It’s time to talk about prostate cancer.
I know what you’re probably thinking: “What’s the big deal? I’m not worried.”
But the fact is, more than 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. And it doesn’t just happen in old people—it can happen to young guys too!
What is prostate cancer?
The prostate is a small gland that’s part of the male reproductive system. It produces a thick, milky substance called semen. This fluid helps sperm move through the urethra during ejaculation, which is when semen leaves the body.
Prostate cancer is cancer that forms in the prostate. It is a form of tumor that occurs in the prostate gland. The prostate gland is located between the bladder and the penis, below the bladder. Prostate cancer can cause pain and difficulty urinating, but it also has no symptoms until it’s at an advanced stage.
Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men, after skin cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 3 million men in America will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during their lives.
What are the risk factors of prostate cancer?
There are several other factors that may increase your risk of developing prostate cancer.
The chance that a man will develop prostate cancer increases with age. Prostate cancer is most often diagnosed in men over 65 years of age.
African American men have been shown to have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than other ethnic groups and this increased risk may be due to genetic factors or environmental factors such as diet or lifestyle choices.
It’s no secret that the chances of getting prostate cancer are 1 in 3 if you have just one close relative (father, brother) with the disease. The risk is 83% with two close relatives; with three, it’s extremely high at 97%.
Genetic risk is not the only factor that goes into developing prostate cancer. Genetics can be influenced by diet and lifestyle habits as well. A diet high in red meat, saturated fat, and calories has been linked with increased risk of developing prostate cancer; however, there is no evidence that specific nutrients such as vitamin E or selenium cause or prevent prostate cancer.
How to prevent prostate cancer?
The best way to prevent prostate cancer? Get screened! There are many options for testing your prostate health, including a simple blood test or digital rectal exam (DRE). If you haven’t been tested in the past year or two, consider scheduling an appointment today. You can also take steps toward prevention by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating right—and staying away from certain foods that may increase your risk of developing prostate cancer (like red meat).
If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer or are concerned that you might have it because of symptoms like urinary problems or pain while urinating, don’t panic: there are many treatment options available today that can help manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. Speak with a urologist about what options might work best for you!