Movember Brings Awareness to Men's Health, Prostate Cancer

November 1 kicks off the month long world-wide cancer awareness month known as Movember. Men who participate grow mustaches to help raise money and awareness for charities supporting men’s health. Movember started in 2003 and is now a global initiative with a growing social media presence, raising more than 120 million dollars in 2011 for men’s cancer charities. Second only to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men.

Did you know?

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer next to skin cancer for men.
Every year more than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
More African American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer than any other group in the world.
The biggest risk factors are: age, family history, race, and regions of residence.

Know What to Look For

It is important to know what signs or symptoms to look for, as most early stages of prostate cancer do not present any signs or symptoms.  The earliest detection is key for successful treatment.
Problems urinating include weak or interrupted flow, having to urinate frequently, and pain or trouble beginning urination.
Look for blood in the urine or semen.
Tell your doctor if you have pain in your back, hips or pelvis that does not go away.

Nutrition during Treatment

Eat smaller meals, especially if your appetite is poor.
Start with proteins, which help your body repair and fight infection.
Eat good fats like olive oil, nuts, nut butters, and avocadoes to help restore energy and with the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Eat fruits and vegetables to help your body fight the disease and as well as for the essential fiber, vitamins, and minerals your body needs.
Choose high-fiber carbohydrates like whole wheat bread, quinoa and brown rice for energy, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Add nutrient rich snacks and protein shakes to help keep weight on during treatment and provide additional nutrient supplements.
Ask your doctor about taking supplements and vitamins, as it is best to get vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat.  Some may interfere with your treatment.
Drink 8 – 10 cups of fluids daily to help reduce constipation.
Add flaxseed to meals.  Flaxseed has shown to help protect against prostate cancer and can even slow the progression of the disease.
Add soy foods to your diet.  Soy contains isoflavones, or phytoestrogens, which have estrogen-like effects, thus inhibiting the progression of prostate cancer.
Eat foods containing selenium and lycopene; both are great antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals.  Examples include brazil nuts, tuna and turkey breast (contain selenium) and watermelon, tomatoes and pink grapefruit (lycopene).
As always, check with your doctor before adding any of these items or supplements to your diet.

Be Active

Exercising on a regular basis during and after treatment can help rebuild your strength, relieve stress and help promote a healthy weight, as well as aid in digestion and a healthy appetite.  Talk with your doctor about the right exercise program for you.
Start slow and steady.  Find a schedule and variety of activities that work for you and keep working towards increasing the time and intensity of your workouts.
Bring along a friend of family member to help you stick with it and enjoy their company.  We are more likely to stay with regular exercise when we are doing so with a partner.
Work out when you aren’t working out.  Fit in more physical activity by taking the stairs when you can, park further from the door to add in more walking and try not to sit for long periods of time.

Treatment Success Rates

Early detection and treatment can greatly improve the survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Recent data shows all men with prostate cancer have the following survival rates:
•    The relative 5-year survival rate is nearly 100%
•    The relative 10-year survival rate is greater than 90%

As treatment and detection methods continue to improve, the survival rates are expected to improve as well for the 10 year and 15 year survival rates.