Men can be reluctant to discuss their health, but talking about preventing cancer—especially lung, colorectal and prostate cancer—is essential. And the conversation is surprisingly hopeful when you consider that natural approaches can help.
What are the causes?
Age plays a part. Cancer can occur at any age, but generally men over the age of 50 are at greatest risk.
Tobacco use is responsible for 33 percent of preventable cancer diagnoses.
Obesity and being overweight is responsible for 20 percent of cancer diagnoses. As well, a 2014 study linked obesity with the risk for high-grade progressive prostate cancer. Ten percent of preventable cancer diagnoses can be attributed to poor diet and inactivity—also predictors of obesity.
Stress has been studied for its relationship to cancer risk; however, scientists caution that many variables can complicate a true connection.
What are the signs?
Understanding signs and symptoms is essential when it comes to cancer detection.
Lung cancer warning signs include persistent cough, coughing up blood and pain.
Colorectal cancer may be suspected at signs of a change in bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation, blood in the stool and persistent discomfort in the form of cramps or pain.
Prostate cancer signs include frequent urination, blood in the urine and difficulty maintaining a steady stream of urine.
How can you modify your risk?
Fortunately, lifestyle choices like healthy eating, regular physical exercise and stress reduction can help reduce the risk of cancer. Always speak with your health care practitioner about the best ways to screen and prevent cancer, including which supplements are right for you.
Smoking, if you do, is the first thing you should change to reduce your cancer risk. Avoiding second-hand smoke is also important.
Diet is crucial in reducing our lifetime risk of cancer. Certain types of food have been linked to specific types of cancer. For example, consuming too much red meat or processed meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer.
In general, however, eating a healthy diet that includes whole foods in the form of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, lean meats and fish is a great way to protect ourselves from cancer.
Supplements have also shown promise in helping to reduce cancer risk.
- Multivitamins can help you stock up on the essential nutrients needed to support your body’s immune system and prevent diseases like cancer.
- Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to colorectal and other cancers; supplementing can bring up our levels.
- Omega-3 fatty acids may be linked to lower prostate cancer risk.
- Green tea, which can be consumed as a drink or as a supplement, has been linked to reduced risk of lung, colorectal and prostate cancers.
Exercise is important to maintain a normal BMI for maximum cancer protection. Getting active for at least 30 minutes every day can mean a world of difference.
Reducing stress may modify the risk of developing cancer. Activities like yoga, meditation and psychotherapy can have a profound effect on a man’s health.