Prostate cancer begins as a silent disease, manifesting with no signs or symptoms. One of the only ways to catch it early is to have a yearly screening by a doctor, who will be able to detect anomalies as they appear. Once you start seeing symptoms such as problems with urination, blood in the urine, and pain in the lower back and hips, the cancer has already progressed, and may be more difficult to treat.
Treatment is available, though, and many times, people with prostate cancer make a complete recovery, especially if the cancer is detected early. But you might be wondering what you can do to keep from getting to this point. What are the risks of prostate cancer, and how can I avoid them?
The truth is, some of the risks factors of prostate cancer cannot be avoided. Others can, but either way, it is important to know what they are, so that you can be aware of the threat. If your loved one can relate to any of the things below, they, you, and their elder care aide should be on the lookout for prostate cancer symptoms, and make sure that they get their yearly screening by a doctor.
- Family history – This first one is an example of something that you cannot control. If your loved one’s parents, grandparents, or other relatives had either prostate cancer or breast cancer, they are at a higher risk for having prostate cancer than someone whose family has not experienced these illnesses. It sounds odd that breast cancer in the family could raise one’s risk for prostate cancer, but this is due to the presence of a genetic abnormality that can lead to either type of cancer.
- Aging – Age is another thing we can’t control. The risk of prostate cancer (or almost any other type of cancer) goes up as we age, so it is important to try to stay fit, eat right, and keep up a healthy immune system, in addition to going for yearly checkups at the doctor’s office. You may not be able to stop your loved one from aging, but you can certainly help them to stay healthy as they do so.
- Being overweight – Finally, something that we can control. Obesity has not only been linked to a myriad of problems like prostate cancer – it makes them harder to treat and to recover from as well. If your loved one is overweight, help them to slim down by having them eat healthier and exercise as best as they can. The better shape one is in, the less likely they are to develop any illness, including prostate cancer.
- Race – Alas, one more thing we can’t really control… Unfortunately, studies have shown that simply being an African American man puts one at a higher risk for prostate cancer. In addition, prostate cancer in African Americans is often more aggressive and in more advanced stages, and is thusly harder to treat. Again, you can’t control the color of your skin, but you can be aware of the risks, and take the appropriate preventative measures.
If your loved one is at risk for prostate cancer, you should be on the lookout for symptoms, and be aware that their yearly checkup is imperative for their health, and should never be skipped or postponed. An elder care provider can be invaluable during treatment of prostate cancer, and can be a great source of assistance and companionship during difficult times.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in New Brunswick, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care of New Brunswick today. Call (732) 607-8870.