For some, November is an excuse to grow a stache and raise money and/or awareness for prostate cancer and bring attention to other men’s health issues. FLIP is all about the stache, but really our focus this month is to talk about PREVENTION! Did you know that 1 and 6 men will develop prostate cancer? We don’t like those odds… so please join FLIP in taking steps to protect your downstairs!
Here are some fun, easy and sexy tips from Men’s Health to help your prevent prostate cancer:
Drink more coffee.
Regular, decaf, half-caf, whatever—it’s all good, say Harvard researchers. They found that men who drank six or more cups of regular or decaf coffee were 59 percent less likely to develop advanced prostate cancer than those who eschewed the brew. More research is needed to determine what’s in java that might make it beneficial.
Give your gland a regular workout (i.e., have lots of sex).
A 2004 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed data on 29,342 men and found that guys who had 21 or more orgasms a month were about 30 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who racked up only four to seven a month. A possible explanation is … wait, who cares? Tell your wife it’s doctor’s orders.
See red, eat red.
For the 1,324th time, eat more cooked tomato products to reduce your risk of prostate cancer. This quirky link was first noticed in the 1990s by Harvard researcher Edward Giovannucci, M.D., Sc.D., and subsequent studies have confirmed the power of edible red. Credit lycopene, a pigment in tomatoes that’s more potent after they’re cooked. Aim for two-plus servings a week.
Exercise reduces the risk of fatal forms of prostate cancer by 41 percent. What’s more, among survivors of prostate cancer, those who exercised vigorously (playing tennis, running, swimming, or biking) for 5 hours a week had a 56 percent lower risk of death from the disease. More activity is more protective.
Top off your oil.
Fish don’t have prostates – but if they did, we’re betting they wouldn’t get prostate cancer. In studies on lab animals, the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA in fish oil inhibited tumors. Plus, Harvard researchers found that men who ate fish three times a week reduced their risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 25 percent.
Shelve the selenium supplements.
Selenium, a mineral found naturally in Brazil nuts, red meat, fish, and grains, became popular as a supplement in the late ’90s because researchers believed it could help prevent prostate cancer. But a recent study of more than 35,000 men published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that 200 micrograms of selenium a day did nothing to defend against the disease (or any other cancer for that matter). Worse, taking selenium slightly increased the risk of diabetes in some men. The bottom line: There’s no need to pop a selenium supplement unless your doctor tells you to.
Ditch the doughnuts
A stealth STD may increase your risk for prostate cancer. In a new Harvard study, men with a history of trichomoniasis were more than twice as likely to develop advanced-stage prostate cancer as those who never had the parasite. The infection could lead to prostate inflammation, which has been linked to cancer risk and progression. If you’ve never been tested, see your doctor. A single, 2-gram dose of either tinidazole or metronidazole can usually clear the infection.
Produce is powerful stuff. Case in point: Regularly eating broccoli may lower your risk of prostate cancer and heart disease. In a 2008 British study, scientists found a disease-fighting benefit from consuming just 4 servings of the vegetable a week. It’s likely that compounds found in broccoli, called isothiocyanates, can activate genes that disturb the chemical processes that may cause cancer and inflammation. One serving of broccoli is equal to 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked.