia, a.k.a. finasteride, daily for 7 years had a 25 percent lower risk of prostate cancer than those taking a placebo. Finasteride blocks production of dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that triggers hair loss and prostate growth. “It’s the first study to prove that prostate cancer is preventable,” says Peter Greenwald, M.D., the NCI’s director of cancer prevention—and one of those 18,882 men. “My prostate’s normal,” he adds. One caution: Men on finasteride had a slightly greater chance of being diagnosed with a more aggressive form of the disease than did the placebo takers. More research on the drug is needed, but if you’re concerned about prostate cancer, discuss these findings with your doctor.
3. Wine & Dine
There’s a good reason Western European men have lower prostate-cancer rates than we do. And it has nothing to do with Speedo thongs. New research suggests that certain staples of the Mediterranean diet have prostate-cancer-fighting properties. For starters, a recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that men who eat more than 10 grams (g) of garlic or scallions (about three cloves of garlic or 2 tablespoons of scallions) daily have a 50 percent lower risk of prostate cancer than those who eat less than 2 g. (Give credit to organosulfur compounds, which are common to both vegetables.) Then there’s red wine; red grapes are flush with resveratrol, an antioxidant found in some plants that may help inhibit the growth of prostate cancer, according to a report from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. A glass or two of red wine daily should suffice. “If you drink too much,” says Catherine O’Brian, Ph.D., the lead study author, “you can neutralize the beneficial effects.”
4. Lower The Bar
Here’s a PSA (public-service announcement) regarding your PSA (prostate-specific antigen): Using a score of 4.1 or greater as the alarm for prostate cancer could prove fatal. A recent study of 6,691 men, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), showed that this traditional threshold for ordering a follow-up biopsy may be missing 82 percent of prostate-cancer diagnoses in men under 60. “The threshold of 4.1 that’s being used has never been rigorously studied,” says Karen M. Kuntz, Sc.D., one of the study’s authors. And while critics say a lower threshold will lead to unnecessary biopsies, Rinaa Punglia, M.D., another of the study authors, believes that the broader standard could be worth it. “It’s a trade-off,” she admits. “But it could save lives.” So how low should you go? Dr. Punglia recommends that when you have your PSA level checked (annually beginning at age 50—or 45 if you have a family history or are African-American), you observe a threshold of 2.6, especially if you’re under age 60; according to the NEJM study, following this guideline doubled the cancer-detection rate, from 18 percent to 36 percent.
5. Calculate Risk
Let’s say your PSA is 2.6. You still may not need a biopsy. Instead, ask your doctor to use a nomogram. This needle-free analysis turns a patient’s age, PSA density (PSA divided by the volume of the prostate), digital-rectal-exam result, and transrectal-ultrasound result into a score that helps determine whether a biopsy is really warranted. “We can say whether or not, for your prostate, that’s a high PSA,” says Mark Garzotto, M.D., director of urologic oncology at the Portland VA Medical Center. In a study of 1,200 men, Dr. Garzotto found that if a nomogram had been used in every case, it would have spared 24 percent of the men from unnecessary biopsies. If your doctor can’t crunch the numbers, ask for copies of your test results; you can find and print out the same nomogram here, and do the math yourself.
6. Hit the Spice Rack
Researchers at the Center for Holistic Urology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City recently found that a blend of herbs including ginger, oregano, rosemary, and green tea reduced prostate-cancer cell growth by 78 percent in the lab. Sold as Zyflamend, it’s thought to inhibit the activity of COX-2, a protein linked to the progression of the disease. “We’re using it with promising results in some of our patients,” says Aaron Katz, M.D., the center director. Another herbal option is FBL 101. When researchers at the National Cancer Institute gave FBL 101 to mice with prostate cancer, they found that it decreased a tumor blood-vessel growth factor called VEGF to undetectable levels. Crimp the blood supply and cancer can’t survive, says William Figg, Pharm.D., the principal investigator. “Men who want to delay the time before they begin traditional treatment should check this out,” he says.
7. Use a Computer-Assisted Doctor
The radical prostatectomy recently became a lot less radical, thanks to a new robotic version of the procedure. With the da Vinci system, doctors use three-dimensional imaging to direct two nimble robotic hands through a few small slits in the patient’s abdomen to remove the cancerous prostate. According to data from the Vattikuti Urology Institute at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, 90 percent fewer men became incontinent and 50 percent fewer became impotent with the da Vinci system than with manual gland removal. “It’s like playing golf with a titanium driver versus a wooden driver,” says chief of urology Mani Menon, M.D. Another plus: Patients spent an average of 1.5 days in the hospital, compared with 2.3 days for open surgery.
8. Rehab Your Erections
Unless you’re David Beckham, this one’s a no-brainer: Take a nerve graft from your ankle and save your sex life. The cavernous nerves, a.k.a. the boner bugle corps, are often a casualty of prostate removal if cancer has (or might) spread outside the gland. But by replacing the cavernous nerves with the sural nerve that runs along the ankle, as many as 9,000 men a year could recover erectile function, says Peter Scardino, M.D., one of the developers of the procedure and chairman of urology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. “If you’ve got only one (cavernous) nerve left, you’re firing on four cylinders, but if I do a graft, it’s like you’re firing on seven out of eight.” And don’t worry; a slight numbness in your foot is the only side effect. Talk to your urologist about where to find a surgeon experienced in sural-nerve grafting. Menshealth (Matt Bean)
Like any other cancer, Prostate cancer is a malignant growth within the cells of the prostate gland. It is more common in elderly males in western countries than in the Indian subcontinent. Although it’s difficult to detect the symptoms of prostate cancer in early stages, however some common symptoms are poor stream while urinating, hesitating in initiating the process of urination, dribbling of the urine after finishing the act of urination and erectile dysfunction. Our expert Dr. Jaskaran Singh, Senior Consultant in Radiation Oncology, advices to get yourself investigated for prostate disorder as soon as you notice these symptoms. Prostate cancer can be diagnosed through various tests like serum PSA (prostate specific antigen) and multi core biopsy. OnlyMyHealth
There is some evidence that choosing a healthy diet that’s low in fat and full of fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk of prostate cancer, though study results haven’t always agreed. If you want to reduce your risk of prostate cancer, consider trying to:
- Choose a low-fat diet. Foods that contain fats include meats, nuts, oils and dairy products, such as milk and cheese. In studies, men who ate the highest amount of fat each day had an increased risk of prostate cancer. While this association doesn’t prove that excess fat causes prostate cancer, reducing the amount of fat you eat each day has other proven benefits, such as helping you control your weight and helping your heart. To reduce the amount of fat you eat each day, limit fatty foods or choose low-fat varieties. For instance, reduce the amount of fat you add to foods when cooking, select leaner cuts of meat and choose low-fat or reduced-fat dairy products.
- Eat more fat from plants than from animals. In studies that looked at fat and prostate cancer risk, fats from animals were most likely to be associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Animal products that contain fats include meat, lard and butter. When possible, use plant-based fats in place of animal fats. For instance, cook with olive oil rather than butter. Sprinkle nuts or seeds on your salad rather than cheese.
- Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat each day.Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and nutrients that are thought to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, though research hasn’t proved that any particular nutrient is guaranteed to reduce your risk. Eating more fruits and vegetables also tends to make you have less room for other foods, such as high-fat foods. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat each day by adding an additional serving of a fruit or vegetable to each meal. Eat fruits and vegetables for snacks.
- Eat fish. Fatty fish — such as salmon, sardines, tuna and trout — contain a fatty acid called omega-3 that has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. If you don’t currently eat fish, try adding it to your diet.
- Reduce the amount of dairy products you eat each day. In studies, men who ate the most dairy products — such as milk, cheese and yogurt — each day had the highest risk of prostate cancer. But study results have been mixed, and the risk associated with dairy products is thought to be small.
- Drink green tea. Studies of men who drink green tea or take green tea extract as a supplement have found a reduced risk of prostate cancer. If you like to drink tea, consider choosing green tea.
- Try adding soy to your diet. Diets that include tofu — a product made from soy beans — have been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. It’s thought that the benefit of soy comes from a specific nutrient called isoflavones. Other sources of isoflavones include kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils and peanuts.
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than a drink or two each day. There’s no clear evidence that drinking alcohol can affect your risk of prostate cancer, but one study found men who drank several drinks each day over many years had an increased risk. Mayoclinic (Staff)