You need to make a plan that includes knowledge of your body, your risk of getting the disease and life-style. A cancer-conscious diet may be the best choice for survivors who want to bolster their health and those hoping to lower their risk. That means:
- Five or more fruits and veggies a day
- Whole grains instead of white flour or white rice
- Limit high-fat meat
- Limit or eliminate processed meat (hot dogs, cold cuts, bacon)
- Limit alcohol to 1-2 drinks per day (if you drink)
- Get some exercise daily.
Foods high in folate may have some action against prostate cancer (such as spinach, orange juice, lentils). Studies found mixed results on lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes.
When to see and talk to a doctor
- At age 40, have a PSA test and another at age 45. This is a PSA baseline. (link to PCC Handout
- You’re approaching age 50. Now’s the time to have a conversation with your doctor about the risks. (If you’re already over 50 and haven’t done so, you should have a chat too.)
- You have some risk factors. For instance, if you have a family history of prostate cancer, you doctor may want to start screening sooner.
- You’re experiencing symptoms. It may not be easy to discuss such personal matters, but symptoms shouldn’t be ignored. Early detection greatly improves treatment success.
While PSA tests aren’t perfect, experts still advocate the benefits out weight the potential harms. Today, there are more treatment options available than ever before, and sometimes a major treatment like surgery isn’t required. Certain drugs and treatments (like hormone therapy) can slow tumour growth, but radiation therapy and chemotherapy are other options used to beat tumours.
Sometimes a diagnosis isn’t a crisis: doctors may employ “active surveillance” — that is, watch how the cancer develops and monitor it regularly using tools like PSA tests or a biopsy. Some prostate cancers grow so slowly that they don’t impact men’s daily lives, and may not require immediate treatment.
A diagnosis of cancer is never easy to cope with, but the message of experts continues to be to stay informed and talk to your doctor. Prostate cancer may be common, but also has one of the highest five year survival rates when treated early.