The most commonly diagnosed cancer among men is of the prostate. The fact that more men die from prostate cancer than women do of breast cancer has done nothing to little in altering the awareness of the preventability of the disease. Although the Movember organization is marshalling up the fire-power to improve awareness, understanding and support. And by fire-power we’re talking of over half a billion dollars in just over 10 years.
Presently half of all men and a third of women will develop cancer. It is estimated that only 5% of cancer is genetic, which means that 95% are preventable. Prostate cancer is no different, and it is survivable if it’s detected, (like many cancers), early.
For those experienced with men’s health issues they know already why more men than women will develop cancer, or other diseases. The reason for those not familiar with men’s health issues is that men don’t go to the doctor for regular check-ups – if they ever go at all. There is no biological reason for men to die younger than women yet they do consistently, on average by about 4 years sooner than women.
The thing about prostate cancer is that it’s a preventable, and a survivable disease – if it’s caught early. Because there are no early warnings, the only way for detection to happen is to get a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test done early, like when you’re 40 so that you know your baseline reading, which is a comparison for all future exams. That is especially true if you have a family member developed the disease, like a father, uncle, brother. If the PSA reading increases, then more advanced testing will be made available.
Digital technology is incredible. In my case, at the suggestion of a more comprehensive digital exam, I was keen, until it dawned on me that digital had nothing to do with any advanced algorithm, but a rubber glove. The invasiveness of the digital exam is admittedly off-putting to most if not many. In my case, it had a powerful effect on my memory. I suddenly remembered my baseline, and realized a more advanced test was not needed. It also shows an irrational reflex reaction on male reluctance to get a thorough test done.
There is so much information and touted ‘tips’ on good health that it can easily become a babble. Experts can’t agree on the interpretation of the data, and the result is a cacophony of confusing information. For instance, vitamin C is generally agreed to be beneficial and helpful in preventing cancer, but in the real food form, not in supplemental as in vitamins but rather the actual fruit and vegetables. However, vitamin C actually feeds cancerous tumours, so it’s something to be avoided if cancer is present.
It is well-known in the medical community that the reduction of inflammation in the body is a key component of good health. One of the beneficial side effects of statins (Cholesterol drugs) are the effect it has on reducing inflammation. There is also increasing evidence that statin use seems to have a beneficial effect on prostate cancer mortality. According to a study of over 11,000 patients, which was published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2013, “Overall, the use of statins after diagnosis was associated with a decreased risk in prostate cancer mortality.” Although statin or cholesterol drugs are not with out their side effects, like weakened joints and muscles.
A natural source of statin can be found in the oyster mushroom as well of course in the class of drugs that inhibit HMG-CoA reductase. Lipitor, Lescol, Altocor, Crestor are common brand names among others. There are arguments brewing between specialists that are recommending men over 40 should take statins as a preventative medicine not only for the reduction of bad cholesterol but because of their preventative qualities related to prostate cancer, and inflammation.
Some figures on prostate cancer below from the Movember website
• 1 in 7 men will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime and 1 in 28 will die of it.
• A man dies from prostate cancer every 22 minutes.
• In 2013, 23,600 new cases of the disease will be diagnosed and 3,900 men will die of prostate cancer.
• Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men.
• The incidence rates are nearly double in African Canadian men.
• If detected and treated early, there is a 95 percent survival rate associated with prostate cancer.