About one in every eight men in the United States gets diagnosed with prostate cancer
at some point in his lifetime. Although, when you think about your prostate (if you think about your prostate), your focus may be on your cancer risk, you’re even more likely to develop an uncomfortable condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
In fact, about half of men in the United States between the ages of 51 and 60 have BPH. By the time they’re 70 or older, that statistic jumps to 80%.
Alex Lesani, MD, is an expert urologist who screens for, diagnoses, and treats both BPH and prostate cancer. At our offices in Las Vegas, we encourage you to pay attention to your prostate now to avoid problems in the future or to reverse those that you’re having now.
How can you keep your prostate healthy? The following five tips offer guidance.
1. Sail the Mediterranean (diet wise)
No matter what type of diet plan you eventually adopt, the best choices for your prostate (and the rest of your organs) are always fresh, whole foods that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. The Mediterranean diet is the easiest way to “sail” because it has such a rich culinary history. You can find online recipes and cookbooks filled with ideas for how to fill your plate with:
- Fresh, low-glycemic fruits like berries and citrus
- A variety of whole, sprouted, or fermented grains
- Healthy fats such as extra-virgin olive oil and avocados
- Plenty of wild-caught fatty fish, including salmon and sardines
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy, pasture or grass-fed poultry and meats
Filling up on healthy sources of protein and vegetables also keeps you full and satisfied. That lowers your risk of indulging in foods that increase your risk for illness and discomfort, including trans fats, processed foods, and sugar.
2. Don’t take extra vitamin E
Although some supplements may improve your health, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. That happens to be the case with vitamin E and your prostate.
Researchers found that men who took supplemental vitamin E had a 17% increased risk for prostate cancer when compared with a placebo group. However, feel free to eat whole foods that are rich in a variety of vitamins, including vitamin E.
3. Make some D
Skin cancer is more common than prostate cancer, so you should have skin-healthy habits, such as using sunscreen outdoors during peak hours or for long periods. However, your eyes and skin produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight for short periods, especially in the mornings.
Have your doctor test your vitamin D levels. If they’re not sufficient, consider taking a supplement.
4. Hit the road
Physically active men are less likely to suffer from BPH than those who live a sedentary lifestyle. However, you don’t have to be a professional athlete or train for a marathon. Even running 1.5 hours per week or engaging in three hours of outdoor work per week decreases your odds of developing erectile dysfunction (a symptom of BPH) by 20%.
Regular exercise and activity improves your health overall and lowers your risk for various disease and conditions, not just BPH and prostate cancer. In addition, cardiovascular exercise tends to create a big boost in your mood, too.
5. Come for a screening
The best way to monitor your prostate is to have regular prostate exams. Although they may not be the most comfortable experiences of your life, they can save you a lot of pain and may even save your life.
In addition to testing for prostate cancer and BPH, a screening gives you a chance to learn more about your personal risk for both conditions. You also get individualized advice on how to improve your prostate health or a customized treatment plan for current symptoms.
Do you want to keep your prostate healthy and happy? Call our team today for a prostate evaluation and prostate cancer screening at 702-470-2579. You can also book your appointment online.