Doctor holding blue ribbon to support prostate health

Prostate Health, From “Watch and Wait to How to Thrive”

Prostate cancer is something that more than 80% of men will have on autopsy, but only 3% of men die from. This demonstrates that it is common, but not always deadly. Many men when they first receive the diagnosis are given the advice, “Let’s just watch and wait.” However, one does not have to wait and see if their prostate state gets worse. There are natural treatments which can improve outcomes. Dietary changes also can help. Different markers of oxidative stress are also predicative of prostate health and are associated with possibility of progression and aggressiveness. A simple blood test can show if you have the right level of antioxidants to improve prostate health. Prostate health is an invitation to whole person health. By balancing hormones, improving diet, and managing stress real changes can be made.
Antioxidants are important for prostate health as they help prevent oxidation of cell molecules which can lead to oxidative stress1Oxidative stress plays a key role in the development of various chronic ailments1Lycopene, a tetraterpene compound present in tomatoes and tomato-based products, has been found to be helpful for prostate cancer patients1
The prostate needs androgens, which are male sex hormones such as testosterone, to function correctly1The prostate contains an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone into a biologically active form called dihydrotestosterone (DHT)2This hormone is important for normal prostate development and function2Hormone therapies, which are treatments that decrease androgen levels or block androgen action, can inhibit the growth of prostate cancers3.
Hormone therapy is a standard treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer. Male sex hormones called androgens, which include testosterone, can cause prostate cancer to grow. During treatment, doctors use drugs, surgery, or other hormones to reduce androgens or block them from working1.

Hormone therapy falls into two broad groups: those that block the body’s ability to produce hormones and those that interfere with how hormones behave in the body2Hormone therapy is most often used along with other cancer treatments and the types of treatment that you need depend on the type of cancer, if it has spread and how far, if it uses hormones to grow, and if you have other health problems2.

Screening for prostate cancer is important for every man because early detection can improve treatment outcomes. The age at which a man should start screening for prostate cancer depends on his individual risk factors. The American Cancer Society recommends that men discuss their risk factors with their doctor to determine when they should start screening.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men have a chance to make an informed decision with their health care provider about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. The decision should be made after getting information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening. The discussion about screening should take place at age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years. Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father or brother) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65). Age 40 for men at even higher risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age)1.

After this discussion, men who want to be screened should get the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The digital rectal exam (DRE) may also be done as a part of screening1If no prostate cancer is found as a result of screening, the time between future screenings depends on the results of the PSA blood test1.