The Mysterious 8-Ball

You may have seen a small icon posted to a man’s social media profile. It seems innocuous but slightly odd. It’s just a small 8-Ball. No other information is offered. No accompanying explanation. Then like wildfire it will spread to other men he is friends with, no one offering a reason why. Behind the scenes, this network of men will be sending each other this message:

Hey man, would you join in trying to raise awareness for prostate cancer? (only men ). Can you please put a on your wall don’t comment then send this on to all your male mates.

In my case, this movement was brought to my attention by a long time friend of mine named Sean Howard.

So the whole 8-Ball thing, here is the why.

The 8-Ball campaign is to help raise awareness for prostate cancer, which moves and grows silently and can affect 1 in 8 men. There’s the 8.

Each year there are approximately 21 600 new cases of prostate cancer reported and that represents 21% of all new cancer cases among men. From that 4 000 men will die from prostate cancer and that represents 10% of all Cancer deaths amongst men.

The good news that you can find buried amongst all the statistics is that over 5 years there is a 94% survival rate.

Prevention

Let’s face it, regardless of it’s relatively high survival rate, not getting Prostate cancer is by far the best possible option, and there are definite preventative steps that can be taken. Some good news about these preventative steps, they are also very good for your health and fitness, as most doctors say that best choices that you can make for your prostate health. Let’s take a look at some tips that can help to prevent Prostate Cancer.

  • Red Foods. Foods like, tomatoes, watermelon and other naturally red foods contain an antioxidant called lycopene and there are studies showing that men who eat a lot of these foods have a lower risk. Also, the Redder the Better.
  • Fruits and vegetables have shown an ability to help break down carcinogens that enter your body. Also, if you are eating healthy fruits and veggies you are less likely to be eating over processed junk food.
  • We’ve all heard that we would benefit from ingesting omega-3 fatty acids, and those acids are shown to reduce the risks of prostate cancer. Fish is an amazing source of omega-3, Tuna in particular.
  • Supplement wise, fish oil pills have been shown to slow the growth of cancerous cells in the prostate.
  • Get ready for a fun word: Isoflavones! This is the name of a nutrient that has links to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. To find this amazing nutrient eat more lentils, peanuts, chickpeas and tofu.
  • There are studies that have been done, showing that there is a lower risk of prostate cancer in men who drink green tea, or take green tea supplements than those who do not.
  • In good news for coffee drinkers, studies say feeding that habit can reduce your risk of fatal prostate cancer by around 11%.
  • Fats from animals have shown an increased risk, so replacing animal based fats with plant based fats will help to avoid this increased risk.
  • STOP SMOKING! Seriously, you already now that cigarettes cause all forms of cancer. If you are a current smoker, it’s not too late. Quit now and your risks will drop for every year that you don’t smoke.
  • Another fun word: Folate. Folate is found in foods like beans, orange juice, and green vegetables and increased risk of prostate cancer is linked to low levels of folate in the blood.
  • Manmade folate supplements like folic acid are believed to increase the risk of cancer.
  • Exercise! Yet another reason to be exercising regularly. Fat, particularly excess fat in the middle of your body is linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.

One of the most important things to remember about prostate cancer is that it is one of the more treatable forms of the disease, but it needs to be caught early. This means that the key thing you need to be doing is visiting your doctor regularly and making sure that you are getting a full physical. Men over the age of 45 are recommended to get a colonoscopy.

Due to the methods of testing for Prostate cancer it was often said that one of the major causes of death due to prostate cancer was embarrassment, as many men were too embarrassed to get a physical prostate exam. Thankfully through movements like the 8 Ball and Movember, more and more people are aware that the best thing you can do is get checked, and hopefully that will help lead to lower rates of fatality linked to prostate cancer.

There is a lot of information on prostate cancer and all kinds of cancer, including prevention techniques, causes, counseling options and cancer treatment centres available through the Canadian Cancer Society. There are also options on this site to help  donate to the research effort.

Now that you know some of the preventative measures for halting prostate cancer, eat healthy, live healthy, and don’t be scared of a quick exam. It’s far better than the alternative.

 

 

 


Posted by Lorne Marr.
Lorne Marr is a Toronto-based fitness enthusiast and lifelong advocate of healthy living. He is on a journey to discover the best methods of training and nutrition for athletes and weekend warriors over 45. Connect with Lorne on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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