Prostate cancer is the most common life threatening disease faced by older men. It is a condition that is almost certain to affect men over 40 and begins with prostate enlargement, but it can be prevented and treated. Here are the stats you need to know:
- 50% of men will have BPH by the age of 60
- 85% of men will have it by the age of 85
- You are already at risk of developing BPH if you are over 40
- 17% of men will go on to develop cancer of the prostate
- For 4% the cancer will be fatal
We can see from the above that prostatic hypertrophy is the single biggest health concern for men simply because it only leaves 15% of men unaffected.
The question is why? Why is it so prevalent? What are we as men doing wrong and what can we do to prevent, reverse or cure the problem? And even more importantly what are those 15% of men who don’t get prostate problems doing and can it be copied?
There are a number of preventative factors and these include lifestyle factors, diet, and vitamin/mineral supplementation. Many of these can prevent prostate enlargement and some can even treat it so that surgery will not be needed.
Research shows that the single most important factor in maintaining a healthy prostate is how you live your life, that means what you eat, how active you are and how you maintain your general health.
According to this research, the “Western diet” which is high in fat, meat and sugar and low in fruits, vegetables and fiber, may be one of the greatest factors contributing to prostate cancer. High carbohydrate diets specifically have been shown to be linked with prostate cancer in later life. Obesity also plays a part in this as it influences hormone levels which in turn may cause an enlarged prostate.
In fact by lowering your weight through diet and exercise, PSA levels go down dramatically and some studies suggest that tumor growth is slowed by as much as 30 percent!
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also showed that men who drink 300ml of soft drinks per day are 40% more likely to develop cancer of the prostate.
Smoking can also contribute to the growth of prostate cancer tumors, studies show that it increases the risk of developing prostate cancer by 100% if one already has BPH.
Then there is the lack of certain nutrients and vitamins in the diet, most importantly zinc and selenium. Men with prostate cancer have been found to be lacking in these two nutrients and supplementation has been shown to improve outcomes and prevent prostate cancers.
Certain herbs have also shown great benefit in preventing and treating prostate problems and these will be discussed in future articles on prostate problems.