Below the Belt Health for Men:  Prostate Cancer

Below the Belt Health for Men: Prostate Cancer

The Movember campaign has allowed me to join them in spreading the word about men’s health issues, including prostate cancer.  The importance of educating others could mean early detection and successful treatment, which is the goal of screening.

  • Prostate cancer kills 35 men every hour
  • It is the second leading cause of death for men (right behind skin cancer)

According to the American Cancer, fourteen percent of men will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime, and three percent will die.  Knowing your risks and looking for signs may be key to early detection, or early monitoring:

Age:    can occur after the age of 40, and the risk increases after the age of 50

            6 in 10 cases are discovered after the age of 65

Race:  more common in African American men

Family history:  having a father or brother with prostate cancer may double the risk

Diet:   although it is not clearly understood, a diet high in red meat and dairy

            Increases the risk

Obesity:  research on this is mixed, but most feel that the risk of the aggressive

            type of prostate cancer can occur in those who are obese

Smoking:  while not necessarily linked to CAUSING it, your risk of dying from it

            increases if you are a smoker

Chemicals:  exposure to Agent Orange is a possible risk

If you know your risks, then it is equally important to know the signs of prostate cancer:

  • A slow or weak stream (although this is also associated with non-cancer, such as benign prostatic hypertrophy, which is an enlarged prostate)
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Trouble getting an erection

Late signs, which occur when the disease has spread to other areas or organs may include: pain in the back, hips or chest.  If it involves the spinal cord, then there could be weakness of the legs or feet, or the loss of bowel or bladder control.

How do you prevent cancer?

  • Men who are physically active have a lower risk
  • Diets high in vegetables (specifically tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, soy, legumes and fish) seem to be protective
  • Staying (or getting to) a healthy weight

Detection of prostate disease often involves the prostate exam, and possibly the Prostatic Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test.  The American Cancer Society has an excellent booklet on deciding to test, and why this issue has even come to light.  It can be found at:



Below the Belt Health for Men:  Testicular Cancer

Below the Belt Health for Men: Testicular Cancer

Men's Health and the "Movember" Campaign

Men's Health and the "Movember" Campaign