Whether you call it Movember or No Shave November, awareness and support of men’s health issues shouldn’t be relegated to a single month

It’s the annual month-long event when men across the country grow their facial hair to raise awareness for men’s health issues. Although the month has come to encapsulate many health issues men experience, the biggest issue discussed is cancer. While many men sacrifice their hair for life-saving treatments, men across the country show support by leaving their facial hair uncut.

It’s a wonderful event that has helped raise awareness for male health issues, including prostate cancer, the largest form of cancer among American men. Fighting cancer, however, is a never-ending battle and there are lessons you should remember long after No Shave November…

Stress decreases your chances of fighting diseases, including cancer

Studies have shown that stress can weaken the body’s immune system, leaving you less able to fight diseases, including cancer. When the body is under physical, mental, or emotional pressure, it releases stress hormones that help you act with greater speed and strength. Unfortunately, this primitive survival mechanism can lead to a poor immune system, among other problems.

While there is little evidence showing that stress causes cancer, too much stress can weaken your immune system that affect your ability to fight the disease. The National Cancer Institute has said that stress can also lead to cancer-causing behavior, including smoking, over-eating and excessive use of drugs or alcohol.

Diet can lower the risks of cancer

There are many factors that you have no control over when it comes to cancer. You can’t change your family history, and as much as you might like to, you can’t change your age. One important factor you can control is your diet.

Studies from the American Institute of Cancer Research found that diets rich in tomatoes, watermelon, and other red foods can significantly lower the risk of cancer in men. This is due to lycopene, an antioxidant found in many red fruits and vegetables. There are also studies linking veggies, fruits, fish, and tea to lower risks of cancer.

Foods to avoid include butter, candy and prepackaged goods. It seems like a basic healthy diet is good for fighting heart disease as well as cancer!

African-American men are 150% more likely to die from prostate cancer

If you are an African-American, you need to be aware that statistically speaking, you are far more likely to be affected by prostate cancer. When compared to the general population, black men are 60% more likely to have a prostate cancer diagnosis and a frightening 150% more likely to die from the disease.

While the causes are uncertain, African-American males seem to acquire a more aggressive form of cancer, making prevention and early diagnosis even more critical.

Prostate exams are crucial to a man’s health

As a man ages, the risk of prostate cancer increases. Testing to find prostate cancer is crucial for early diagnosis, which allows you and your doctor to target the disease before it becomes deadly.

There are many factors involved, but the American Cancer Society recommends that men of average risk should start receiving prostate exams at age 50. Men with a higher risk should start between 40 to 45 years of age.

Make your health a year-round priority

Contact our office today to learn more about Dr. Masel’s urological services, including laser prostate surgery, robotic surgery and kidney stone treatments. You can live a healthy, active life, and we would love to be a part of it!

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