Prostate health: a comprehensive guide
Did you know that in the UK more than 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year? 1 in 8 men will face a prostate cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, while the number rises to 1 in 4 among black men, and men with mixed black ethnicity. Prostate health is critical to overall wellbeing, yet many men don't fully grasp its significance or the importance of monitoring prostate health and looking after their prostate.
Here we explain the intricacies of prostate health, where the prostate is located, the functions of the prostate, common prostate issues and how to take proactive care for your prostate.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland, located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine and semen exit the body. The primary function of the prostate is to produce seminal fluid, a crucial component of semen that nourishes and transports sperm during ejaculation.
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How the prostate works
Symptoms of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, and is when cancer cells grow within the prostate. As explained by Prostate Cancer UK, there are three main prostate cancer risk factors:
- Age: Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50. It is recommended all men have an annual prostate test over the age of 50.
- Family history of prostate cancer: Men whose father or brother have had prostate cancer have twice the risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Being black: Black men have a higher risk of getting prostate cancer than other men - studies are inconclusive to why this is, however it is thought to be related to genes.
Early stages of prostate cancer may not exhibit noticeable symptoms, making regular screenings even more important. As it progresses, common symptoms of prostate cancer may include:
- Difficulty urinating
- A drop in the speed of flow of urine
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pelvic discomfort
- Erectile dysfunction
- Joint aches
- Losing weight without trying.
Any concerning symptoms should prompt a visit to your GP or a healthcare professional.
How to look after your prostate
Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is essential for prostate health. Regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and proper hydration not only support overall wellbeing, they also support continued prostate health.
Consider a mediterranean diet because it is rich in whole grains, legumes, healthy fats, and is low in dairy. Some studies show that high levels of dairy, which are high in saturated fats, can lead to inflammation and prostate enlargement. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to prostate cancer - Vitamin D has a protective effect against prostate cancer since it regulates the growth and differentiation of tumour cells (source: World Cancer Research Fund).
Specific nutrients, including zinc and selenium, are crucial for prostate function and can be obtained through a well-rounded diet. You may also be interested in learning about the 'Signs of zinc deficiency'.
Specialist supplements can also support prostate health. Men's ProMulti is a unique, all-in-one formula to support men's prostate health, testosterone health, and daily vitality and wellbeing. Men's ProMulti is specially formulated to support the changing health needs of men over the age of 40.
Why prostate tests are important
Regular prostate tests, including both a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, are vital for the early detection of potential issues. These examinations can help identify conditions like an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer in their early stages, when they are more treatable.
Common prostate problems and diseases
Aside from an enlarged prostate, which is a common condition associated with ageing, other prevalent issues include 'prostatitis' (inflammation of the prostate) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Prostate cancer, however, is a more serious concern and is one of the most common cancers in men.
Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the prostate gland grow uncontrollably. Various factors can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer, including age, family history, race and certain lifestyle choices. Regular screenings and awareness of potential symptoms are crucial for early detection and successful treatment.
Improving prostate health
As explained above, adopting a prostate-friendly diet that includes foods rich in antioxidants, Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D can contribute to overall prostate health. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption can positively impact prostate wellbeing. Learn more about Omega 3 and what is it good for.
Men’s ProMulti is an advanced, high-potency multi-nutrient for men. Developed by practitioners, it helps support men’s key health concerns as they age. From prostate, gut health, testosterone, heart health, energy and mental performance to immunity, mobility, joints, mood, hair, skin, healthy vision and more, it redefines men’s wellness and provides everything you need to excel every day.
Understanding prostate health is vital for men of all ages. From the importance of regular prostate exams to adopting a healthy lifestyle, taking proactive steps can significantly reduce the risk of prostate issues. By staying informed and having regular check-ups, men can enhance their overall wellbeing and enjoy a healthier, more fulfilling life.
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