Sunday, May 27, 2007
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America, affecting 1 in 6 men. A man dies from prostate cancer every 19 minute. More than 65% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65 with African American men 56% more like than Caucasian men to develop prostate cancer and nearly 2.5 times as likely to die from the disease. Prostate cancer is less common in Asian and American Indian men. The cure rate is very high, when caught and treated in the early stages.
Prostate cancer occurs when the cells of the prostate begin to grow uncontrollably. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum (as seen above). It's primary function is to produce seminal fluid, which nourishes and transports sperm out of a man's body. Male hormones, androgens, which are produced in the testes, make the prostate grow. If it grows too large, it squeezes the urethra and and may slow or stop the flow of urine from the bladder to the penis. Prostate cancer usually grows slow and if left untreated can begin to invade tissues and cause damage. It may spread to other areas of the body where it can cause significant harm. Some forms of prostate cancer are aggressive and can spread quickly to other parts of the body.
Noone knows the exact causes of prostate cancer. However, the risk factors are: age, family history, race, certain prostate changes and diet.
Increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cabbage,radish,etc) can provide some benefit in prostate cancer prevention and consumption of specidic foods, particularly those derived from tomatoes, have been shown to have a significant effect on the development and progression of prostate cancer.
Lycopene, a naturally occurring chemical found mostly in tomatoes, but also in watermelon, pink grapefruits, guava and papaya, has long been known as the most "prostate healthy" compounds available.