Is prostate cancer prevention possible?
Urologist and prostate cancer specialist Dr. Michael Lazar talks about prevention and options for maintaining health after a cancer diagnosis.
June is Men’s Health Month and the focus is on prostate cancer. Second only to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the U.S. and the third most common cause of cancer related death today; lung cancer remains in the number one spot. Currently it is estimated that one man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Those at highest risk are men who have a family history of prostate cancer and black men, who are more than twice as likely to die from the disease as any other group.
Although experts will say that there’s no sure way to prevent prostate cancer, there are measures a man can take to increase the odds of staying healthy. “While there are no guarantees, when you follow the research it’s easy to conclude that there appear to be simple measures we can take to stack the odds in our favor,” explains Dr. Lazar. “As with most any health condition, prostate cancer may have less of a chance of occurring in men who proactively pursue an healthy lifestyle.”
Preventing Prostate Cancer
Literally dozens of studies are conducted every year on various cancer groups and increasingly those focusing on prostate cancer point to the same results. Men who want to stay healthy and avoid prostate cancer (as well as most other types of cancer) are more likely to achieve their goal if they:
Do these things:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get some exercise
- Choose a healthy low-fat diet
- Eat more fruits and veggies
- Take Omega 3 supplements
- Add selenium rich foods to the diet
Avoid these things:
- Animal fat
- Red and processed meats
When Your Luck Runs Out
Even when a person adheres to a healthy lifestyle, things can still go wrong. But the good news with a prostate cancer diagnosis is that the vast majority of cancers tend to grow slowly, and therefore don’t cause obvious health problems. It all depends on the type of cancer that is found in the prostate; while many grow slower, some are more aggressive.
Seeking treatment at the right time is imperative for the best the outcome in some scenarios. Annual screenings for men (particularly those over 50) is one of the ways to have control over potential treatment options – as newer treatments need to be pursued at the earliest stages.
Prostate Cancer Therapy Options
There are a number of treatment options that can be effective under the right circumstances, and many of them have side effects that most men would prefer to avoid, whenever possible.
- active surveillance
- radiation therapy
- surgery to remove the cancerous gland
- freezing (cryotherapy)
- hormonal therapy for very elderly patients
- high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)
The last option on this list; HIFU – is perhaps one of the most exciting non-invasive prostate cancer treatment options available today – with few to zero side effects in most cases. The key to success is early detection, and swift treatment.
“HIFU may not be appropriate in every situation, but it is most effective for men who have early stage, localized prostate cancer that has not spread or metastasized outside the prostate,” says Dr. Lazar. About Dr. Lazar and California HIFU
Dr. Michael Lazar is the only Northern California physician recognized as a leader in the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for prostate cancer. He has been successfully treating patients with HIFU since 2007. For more information about HIFU treatment, which is now available in the San Francisco area, or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553. Visit us online to learn more.