Prostate disease affects a quarter of Australian men each year. The most serious is prostate cancer, where 16,000 diagnoses occur each year and 3,500 men die from annually (more than women dying from breast cancer). Symptoms from just an enlarged prostate affects 10% of men at age 40, increasing to 90% by age 90. Its important to ensure a healthy prostate, as the walnut size organ can produce many symptoms and cause a significant impact on one’s quality of life.
Symptoms of an unhealthy prostate include poor urinary stream (often with hesitancy, needing to wait before you can pee), dribbling afterwards, urination at night or frequent urination, painful waterworks or a feeling you can’t empty your bladder, and even blood in your urine. Prostate checks are provided by your GP and may involve an examination, a urine and blood test. Further investigations may involve an ultrasound, a MR scan, a biopsy and seeing a urologist.
The main 3 types of prostate disease are hypertrophy (enlarged prostate), prostatitis (inflammation) and cancer. Treatment differs depending on the diagnosis. Good general prostate health is enabled by the following measures:
- Adequate hydration – drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day
- Exercise daily
- Eat a variety of orange, yellow and green vegetables:
- Orange: carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, apricots, oranges and cantaloupes (provides carotenoids)
- Orange & yellow: oranges, peaches, papaya and nectarines (provides cryptoxanthin)
- Yellow & green: spinach, peas, corn, avocado, romaine lettuce and honeydew (provides lutein and zeaxanthin)
- Green, cruciferous: broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, chard, collards and mustard greens (provide sulforaphane, isothiocyanates, and indoles)
- Supplement your diet with saw palmetto, selenium, green tea, coffee, lycopene in certain fruits (tomatoes, apricots, guavas, watermelon), citrus pectin (citrus fruits), pomegranate juice, soy, vitamin D & E (vegetable oil, nuts, and egg yolks)
- Reduce stress and manage anxiety
Here’s a useful fact sheet from the Cancer Council if you would like more information: