What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer refers to the uncontrolled growth of cells in the prostate gland. The prostate gland is a part of the male reproductive system. It is a small (almost walnut-sized) gland located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum (the last part of the large bowel), surrounding the urethra (the tube carrying urine out of the bladder). The prostate has two main functions: producing and storing fluid that helps make semen and regulating bladder control.
- Age: The chances of getting prostate cancer increase with age. Most experts recommend considering screening when a man is 50 years old.
- Race: African-American men are at a greater risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Family history: There is a higher risk of prostate cancer in men who have a close family member (father, uncl, or brother) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than 65 years old).
- Heredity: Certain genetic conditions may increase the risk of prostate cancer.
- Diet and lifestyle: Men who have a diet rich in animal fat and low in fruits and vegetables may have greater chances of getting prostate cancer. Being obese or having a sedentary lifestyle also raises prostate cancer risk.
- Smoking: It increases oxidative stress in the body, causing an increased risk of several cancers, including prostate cancer.
Can certain foods kill prostate cancer?
There is no particular food or recipe that can directly kill prostate cancer cells. Research is underway to discover the foods that may help prevent prostate cancer and aid the complete recovery of prostate cancer patients. It must be noted that the scientifically proven therapies for prostate cancer are crucial for treatment and should not be replaced by other means, including dietary supplements. Some of the foods that are suggested by studies to help in recovery or prevent prostate cancer relapse include
- Foods containing lycopene: Lycopene is a bright red compound found in tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables, including red carrots, papayas, watermelons, pink grapefruits and guavas. Although there is not sufficient evidence, some studies suggest that the antioxidant and immune-boosting properties of lycopene may help fight cancer cells. Grapefruit should be avoided by people consuming certain medicines, such as blood thinners, blood pressure medicines, medications to treat high blood cholesterol and medications to treat erection problems. Consult the doctor for more clarity.
- Plant-origin protein sources: These include soybeans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils and other pulses. These foods are rich in protein and low in fat and cholesterol. They help promote overall health and may hasten recovery from prostate cancer.
- Green tea: This tea is rich in antioxidants that boost immunity and well-being. A decaffeinated green tea provides the same cancer-protection benefits without the urinary side effects.
- Cruciferous vegetables: These include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts and mustard greens. They help provide the essential vitamins and minerals that aid in recovery from prostate cancer.
- Fruits: Various fruits, especially cranberries, blueberries, strawberries and pomegranates are popular for their potential cancer-killing properties.
A balanced diet that includes these foods may promote an overall sense of well-being and help limit prostate cancer. Drinking plenty of water helps to flush out the wastes and toxins from the body and keep the metabolism at optimum levels. Avoid sugary drinks and foods, red meat, barbecued or deep-fried foods and processed foods (such as chips and cookies), get ample rest and perform regular physical activities as per the doctor’s advice.
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