The prostate is part of the male reproductive system. Throughout a man’s life, the prostate grows until it’s about the size of a walnut. Maintaining a healthy prostate is important because it can become enlarged and prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. There are things you can do to improve your prostate health.
- Exercise – too much fat, especially around the middle of the body is linked to increased risk of prostate cancer. Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight as well increase muscle mass and improve metabolism. Find what works for you, whether it’s a walk around the block, a jog in the park, biking the trails or going for a swim.
- Eat Fatty Fish – Fatty fish (sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout and salmon) contains omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce your risk of prostate cancer. A study from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that eating a low-fat diet and taking fish oil supplements slowed the growth of prostate cancer cells.
- Quit Smoking – Prostate cancer patients who smoke are more likely to have a recurrence according to the American Cancer Society. Smokers are also more likely to have a more aggressive form of prostate cancer. It’s never too late to quit. When compared to current smokers, prostate cancer patients who quit smoking for more than 10 years had the same mortality rate as those who never smoked at all.
- Eat Red – Tomatoes and other red food contain Lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and studies show that men who consume lycopene have a lower risk of prostate cancer than those who don’t. Cooking tomatoes makes it even easier for your body to absorb the lycopene. Also look for tomatoes that have a deep, dark red color, such as the vine ripened varieties.
- Get Tested – while not diagnostic, a simple blood test called PSA (prostate specific antigen) can help detect prostate cancer years before symptoms develop. While it is sometimes inaccurate, a baseline PSA before the age of 50 and then annually thereafter, can be helpful in detecting the disease before it becomes a problem.