Prostate Cancer refers to the prevalence of cancerous cells in the Prostate Gland; this small gland produces a fluid that nourishes the semen. Studies reveal that 2/ 3 cases of Cancer in males above the age of 65 yrs, is termed as ‘malignancy of elderly males’. In India, it is noted that Prostate Cancer is the 3rd most common form of Cancer amongst men, after Lung and Mouth Cancer. Incidence of these has increased by over 220% in the past years.
The prostate gland is situated just below the Urinary Bladder in front of the Rectum, it secrets an enzyme Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) which liquefies the semen which helps in sperm fertilization. PSA is an important bio marker used for the diagnosis of Prostate Cancer. Previously, it was believed that prevalence of Prostate Cancer in India is much lower as compared to the western world, but with the recent increase in rural to urban population shift, changing life patterns, increased awareness, and increased medical access, Prostate Cancer cases are easily being picked-up.
There are no fool-proof Prostate Cancer prevention strategies,but one may reduce the risk of Prostate Cancer. Below are few suggestions to reduce the risk:
CHOOSE A HEALTHY DIET: Choosing a healthy diet which is low in fat, comprises fruits and vegetables may contribute to a lower risk of Prostate Cancer. Below are the suggestions which you can include in your diet to reduce the risk of Prostate Cancer:
- CHOOSE A LOW-FAT DIET: Limit intake of fat-rich food including meats, oils, processed munchies and dairy products (Milk, Cheese, etc.). You could consider use of plant-based fats rather than animal fats. For example, cook in Olive Oil rather than butter. Sprinkle seeds and nuts on your salad rather than cheese
- INCREASE INTAKE OF FRUITS &VEGETABLES: Fruits & vegetable reduce the risk of Prostate Cancer as they are full of vitamins and nutrients.Eating fruits and vegetables will also fill you up faster, leaving lesser room for high-fat food
- EAT FISH: Fatty fish — Salmon & Tuna contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which has been linked to reduced risk of Prostate Cancer. Another way to add Omega-3s to your diet is by eating Flaxseed
- MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT: Men who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher, could have an increased risk of Prostate Cancer. If you are Obese, work on reducing your weight by exercising and choosing a healthy diet.
The best approach to avoid the risks includes:
SPEAK: In case of a history of Prostate Cancer in the family, like father and own brother, speak to your doctor about your risk. Speak out when you develop urinary symptoms like frequency, urgency, poor flow and blood in urine.
SCREEN: Make sure you keep up with regular screening, when there is family history of Prostate Cancer.
STAY HEALTHY: A healthy diet and exercise regime can help you prevent Cancer.
(Writer Dr Suresh Bhagat is Consultant Urologist, SL Raheja Hospital. Views expressed are a personal opinion.)