If there is one bodily area of concern that is exclusive to men, it is prostate health. My wife and nurse, Damey, is adamant that I see my doctor for necessary tests and screenings routinely because we both have known men in our lives who have dealt with a variety of medical issues, including prostate conditions.
Statistics published by the Ohio Department of Health indicate that prostate cancer was the most frequently diagnosed among Ohio men ages 65-69, and an average of 8,293 cases of the disease were diagnosed each year in 2015-2019.
Since September is Prostate Health Month, Damey and I want to shine a spotlight on prostate health because we both care about men’s health.
What is the Prostate?
The prostate is a small gland in men that is about the size of a walnut that is part of the male reproductive system. This gland helps make semen, and it surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body through the penis.
“Because the prostate gland tends to grow larger with age, it may squeeze the urethra and cause problems in passing urine,” explains the National Cancer Institute.
Sometimes, younger men can begin experiencing urinary tract symptoms, but typically symptoms are not noticed until later in life.
Symptoms of Prostate Problems
NCI says an infection or tumor may also increase the size of the prostate, but men should always consult their doctor if the following urinary symptoms appear:
- Passing more urine during the day
- Experiencing an urgent need to urinate
- Having less urine flow
- Feeling burning sensations when passing urine
- Getting up frequently during the night to urinate
“Growing older raises your risk of prostate problems. The three most common prostate problems are inflammation (prostatitis), enlarged prostate (BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia), and prostate cancer,” according to NCI.
Prostatitis – An inflammation of the prostate gland caused by a bacterial infection.
Enlarged Prostate (BPH – Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) – Non-cancerous condition caused by abnormal cell growth. This causes the prostate to grow larger, but it does not increase a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer – This occurs when cancer cells form in the tissues of the prostate. It is slow-growing and may begin decades before a tumor gets big enough to cause symptoms.
Recommendations for Improved Prostate Health
Johns Hopkins Medicine outlines the following tips for improving prostate health:
- Maintain a balanced diet – In as much as you might not like them, green leafy vegetables are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants for the prostate. Lettuce, spinach, kale, and broccoli are recommended for prostate health. Men should also avoid charred meats as there is a chemical compound released when meats are charred that may be linked to cancer.
- Soak in some sun and vitamin D – Please remember to use sunscreen, but men should try to get a healthy dose of vitamin D via sunlight to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Vitamin D is not only good for better prostate health, but also heart, pancreas, and kidney health.
- Get screened – The article published by Johns Hopkins emphasizes the importance of prostate screening. “Prostate cancer screening recommendations are different depending on whether you’re in a high-risk or an average-risk group. If you are in a high-risk group, you should consider getting screened for prostate cancer starting at age 40. Men who are at normal risk are encouraged to consider screenings starting at age 55.”
Risk Factors for Developing Prostate Cancer
- African Americans
- People of Scandinavian descent
- Family history of 2 or more family members who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer
The health and wellness of our clients is what we’re all about at Home Helpers. Whatever we can do to make life easier and healthier will always be our mission.
If a compassionate Home Helpers® caregiver can provide transportation to doctor appointments, prostate and other vital screenings, companionship during difficult times, assistance with personal care, light housekeeping, or other in-home care services for you or a special senior man you love, Damey and I are happy to schedule a FREE consultation at your convenience to assess specific needs and determine ways we can help in Making Life Easier™ for him. 330.892.9329
Home Helpers® Canton, OH, is Veteran-owned and operated. We are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award, the Shooting Star Award (2011), and multiple Platinum awards for the superior level of care we provide. We are Certified Senior Advisors and members of the Home Care Association of America, Alzheimer’s Association, and International Franchise Association. Additionally, we were ranked in the Top 500 Franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2019.
Home Helpers® Canton is Making Life Easier™ every day for male and female seniors in Stark County, Portage County, and portions of Summit County including the communities of Akron, Alliance, Canton, East Sparta, Hartville, Jackson, Massillon, Navarre, North Canton, Randolph, and surrounding areas.
Ohio Department of Health
National Cancer Institute
Johns Hopkins Medicine