Get Ahead of Cancer

Get Ahead of Cancer

While no one has THE definitive answer as to why men develop prostate cancer some things are known. Heredity and genetics can play a significant role especially if a direct male family member has been diagnosed. You are also in a high-risk pool if you are an African American or Hispanic male.

While there is no proof, limiting your consumption of red and processed meats along with sugary beverages and refined grains is known to reduce the inflammation linked to the formation of cancer. Focusing on eating larger volumes of fruit, vegetables and nuts appears to have a positive impact. The Mediterranean diet is one that many follow and men who live in countries where larger volumes of fish, nuts and vegetables are consumed are less prone to developing prostate cancer

Is a PSA Test Necessary? Few things in life are 100 percent and this test is no exception. That said it’s a good idea to get some type of base line indication around age 40. If you are not in a high-risk group, you will only want to check every few years or so. If a close family member has been diagnosed with either prostate or breast cancer your family genetics can suggest more frequent testing. If your number is steadily rising it may also indicate the need to visit a urologist.

Know the warning signs & options

The warning indicators of an enlarged prostate (BPH), a prostate infection (Prostatitis) and prostate cancer (PCa) are similar. Are you currently experiencing?

  • Burning while urinating.
  • Frequent or urgent urination.
  • Pain around the groin, lower abdomen, or lower back.
  • Bladder pain.
  • Testicle or penis pain.
  • Trouble starting a stream of urine or having a weak stream.
  • Painful ejaculation.

Only a doctor can tell you what your symptoms mean. Undetected prostate cancer can be a silent killer and typically shows few to no symptoms when it is most easily treated.

Fear, Anxiety and Options

The emotional part of cancer can be a lot to deal with and it is often pushed aside. If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer my advice is to take a deep breath and know you are not about to die.

I was diagnosed with an aggressive case. I am here today because my wife encouraged me to act early. Prostate cancer is slow moving. By all means get a second opinion to confirm the original diagnosis. Know you have time to explore the many options that are best for you.

The most common treatments can include:

  • Watchful waiting – Sets up a planned series of PSA tests to monitor results
  • Surgery – The removal of the prostate using one of several methods
  • Radiation –The use of seed implants or external beam radiation
  • Hormone therapy – Controls the advance of PSA but does not cure
  • Chemotherapy – The use of cancer fighting drugs in advanced cases

The good news is … new treatments are emerging almost daily and are too numerous to list here.

Impact on Partners

While we don’t like to admit it, changes occur as we age and that can impact the intimacy you and your partner may have enjoyed for years.

Here are a few thoughts to consider:

  • You and your partner will feel less stress if you are an active participant in your health care and openly discuss any issues you are facing
  • Bring your partner with you to an MD appointment – having a second set of ears is invaluable especially if you are facing an emotional diagnosis
  • Understanding the process, how potential treatments will work and how they can impact you in terms of side effects, recovery and future sex life, helps remove mystery and can give both of you a greater sense of control
  • Discuss what you are facing with other family members. I know countless men who are shocked to discover their father, grandfather or brother faced a similar challenge and remained silent.
  • You need to understand that sex is not necessarily over if you have prostate issues. Men routinely report having more meaningful and deeper relationships with their partner following treatment.

Continue reading: My Personal Prostate Cancer Journey

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