Cancer in any part of the body is frightening for the patients and their loved ones. It is evident that with every different type of cancer, the signs and symptoms are different. Unfortunately, many types of cancers cause no considerable symptoms until they have reached a far more advanced stage. Therefore, regular checkups and routine tests can help in keeping a close eye on the health status. One such offenders is the Prostate Cancer. This type of cancer is particularly notorious for silently effecting its victims for years. However, after a certain age the symptoms began to appear and can sometimes be even fatal if left untreated.
Therefore, an annual examination and cancer testing can hope prevent it. In addition, a lifestyle based on a healthy diet and exercise is crucial to combat this condition as well.
- As the name suggests, the disease is located in the Prostate gland of the male reproductive system. Thus, the gland is responsible for the production of seminal fluid.
- The gland is situated just underneath the bladder. Therefore, enlargement of the gland can cause urinary obstruction.
- Age, obesity, and family history are common risk factors linked to the disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer:
Some of the symptoms are same as in the case of any other type of cancer.
Common cancer symptoms include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Frequent fever
- Low immunity
- Blood in the urine and feces
Signs and symptoms specific to Prostate Cancer are as follows:
- Difficulty urinating
- Low or weakened urine stream
- Difficulty passing stool
- Hematuria I-e blood in urine
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Blood in semen
- Back pain
- Pain in the bladder
- Pain in legs
Causes for Prostate Cancer:
Prostate cancer like any other form of cancer is primarily caused by genetic mutations. Hence, the genes responsible for healthy division and propagation of cells are altered. Furthermore, this alteration can result in uncontrolled division of cell. Thus, a mass is formed called as tumor or simply cancer. However, there are multiple other causes for this disease too.
Genetic basis for prostate cancer:
The human body is designed to combat any possible changes in its integrity and homogeneity. For the same purpose two main genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are worth mentioning. These genes are also referred to as the Tumor suppressor genes. Proteins produced by the activation of these two genes stops uncontrolled cellular proliferation. In addition, they also help in the reconstitution of shattered DNA fragments. Consequently, suppression and alteration in both these genes are considered primary causes for Prostate Cancer.
Similarly, another essential mutation is that of the gene HOXB13. This gene also plays its role in manufacture of tumor suppressing proteins. In contrast, This kind of genetic mutation often results in a more aggressive and fatal form of cancer.
Poor dietary habits and Obesity:
Uncontrolled weight gain and obesity is the mother of many metabolic and non-metabolic diseases. However, contrary to popular belief obesity is one of the leading causes for Prostate Cancer as well. Even though not all prostate cancer patients are overweight. Nevertheless, in the light of many persuadable statistical reports, obesity can be linked to prostate cancer to. According to American Cancer Society study, the risk for prostate cancer increases by almost 20% in an obese and overweight individual.
Combating Prostate Cancer with Diet:
Cancer is basically uncontrolled and irregular cellular growth in any part of the body. While prostate cancer is male specific cancer, usually its found in men of 60yrs of age or above.
Prostate cancer is usually Carcinomas (adenocarcinomas being the most common type) and Sarcomas. Other uncommon types are also included in prostate cancer.
Although, there is no sure shot way to prevent initiation of cancer. However, certain foods groups have been reported to limit the spread of disease. Some of the food groups particularly beneficial in this regard are as follows:
Antioxidant rich foods:
Multiple researches have pointed towards the beneficial aspects of antioxidants in treating any type of cancer. The antioxidants help in fighting off free radicals. Radicals are basically free ions that can encourage gene mutation and resultant uncontrolled cellular proliferation. Examples of such foods is as follows:
- Berries such as strawberry, raspberry, blueberry etc.
- Dark chocolate
- Citrus fruits
Eat your greens:
Green vegetables particularly of the family Brassicaceae (a.k.a. Cruciferae) are rich source of fibers and antioxidants. However, due to presence of Glucosinolates, this family is especially important from ‘cancer’ point of view. Research have found that one of the Glucosinolate called phenethyl isothiocyanate have strong anticancer properties.
Vegetables included in this group are:
- Brussels sprout
- Turnip root
Have your cup of Tea:
Green Tea have been used for ages by homeopathic and Ayurvedic health professionals. In addition, its for preventing genetic cancers. It has long been in research for its beneficial properties in as Chemotherapeutic supplement.
Green Tea, obtained from plant Camellia sinensis, contains compounds such as Polyphenols and Catechins. One such catechin is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). This compound has been found out to be potent chemoprotective and therapeutic agent. It has following beneficial roles in treating Prostate Cancer:
- Decrease in the size of tumor is seen by inhibition of Carcinogenesis in the Prostate
- Reduces the progression of cancer esp. in the case of high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, which is another commonly occurring prostate cancer
- Androgen antagonistic properties of the catechins are found in the green tea. These compounds have the ability to induce apoptosis of the cancerous cells.
Capsaicin containing foods:
Capsaicin is naturally found in the vegetables from Capsicum family. It gives the vegetables their specific chili flavor and aroma. A study published by Inés Díaz-Laviada showed promising outcomes of capsaicin in Prostate Cancer patients. It performs strong chemotherapeutic role in treating prostate cancer patients by following methods:
- Induce apoptosis in carcinoma cells by initiation of oxidative stress.
- Capsaicin can cause massive cellular death at higher doses by induction of androgenic carcinomas.
Capsaicin is abundantly found in the following vegetables:
- Pepper such as chili, cayenne etc.
- Tabasco peppers
Carotenoids rich foods:
Carotenoids are compounds that naturally impart color to the fruit and vegetables. They have strong antioxidant properties. There are many different varieties of carotenoids. One such type is a naturally occurring Red-colored compound called as Lycopene.
Lycopene have proved their worth time and time again in the treatment of many diseases. As a matter of fact, a study was conducted by van Breemen RB, Pajkovic N in 2008. This study focused on the targeted treatment of cancer. It has shown reliable information about the beneficial role of lycopene in the treatment of cancer. It is found in following foods:
- 4 cups watermelon
- 1 grapefruit
- 2 thumb lines ginger
- 2 pears
- Thoroughly clean all fruits
- Chop the watermelon up into cubes
- Peel the grapefruit. Can remove the membrane for a less bitter taste. Note: The membrane has vital nutrients
- Remove the sem from both pears
- Add all ingredients into the juicer 1 by 1. You should start with the ginger first.
- Stir well and enjoy.
Vitamin D containing foods:
Vitamin D has long been used for its benefits in osteoporosis and arthritis. However, many researches have concluded on the usefulness of vitamin D in treating prostate cancer. Insufficient vitamin D in diet or less exposure to sun have shown to be a common factor in most of prostate cancer patients.
A research conducted by Dr Bruce Hollis pointed out, that if at the initial stage of prostate cancer vitamin D supplementation is given regularly, then there is reduction in the size of tumor.
Some of the vitamin D rich foods are s follows:
- White beans
Cancer is an unpredictable and unfortunate disease that can tear a person from inside out. Even if treated on time and gotten rid of, it still imparts life altering changes to its victim’s lives. Treatment and diagnosis are never easy. Alternatively, preventive steps and lifestyle modifications can substantially help in combating a known or unknown/ genetic or non-genetic disease. This is especially important if a person has one or more members or the family suffering from prostate cancer. Because it is always better late than never.