Prostate cancer will affect about one in every six men in Canada during his lifetime. This is the most common cancer affecting Canadian men. However, prevention, early detection and appropriate treatment can significantly change the outcomes for men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer.
What Are My Approximate Risks?
Your risk of prostate cancer depends on several factors. Some factors like ethnicity, age and family history cannot be changed, but there are dietary and lifestyle factors that can increase or lower your risk for prostate cancer. Consuming foods that are rich in saturated fats (cheeses and meats) on a regular basis has been shown to increase risk, whereas, getting 20–30 minutes of exercise three times a week may reduce your risks for prostate cancer. For an overall self evaluation of risk for developing prostate cancer visit www.prostatecancer.ca and take the online risk assessment quiz.
How Often Should I be Screened for Prostate Cancer?
Prostate exams as well as blood tests are usually recommended starting at the age of 50, but if you have a father or brother who has or has had prostate cancer you may want to start sooner. The frequency of recommended screenings varies from person to person; speak with your doctor about personal risk factors to determine how often you should be screened.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Bear in mind that although prostate cancer may be the most common form of cancer in Canadian men, it remains the third most common cause of cancer-related mortality in Canadian men. Prostate cancer is treatable. In addition to surgery, radiation and hormone therapy, there are other treatment options available for those who are looking for more than what is available through conventional medicine. To find out more about the options available in conventional medicine speak to your medical doctor; to find out more about complimentary and lifestyle options speak to your naturopathic doctor.
Who Can I Reach Out To?
A diagnosis of prostate cancer can be devastating. In situations where it is difficult to definitively say whether or not prostate cancer is present, ambiguity can be even worse. Prostate Cancer Canada (www.prostatecancer.ca) now coordinates fundraising and research with the support group to provide a unified organization in the battle against prostate cancer. If you have questions or would like to speak to someone who has had a similar situation or experience to yourself Prostate Cancer Canada can put you in touch with your local support group. The fight against prostate cancer doesn’t have to be a lonely one.
Dr. Ng is a Naturopathic Physician and co-founder of the Mountainview Wellness Centre. He specializes in detoxification, weight loss, thyroid conditions, gastrointestinal disease and men’s health. For more information on Dr. Ng or the Mountainview Wellness Centre visit www.mountainviewwellnesscentre.ca.