Firstly, it is important to know that at this time, there is no known medicine or food that can prevent prostate cancer from developing. This is especially due to the strong genetic risk seen in men of African origin, including the African diaspora.
The positive thing is that prostate cancer can be screened for, and if caught early, it can be completely cured. Additionally, scientists have found some activities that lower the chance of developing prostate cancer. Let us examine four of these activities below:
1. Have your prostate checked every year once you reach the age of 40: All men above the age of 40, should ask their doctors to check their prostate glands annually. The Thomas John Prostate Foundation provides *Free screening* at various locations around Nigeria. A simple blood test is done which will check your PSA levels (PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen). If the levels are high, you will be directed to see a specialist for the prostate. All men are welcome to be tested at these centers.
2. Lower your weight, avoid obesity: Studies have shown that men who are obese, have greater risk of getting prostate cancer. To know if the weight you are is a healthy one, your doctor or yourself, can calculate something called a Body Mass Index (BMI). You take your weight and divide it by the square of your height. There is a range considered normal (18.5-24.9).
3. Lower your red meat intake and eat more vegetables: An earlier health article on this website, details more about this. Red meat when cooked and processed, releases some chemicals which can increase your risk of prostate cancer. On the other hand,, certain vegetables contain nutrients which protect against cancer. For further details on diet and prostate health, read our article here: https://www.tjprostatefoundation.com/post/common-foods-that-may-help-protect-against-prostate-cancer
4. Stop Smoking cigarettes, cigars or any other such substance: Smoking releases carbon monoxide a harmful gas into the blood, as well as several carcinogenic substances into the blood. Some men may smoke because they have heard it increases testosterone levels. Interestingly, studies have shown that smoking tobacco in cigarettes, initially increases men’s testosterone levels, but then it decrease it.
These 4 simple steps may make all the difference in someone’s life, please speak to the men in your family, community and beyond, about the importance of prostate health. Thank you for reading.
A picture showing men receiving free prostate screening during an outreach program organised by the Thomas John Prostate Foundation.