Prostate cancer kills about one in every 41 men in the United States. The good news is that 3.1 million men have been diagnosed with the disease, but they’re still alive. When caught early enough, prostate cancer isn’t just treatable, it’s often curable.
Although there’s no proven way to avoid prostate cancer, you can reduce your risk by adopting healthier habits. Alex Lesani, MD, an innovative and expert urologist in Las Vegas, Nevada, wants you to stay cancer-free. Here he offers some of the most effective preventive measures you can take to lower your risk for prostate cancer.
1. Quit smoking
If you use tobacco, you increase your risk for a number of diseases and life-threatening conditions, including lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. However, smoking tobacco also raises your risk for prostate cancer.
Tobacco is tainted with a heavy metal called cadmium that’s highly carcinogenic. Men who smoke have twice the levels of cadmium as non-smokers, and researchers have shown that cadmium causes prostate cancer in animal models.
If you need help quitting, talk to Dr. Lesani so he can refer you to a smoking cessation program. Though smoking can be a hard habit to break, once you’re free of your addiction, you’ll notice that your health improves on multiple levels.
2. Go organic
You may think that “organic” is just a new-age term for overpriced foods. But, until fairly recently in our history, all of our food was organic. As we developed inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, we increased the yield of our farms but also increased the number of chemicals we ingest through food. Farmers who use pesticides on their crops have a higher risk of prostate cancer than the average man.
If you can’t afford to go completely organic with your fruits and vegetables, check out this list of non-organic produce that’s safest to eat. If you have a home garden or tend to your lawn, only use organic fertilizer and pest-control methods.
Even though you may associate organic and all-natural only with crop foods, the type of meat you eat also determines your exposure to chemicals. The fat in some animals — including fish and factory-farmed cows, pigs, and poultry — is high in polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are banned chemicals that have been associated with increased prostate cancer risk and mortality.
If you eat meat, look for meat from grass-fed cows and pigs that have been grazed in organic pastures, and poultry that’s pastured and free-roaming, too. The closer your food is to nature, the less likely it is to contain harmful chemicals that could increase your risk for prostate cancer and other diseases.
3. Ditch plastic
All the convenient items we’ve invented have come with a heavy price tag. Plastic cutlery’s easier to stash in a picnic basket or lunch bag than stainless steel, and plastic bottles of water are easier to tote than thermoses of filtered water. However, plastic items that leach bisphenol A (BPA), can interfere with successful prostate cancer treatment.
Many plastic items are now BPA-free. But to be extra safe, choose glass or stainless steel for cutlery and food storage.
4. Focus on health
Worrying too much about what you shouldn’t do can be stressful, and stress isn’t good for your health, either. Instead, focus on getting as healthy as possible by adopting new habits that make you feel good in the short run and keep you healthier in the long run:
- Exercise every day
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
- Lose weight, if you need to
- Lift weights to build muscle mass
- Avoid processed foods
- Avoid sugar
- Drink lots of water
- Quit smoking and drinking excess alcohol
- Do deep breathing or meditation
- Get an annual physical
Depending on the number of risk factors you have, Dr. Lesani may recommend a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test during your annual physical. If your PSA levels are higher than normal, Dr. Lesani recommends further tests to determine your prostate cancer risk, identifies any troubling lesions, and designs a customized treatment plan.
Changing habits takes time. If you need help getting healthy and reducing your risk for prostate cancer, or if you think it may be time for a PSA test, contact Dr. Lesani today by calling our helpful office staff at 702-470-2579 or by booking online.