September 13, 2017
For many men, issues related to one’s prostate are a touchy subject – and rightfully so, as having a healthy prostrate is of significant importance. The prostate gland secretes part of the liquid portion of the semen, or seminal fluid, which carries sperm made by the testes, and is essential for reproduction.
Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland, which typically begins on the outer part of the prostate glands. Early prostate cancer is confined to the prostate gland itself, and the majority of patients with this type of cancer can live for years with no problems. Regular screening is the key to catching prostate cancer in its early stages – risk factors such as age, family history, race, diet and exercise all have an influence on prostrate health. Here are 5 ways to stay on top of your prostate health:
1. Early Screening
It is recommended that men begin screening at age 50. For men with a family history of prostate cancer, as well as men of African descent, it is recommended that they begin screenings at age 40, due to their risk of prostate cancer being higher than normal.
2.Diet and Exercise
As with many other diseases, these two go hand-in-hand and are both important factors in terms of preventing illness. Research suggests that diets high in fat may increase the risk of prostate cancer which is much more common in countries where meat and dairy products are dietary staples, compared with countries where the basic diet consists of rice, soybean products, and vegetables. Regular exercise coupled with a balanced diet is essential to maintaining optimal weight.
3. Smoking cessation
Another major risk factor, which is linked to several different types of complications that can lead to cancer, is smoking. Smoking should be avoided and alcohol intake should be kept to low or moderate consumption.
4. Testing and Diagnosis
World-class care providers at Cleveland Clinic Florida screen patients for prostate cancer by performing a digital rectal exam, in which physicians feel the prostate for abnormal areas, and by performing a blood test to evaluate the level of Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA). PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland and secreted into the blood. An elevated level could indicate that cancer is present; although other benign conditions such as an enlarged or inflamed prostate also may cause elevated levels of PSA. If cancer is suspected following these tests, a biopsy will most likely be performed. A tissue sample is taken with a small needle and examined under a microscope so doctors can confirm or rule out a cancer diagnosis.
If cancer is found during testing, Cleveland Clinic Florida offers several treatment options using the latest technological advances and surgical techniques. Cryotherapy, which fights cancerous cells in the prostate using freezing temperatures, is a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure with a brief recovery period and few after effects. Brachytherapy – which implants radioactive pellets inside the prostate – minimizes the radioactive exposure of the surrounding normal tissues. Cleveland Clinic Florida’s program is also one of the largest in the world and they were the first to use real-time, intraoperative planning for the procedure. Cleveland Clinic Florida is also home the Varian Edge radiosurgical suite – one of only a few centers in the world to offer this technology, delivering accurate and precise dosages of radiation in five outpatient treatments, a significantly fewer number when compared to traditional radiation technology.
To learn more on Prostate Cancer and treatments, visit Cleveland Clinic Florida online.