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Knowing your risk for disease can help you take steps to lower your chance of getting ill. With men, they often avoid worrying about their health until they are diagnosed with a problem. Women are better at prevention, which is why it is important to know if your husband is at risk for prostate cancer so you can help him to take care of himself and lower his risk factors.
Prostate cancer has many risk factors. Some, like genetic factors, are beyond your control, and others you can influence. But no matter what your husband’s risk factors are, if he follows a prostate-friendly lifestyle and gets early screenings, it can make a big difference in preventing the disease. And if your husband does get prostate cancer, his lifestyle, diet, and early intervention can help him beat it. The following risk factors can help you determine whether your husband is at risk for prostate cancer.
Is he obese?
Is your husband overweight? Obesity is a common risk factor for prostate cancer, and it is one you can do something about. Help your husband exercise, follow the Prostate Health Diet, and lose weight.
Does he have a sedentary lifestyle?
Is your husband a bit of a couch potato? It is time to get him moving. Exercise is important for all aspects of prostate health, and studies on prostate cancer and exercise show that exercise, even walking at least 90 minutes per week, can help men live longer and lower risk for prevent prostate cancer. Men who exercise even more will enjoy better benefits. Getting at least three hours per week of vigorous physical activity is associated with a 61% lower risk of death from prostate cancer when compared with men who exercise less than one hour per week at vigorous activity, and a 49% lower risk of dying from any cause.
Does he eat meat and fried food?
If your husband is a lover of fried foods and meat, especially processed and cured meats like bacon or well-done meat, you may want to encourage him to cut back on these foods. Several studies indicate that consuming these foods can increase risk of cancer, including prostate cancer. Instead look at following a Mediterranean diet, which focuses on fish, nuts, seeds, heart-healthy oils, and vegetables.
Knowing what foods to avoid for prostate health as well as the best diet for prostate health can help you shop and prepare better meals for a lifetime of better habits and enjoying your husband’s good health.
Is he African American?
If your husband is black, he is at a higher risk of getting prostate cancer than other American men. In fact African American men have twice the risk of prostate cancer in their early 50s and are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer. What is interesting is that black men living in Africa do not have as high a risk factor, so something about the American diet, stress, or environment is contributing.
Is there a family history?
Does your husband’s father, uncles, or brothers have prostate cancer? Some types of prostate cancer are genetic, and the tumors may be more aggressive, so it is important to get a PSA test and prostate exam early and regularly.
Is he balding?
Is your husband balding? We are not trying to add insult to injury, but a study indicates that one of the weird risks for prostate cancer is that bald men have a 69% greater risk for prostate cancer than men without hair loss. Researchers speculate that this related to testosterone levels.
Is he tall?
Is your husband over six feet tall? In the US and the UK, taller men have a higher risk for prostate cancer than shorter men.
Do you live in a northern climate?
If you live in the north, your husband’s risk of prostate cancer is higher than men who live south of 40 degrees latitude. Make sure your husband is getting plenty of vitamin D, to make up for the lack of sunlight exposure. Vitamin D is important for prostate health and male aging.
Has he had prostatitis?
If your husband has suffered with chronic prostatitis, he may be at risk for prostate cancer. A 2010 study found that men with a history of prostatitis have a 30% increased risk of prostate cancer. That is why employing a multimodal approach to manage this condition and reduce inflammation is important. While there is not a causal link between prostatitis and prostate cancer, the same factors in diet, exercise, and stress can increase the risk for both prostatitis and prostate cancer, so it is important to take steps to achieve better prostate health.
To help your husband prevent prostate cancer, encourage him to get moving, manage his stress, eat better, and perhaps drink green tea or take a green tea supplement. If he is at a higher risk factor for prostate cancer due to his race or family history, encourage him to talk to his doctor and get screened earlier than other men. You may need to schedule that first appointment for him. He may not be excited to go to the doctor, but getting that first baseline reading is important. Even if he does not always show it, he will appreciate the good care from his loving wife.