Have you heard of “Movember” or “No shave November”?
Each November, you may notice men growing out a mustache or beard to raise awareness about men’s health issues, such as prostate and testicular cancers as well as suicide. Check out movember.com and no-shave.org for more information.
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer among American men. Most men with prostate cancer are older than 65. Luckily, most prostate tumors are slow-growing, and the risk of death is relatively low – only 3%. Men have a higher chance of getting prostate cancer with advanced age, if they are African-American, or have a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer.
People often wonder about the link between nutrition and cancer. While nutrition may not fully prevent you from getting cancer, due to factors such as genetics, many studies have shown that certain foods and dietary patterns are associated with better outcomes and quality of life. Some studies also show that physical activity interventions enhance quality of life of the individual, and may reduce cancer-related fatigue.
Check out our recommendations below to reduce your risk:
- Keep moving! Regular aerobic exercise is associated with a reduced prostate cancer risk. Aim for 150 minutes of vigorous activity per week.
- Get regular screenings.
- Digital rectal exams can help to detect changes in the prostate gland. Screenings generally begin at age 50 in healthy men.
- The PSA test can help to measure cancer markers but the test sometimes produces false positives and false negatives. Discuss what screening method is right for you with your doctor.
- Take a multivitamin which includes vitamin D and antioxidants, especially selenium.
- Eat little to no red meat and reduce saturated fat intake.
- Diets high in red meat and saturated fat have been correlated with an increased risk for prostate cancer.
- Eat more vegetables, especially more tomatoes, tomato sauce, and watermelon. Tomatoes and watermelon contain lycopene, a carotenoid. Higher intakes of lycopene have been associated with reduced risk of getting prostate cancer.
- Eat whole soy foods, such as miso, tempeh, tofu, soy milk, and edamame (whole soybeans in the pod). One or two servings per day is recommended. Soy contains genistein, an isoflavone that helps normalize hormone levels and seems to be linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.
- Avoid highly processed soy, such as soy protein isolate, soy supplements, and soy ‘junk foods’ like soy ice cream, soy oil, and soy burgers.
- Eat fish at least once per week. Fish intake is associated with lower risk of prostate cancer.
- Eat more fiber. Fiber helps in the elimination of hormones such as testosterone which influence changes in the prostate.
- Drink green tea. Research shows that the antioxidant compound EGCG found in green tea kills prostate cancer cells in the test tube. Another compound in green tea blocks the actions of an enzyme that promotes prostate cancer.
- White males accounted for 7 of 10 suicides in 2015
- Firearms account for almost 50% of all suicides
- The rate of suicide is highest in middle age – white men in particular
If you or someone you know is battling severe depression or suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255. It’s never too late to reach out to a friend or family member for support. We need you.
Suicide prevention resources from the WI Dept of Health Services: