Some risk factors for prostate cancer are unavoidable. These include being older, having a father or brother with this type of cancer and being African-American.
Fortunately, you may be able to avoid some other risk factors.
Prevention with Lifestyle Choices
Scientists don't yet know for sure what causes prostate cancer. But some studies suggest that making the following choices may help protect you:
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Limit fat, particularly animal fat. Some research indicates that men who eat a lot of animal fat have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer.
- Ask your doctor about aspirin.
A recent review of several studies suggests that aspirin may help protect men from prostate cancer. But the authors caution that more research is needed.
The Importance of Prostate Cancer Screening
Prostate cancer may cause no symptoms, and possible symptoms are often due to other problems, such as an enlarged prostate. To be safe, urologists affiliated with Memorial Hermann recommend you tell your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Pain during urination
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Pain in the upper thighs, hips or lower back
- Not being able to urinate
- Blood in the semen or urine
- Painful ejaculation
Ask your doctor if screening makes sense for you.
Prostate Screening Recommendations
Current recommendations from the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and the American Urological Association advise:
- Men over 50 should have annual prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and digital rectal exams.
- African-American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer should have both tests each year beginning at 40.
Types of Screenings & Diagnostics
This simple blood test measures the level of prostate-specific antigen released by the prostate gland into the blood.
If your PSA results or other factors point to the possibility of cancer, your doctor may request a biopsy of the prostate. The doctors at Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers are able to analyze prostate tissue samples with exacting accuracy.
Make an Appointment
Make an appointment with ScheduleNow with a primary care physician or urologist if you would like to be screened for prostate cancer.