Prostate cancer is a well-known cancer, and it is the most common cancer to affect Canadian men. In fact, one in seven men will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime*. As with all cancers, prostate cancer occurs when prostate cells lose normal control of growth and division, and no longer function as healthy cells.
Prostate cancer can be slow-growing, but it is important to get screened regularly so that it is detected as early as possible and appropriate action can be taken. Starting at the age of 50, men should be screened for prostate cancer every two to four years. Ideally, getting a baseline test in your forties is the best way to monitor any changes that may indicate the early stages of prostate cancer.
Are You At Risk For Prostate Cancer?
As mentioned, age is a significant risk factor for prostate cancer. The majority of men diagnosed are over 50, with the highest concentration of those diagnosed being over the age of 65. As we age, it can become harder to manage our health on our own. Seniors may benefit from senior care or premier home care services that can provide a support system to help aging adults maintain a healthy lifestyle.
In addition to age, other risk factors include:
- A family history of prostate cancer. Your risk is higher if your father or brother has had prostate cancer. Specifically, your risk increases with each additional first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with the disease.
- African American Ethnicity. Prostate cancer is more common among African American men.
- Being overweight. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces your risk. By getting regular exercise and eating a nutritious diet, you can increase your overall well-being, and keep your weight within a healthy range.
- An unhealthy diet. Even if you’re at a healthy weight, men who eat a low-fibre, high-fat diet are more likely to develop prostate cancer. In particular, saturated fats have been linked to increased testosterone production, which promotes the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Be Aware Of The Signs And Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
In most cases, the symptoms of prostate cancer are not always present, especially in the early stages of the disease. It is important to note that urinary symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have prostate cancer. There are other benign diseases that can cause similar symptoms, such as an enlarged prostate.
Common signs and symptoms of prostate cancer may include:
- A need to urinate frequently, especially at night.
- Urgent need to urinate.
- Difficulty starting or holding back urination.
- Weak, dribbling, or interrupted flow of urine.
- Painful or burning urination.
- Painful ejaculation.
- Blood in the urine or semen.
- Pressure or pain in the rectum.
- Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment to discuss them with your doctor.
Preventing Prostate Cancer
Early detection is paramount when it comes to surviving prostate cancer. If you feel that you or your senior loved one may have difficulty getting to important medical appointments, such as a prostate cancer screening, seeking the support of premier home care or in home senior care can help make life more manageable. As part of senior care services, transportation to medical appointments can be provided.
Leading a healthy lifestyle, which includes maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise and eating a well-balanced diet can help reduce your risk of prostate cancer. In addition, if you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, being in good health will increase your chances of successfully fighting the disease.
Other lifestyle choices that can help prevent prostate cancer include not smoking, only drinking in moderation, reducing stress both at home and at work, and eating more omega 3 fatty acids.
iCare Home Health Premier Home Care Can Support A Healthy Lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t always easy. In fact, at just about any age, having some extra support to eat well and exercise regularly can make a significant difference. For seniors who want to remain in good health as a way to fight off disease, senior care may be the right fit. From medical appointments to meal preparation and activities, iCare Home Health offers a wide variety of programs and services that help seniors continue to prioritize their health and wellbeing while living at home. Contact us to find out more about our support options.