Myths About Your Prostate

Studies show that many men still put off prostate screening because of old beliefs. But as scientists learn more about the prostate and prostate health, many of these myths are being debunked. Here are some of the most common.

1. Prostate problems only occur after 50.

Not always. Age is only a risk factor, not a demarcation line. While older men are more prone to prostate disease, it can occur in men even younger than 40. Prostatitis in particular affects men of all ages. Factors that can affect your risk include poor diet, lack of exercise, and too much or too little sexual activity.

2. Prostate disease is sexually transmitted.

No. Women don’t have a prostate, so they technically can’t contract prostate disease. However, infections can be passed on through the seminal fluids produced by the prostate gland. There have also been cases where men developed prostatitis following invasive procedures such as biopsies and rectal exams.

3. BPH can lead to more Prostate Problems.

BPH and other prostate diseases do not necessarily lead to more prostate problems. Enlarged prostate or Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is simply an enlarged prostate gland resulting from overproduction of testosterone in older men. Benign literally means non-cancerous; no studies have established a link between BPH and more serious prostate problems. If you know you have BPH, be on the lookout for symptoms that may be caused by something else.

4. High PSA indicates more Prostate Problems.

Sometimes. PSA tests are by no means definitive. Prostate-specific antigen, a protein secreted by the prostate, is naturally present in the bloodstream and can increase for a number of reasons. These include stress, dietary or lifestyle changes, or a prostate disease other than cancer. Some men simply produce more PSA than others. If you have high PSA, further tests are needed not to confirm more serious prostate problems, but to find out the cause and possible treatments.

5. DREs are painful.

Only slightly. The digital rectal exam (DRE) does create an uncomfortable mental image: the doctor puts on a lubricated glove and inserts his finger up your rectum, far enough to feel the back of the prostate for suspicious growths.

6. Biopsies can make you impotent.

No, but biopsies can cause some inflammation, mild pain, and blood in the urine and semen, but none are serious enough to cause any sexual dysfunction.

7. Chemotherapy - one treatment

There are different types of prostate problems, and different treatment options for each one. In fact, chemotherapy is usually reserved for cases where it has spread significantly. For localized problems, the treatments are usually surgery or radiation therapy, often accompanied by hormonal therapy (DHT blocking). Watchful waiting (also called active surveillance) is a procedure involving several tests but no invasive treatments, usually given for early-stage prostate problems.

Prostate: Common Diseases, Treatment & Prevention

Your prostate starts to age as soon as you hit your teens, maybe even younger. That means you become a target for all sorts of prostate disease—including cancer—even before you finish high school. Some are deadly, some are not, but the risk is there, and will most likely stay well into retirement. Your first defense is to know what the possibilities are and what you can do about them. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started.

Prostatitis

Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate. About 50% of all men experience some form of inflammation at least once in their lives, but it’s rarely serious and there is no known connection between prostatitis and cancer. Nevertheless, the disease can be hard to diagnose, and medical attention is needed to prevent complications. There are four types of prostatitis: acute bacterial, chronic bacterial, chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS), and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis. CPPS is the most common form and affects men of all ages.

It may be inflammatory or non-inflammatory; the former shows symptoms of inflammation such as pus cells and leukocytes. Acute bacterial prostatitis is the least common, accounting for less than 5% of cases, but is the easiest to treat and diagnose. Chronic bacterial occurs when bacterial infections in the urinary tract trigger the same symptoms as acute bacterial. Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis produces no symptoms and is usually found during screenings for other prostate problems.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

BPH is the enlargement of the prostate due to the overgrowth of cells. Unlike cancer, however, the growth is benign and rarely spreads to other organs. It usually occurs in men over 40, and becomes more common with age. About 90% of men aged 60 to 70 experience symptoms of BPH.

Most of the growth occurs in the middle lobes, as a dense outer layer prevents the prostate from growing outward. BPH symptoms start to occur when the prostate starts to compress the urethra. Symptoms include frequent urination, especially at night (nocturia), inability to hold back, and dribbling after urination. Some men don’t notice the symptoms until the BPH causes total blockage and they cannot urinate at all.

Mild BPH clears up by itself in about one-third of cases, but most men will require treatment at some point. Your doctor may require active treatment if you are predisposed to cancer or if the symptoms become too bothersome. Treatments range from supplements, simple medications (alpha blockers, 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors) to surgical and non-surgical procedures. One powerful prostate supplement to consider is Prostate Health Essentials which contains 30+ natural ingredients that have been shown to support prostate health. This easy-to-take daily supplement provides excellent all-around prostate health.

Preventing Prostate Disease

Although there’s no stopping prostate deterioration, you can limit the effect by avoiding the controllable risk factors. Lifestyle plays an important role in preventing prostate disease, so keep a balanced diet and get regular physical exercise. Treatment tends to reduce your appetite or alter your food preferences, so up your nutritional intake with supplements like vitamin D and E, lycopene, and antioxidants. Be sure to consult your doctor first, though. Remember, you can’t stop yourself aging, but you can give up your daily cigarette, beer, or fast food fix.

Foods for Good Prostate Health

Think you’re a candidate for prostate cancer? You could learn a diet tip or two from your Asian friends. There’s a good reason why prostate cancer is more rampant in the West than anywhere else: we eat more fast food, instant meals, and all things processed—the very things that lead to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other such conditions. Although the culture has spread globally, natural foods still prevail in much of Asia and the Middle East and benefit natural prostate health.

That means prevention may be as simple as making the right food choices. In fact, studies show that making a few adjustments in your diet can reduce your risk by as much as 70%, even if you’re in a high-risk group. Here are some foods than can help.

Tomatoes. Lycopene, a strong antioxidant in tomatoes and tomato products, may help lower the risk of prostate problems. A Harvard study showed that men who ate more than ten servings of tomato daily lowered their risk by around 35%. Go for cooked tomatoes to increase your intake. Fresh is always good, but cooked lycopene is more easily absorbed by the body. Build a healthy prostate!

Broccoli. Broccoli belongs to a group called cruciferous vegetables, which contain phytochemicals that may block dangerous cells. They were also shown in studies to lower levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), an indicator of prostate activity. Other cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, cabbage, radish and Brussels sprouts.

Soy. A UK study of Seventh-Day Adventists, a sect that promotes vegetarianism, shows that replacing meat and dairy with soy alternatives reduces prostate problem risk by as much as 70%. The benefits also apply to men already being treated for prostate problems.

Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish can “block” dangerous cells by keeping them from migrating to other tissues. They also lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. Seafood in general contains high amounts of zinc and selenium, both of which are essential to prostate health.

Saw Palmetto. Saw Palmetto has long been used for urinary problems in Asia and parts of Europe. In recent years it has gained popularity as a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or prostate enlargement. In a study conducted by the University of Brussels in Belgium, saw palmetto appeared to reduce prostate size by around 9% within 45 days and 10% after 90 days.

Pepper. Capsaicin, the ingredient that makes peppers spicy, appears to kill cancer cells (or to be accurate, cause cancer cells to kill themselves). It works by triggering apoptosis, the natural process of cell death, which is normally skipped by cancer cells. A US study shows that 80% of tumors treated with the compound were significantly smaller.

Green Tea. For yet unknown reasons, catechins (a form of antioxidant) found in Green Tea seem to fight the growth and spread of dagerous cells. Because it is less processed, green tea contains more antioxidants than other teas. It has yet to be tested on humans, however, and effects may only be seen with doses of 6 cups or more.

Prostate problems are a common part of growing older for many men. You can, however, take a very comprehensive formula that includes Saw Palmetto, Zinc, Lycopene, Beta-Sitosterol, Pygeum Africanum and Stinging Nettle, a total of over 30+ ingredients; a very comprehensive formula; Prostate Health Essentials (click here to view). Prostate Health Essentials contains 30+ natural ingredients shown to support prostate health.

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