Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer among men, and it’s one that you should take very seriously from a very young age. Before you reach your mid 30s, you should already have gone to at least one prostate exam. As uncomfortable as they may be, they’re an important way to reduce your risk of prostate cancer. But they’re not the ONLY way! Below, you’ll find a few simple tricks that can prevent you from developing prostate cancer:
Prostate Cancer Statistics
Before we get into the prostate cancer prevention tips, there are a few things you need to know about prostate cancer. It’s estimated that 129 out of every 100,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year, with roughly 14% of men diagnosed with the cancer at some point in their lives. In 2013, nearly 2.9 million men had prostate cancer in the U.S. alone. That’s pretty serious stuff! All the more reason to take the tips below to heart and do your best to reduce your risk of prostate cancer.
It’s a well-known fact that smoking is TERRIBLE for your health, in so many ways. Not only will it affect your lungs, but it can reduce your cardiovascular function, raise your blood pressure, increase stress and anxiety levels, play a role in sexual dysfunctions, and the list goes on. But did you know that it can also raise your chances of developing prostate cancer? There are cancer-causing chemicals in cigarette that won’t just remain in your lungs, but will affect your hormone levels. For example, they can raise insulin, which has been linked to an increase in prostate cancer risk. To nip cancer in the bud, quit smoking TODAY!
Leading a sedentary lifestyle can be one of the worst things for you! Your muscles will begin to break down, your bone and muscle mass will decrease, and your cardiovascular function will be impaired. Worst of all, the lack of exercise can lead to internal inflammation, which encourages cells in your body (including cancer cells) to grow more quickly than normal. Get more exercise, and you’ll reduce inflammation in your body, promote stronger muscles and bones, and keep your internal functions working well. Your risk of ALL types of cancer will drastically decrease thanks to your daily workouts!
Being overweight or obese is another factor that plays a role in many different diseases. We’re not just talking metabolic disorders like diabetes, but we’re talking things like heart attacks and strokes, cancer, and the list goes on! Excessive weight can cause inflammation in your body, which will cause your cells to multiply rapidly. If there are cancer cells present in your body, they’ll multiply rapidly as well. The result will be tumor growth, all because of the inflammation caused by obesity. Drop a few pounds, and your risk of inflammation (and thereby, cancer) will also drastically drop!
It’s always nice to be able to kick back with a drink or two on the weekend, or to enjoy a night out with your friends. But too much alcohol can be just as bad for you as smoking or being overweight! When your body digests, breaks down, and absorbs alcohol, it creates a certain compound that may actually cause damage to your DNA, the very building blocks of your body. There is a risk that this alteration to your DNA can cause mutations that will lead to cancer. That doesn’t mean you need to eliminate alcohol completely, but just cut back to a few drinks every week.