As discussed in Part 1 of this series, symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer are similar. Men may experience increased urination (including at night), difficulty emptying the bladder, and difficulty starting urination in both cases. However, in prostate cancer, there may be no symptoms.
Some types of prostate cancer grow slowly and sometimes only monitoring is recommended. Other types are aggressive and require radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, or other treatments. Additionally, if you have been diagnosed with BPH or are having BPH urinary symptoms, the very same enlargement that unpleasantly restricts urine flow, may also cause BPH to restrict prostate cancer tumor growth. Therefore, it is very important to be followed closely by your health care provider and best not to delay or self-treat symptoms.
Age is the Most Important Prostate Cancer Risk Factor
The single most important risk factor is age. 95% of all cases occur in men aged 50 years and older. Among men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, more than 90% will live for 5 years and even past 10 years. In fact, often in older men the disease may prove to be non-symptomatic and they may eventually die of other causes.
This leads into the question about where men should get screened for prostate cancer. Although each man must decide for himself, Peak Performance & Prevention believes it is important to screen. The routine labs we draw and review with our patients always includes prostatic antigen (PSA) screening. We screen because we believe that knowledge is power.
Non-Prescription Preventive & Adjunctive Treatments
In addition, P3 providers encourages lifestyle changes as foundational to the fierce prevention and treatment of all disease. When it comes to cutting your risk of prostate cancer (PCa), you have control over your risk. In a study published in May 2016, JAMA Oncology, men and women practicing a healthy lifestyle (i.e., no smoking, moderate alcohol consumption and/or abstinence, healthy weight, and optimized exercise regimens) had much lower rates of cancer and cancer deaths than those who failed to practice all four of these. For men, the odds of getting any cancer were cut by a third, and the odds of dying from it by 44 percent.
There are many treatments, pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical, for prostate health and disease prevention. Two of our favorites at P3 are Resveratrol and Zinc.
By now, you have likely come to the conclusion that it is important to thoughtfully consider your prostate health. Understand that there is much that you can do to minimize the symptoms of BPH. If you are experiencing symptoms such as increased urination (including at night), difficulty emptying the bladder, or difficulty starting urination, you may be concerned about your prostate health. For support in optimizing your prostate health, reach out to your Peak Performance provider.
Together, we can help create a personalized plan that is just right for you.