Prostate cancer is a complex, multi-faceted disease. Whether it’s found at an early or later stage, most men will have decisions to make of choosing surgery, radiation, or maybe even active surveillance. Any of these treatments can be very effective in helping to either eradicate the cancer or at least slow the progression of the disease.
Besides prostate cancer treatment methods, men have a couple of other methods that may reduce not only the incidence of prostate cancer to begin with but also to slow down its progression. These two tools men can resort to are good nutrition and exercise. Both can result in a win-win situation for men with prostate cancer along with reducing some of the side effects of treatment. Not only are dietary and exercise changes seen as a complement to prostate cancer treatment, it gives a man a sense of control while making him feel better in the process.
By incorporating the following 7 steps into his daily lifestyle, men with prostate cancer can feel good knowing they are doing all they can to not let this disease take them down:
1. Drink green tea
Many studies of large populations of men have shown that men who consume green tea regularly are less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who do not drink the beverage. Other studies have found that the risk of prostate cancer decreases proportionally as the amount, frequency, and duration of green tea consumption increases.
In terms of tea consumed, men who drank more than three cups of green tea daily showed a reduced risk of prostate cancer. In a large study that evaluated the green tea drinking habits of 49,920 men aged 40-69 who were followed for at least 10 years, the researchers found that men who consumed five or more cups of green tea daily had a reduced risk of advanced prostate cancer when compared with men who drank less than one cup daily.
What is special about green tea? A compound called EGCG found in green tea is believed to possibly help reduce and kill cancerous cells. In addition, green tea appears to interfere with the activity of an enzyme called orthnithine decarboxylase, which plays a role in the beginning of prostate cancer. This beverage may also slow the growth of prostate cancer cells by encouraging the repair of damaged DNA that might otherwise promote cancer growth.
2. Practice yoga
Men with prostate cancer and undergoing radiation treatment who practiced yoga twice a week had significant reduction in common side effects of radiation which include radiation therapy fatigue, urinary and sexual dysfunction. This is according to new research led by scientists at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Stress-relieving activities such as yoga may also play a role in the spread of prostate cancer since by reducing stress that can affect the nerves around the tumor.
3. Add in flaxseed
For centuries, the seeds from this plant have been used to cure illnesses. Whether flaxseed has strong benefits for prostate cancer remains unclear. But researcher say flaxseed can help slow the growth of prostate tumors. Flaxseed is high in a group of polyphenols found in plants called lignans. While lignans are found throughout the plant kingdom, flax has up to 800 times more lignans than any other food. Researchers have found higher levels of lignans in the prostate fluids of men in countries with relatively low rates of the disease plus in vitro studies show lignans can slow the growth of prostate cancer cells in a Petri dish.
4. Consider taking vitamin D
Men who have prostate cancer tend to have lower rates of vitamin D. It is possible to get vitamin D from the sun or by eating fatty fish such as salmon or drinking milk fortified with vitamin D. Another option is to consider taking a vitamin D supplement which can increase a man’s level along with possibly slowing the growth of cancerous cells. Before taking a vitamin D supplement, men should consult with their doctor.
5. Eat foods rich in lycopene
Look up which phytochemical has the power to beat back prostate cancer and lycopene will be at the top of the list. This natural pigment found in cooked tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, grapefruit, cooked red pepper, asparagus, red cabbage, and mangos, has long been studies for its effect on cancers. Studies are mixed but given the fact these foods are part of healthy diet, makes sense they just might slow down the disease.
6. Make time for turmeric
If taken as a supplement, this Middle Eastern pantry staple might help prevent the onset of prostate cancer while also easing inflammation. Inflammation of the prostate gland serves as a risk factor for the development of prostate cancer. Curcumin is a component of turmeric which may prevent the onset of prostate cancer by serving as an anti-inflammatory agent by reducing any inflammation in the gland.
7. Make exercise a priority
It has been well-documented that exercise imparts dramatic health improvements in quality of life and health for patients with colon and breast cancer. One review looked at men who had nonmetastatic prostate cancer with a survival rate of at least 4 years after diagnosis. They were noted to be involved in vigorous exercise (cycling, swimming, jogging) for more than 3 hours weekly which led to a lower rates of cancer mortality. Another study found men with localized prostate cancer who walked briskly more than 3 hours weekly had a 57% reduction in prostate cancer mortality.