Given our limited knowledge of prostate cancer among men here in Singapore, we take control of the situation by educating parents. After all, it is among the top five cancers affecting Singaporean men. Find out how to help your husbands, fathers and brothers learn more about prostate health.
According a survey conducted by the Straits Times, “a third of Singaporean wives have no knowledge of prostate cancer and as many as half were unaware that it is among the top five cancers affecting males here”. Prostate cancer affects more than 500 Singaporean men each year, causing death in at least 1 in 86 men. Isn’t that a cause for concern? Let’s talk about prostate health.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that matures in the prostate gland. This gland is a vital organ in transporting urine and semen from the bladder to the penis. Usually in the early stages, the cancer is not dangerous. However, in an advanced state, it is highly malignant and can even spread to the bones.
Are you at risk?
In our efforts to spread awareness about prostate cancer, we must realise that there are men out there who are more likely at risk of suffering from prostate cancer because of:
- Age. The risk of prostate cancer increases significantly with age. Men over the age of 50 should start going for health screenings. Find out more from your general practitioner about specific tests to take.
- Family medical history. If your father or brother has it, chances are, you are highly likely to be in the same boat.
- Race. It is more common in African-American men to suffer from prostate cancer than caucasians and Asians.
- Diet. Countries with dietary staples of meat and dairy products have a higher percentage of men who are at risk of developing prostate cancer.
Symptoms to look out for
Although most prostate cancer patients do not show any symptoms, it is worth getting a health screening if you are experiencing from any of these signs:
- Burning sensation or simply pain whilst urinating
- Decreased pressure in the stream of urine
- Blood in your urine or semen
- Having difficulty urinating
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Constant pain in the lower back and pelvis
Watch : Symptoms of prostate cancer / screenings
Breaching the topic of prostate cancer
The report also stated that men are shying away from medical advice and check ups due to “complacency and embarrassment”. If your husband is not at risk, perhaps you can look out for your father. Older folk are often reluctant to go for regular check ups. Help your dad/partner open up about discussing prostate cancer by:
- Giving affection. A simple meal or a date (father-daughter outing) will get him to relax and be more open to conversation. During this time, you can bring up the topic of health and slowly progress to prostate cancer.
- Listen to his fears and concerns. He may have symptoms that he does not yet realise. Try your best prompt him to take note of the above symptoms. Better yet, tell him what he should be looking out for.
- Support him no matter what the outcome is. Go with him for a health screening to provide emotional support. He needs somebody to be his pillar of strength.
Watch : To dos for prostate cancer patients
Foods you should consume for prostate health
In the name of good health, it is mandatory to practise good dietary habits. It is worth knowing the types of food that your husband, dad or brother should consume to maintain good prostate health.
- Ensure that he maintains a low fat diet. Studies show that foods, such as meats and dairy products increase the chance of prostate cancer.
- Tell him to consume more fruits and vegetables. It is a known fact that fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and nutrients.
- Add fish to his diet. Fatty fish such as sardines and tuna are rich in omega-3, fatty acids thought to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
- Consider green tea for a change! It is very good for the health and diet.
- Once in a while, do consider adding soy products to his diet. Rich in isoflavones, soy products are indeed a healthier alternative to standard dairy products.
- Instead of adding grated cheese to your salad, add nuts instead! Plant-based fats are indeed healthier than animal-based fats.
[stextbox id=”alert”] Foods to avoid: Red meat, processed meat, french fries, potato chips, excessive sugar, excessive lard and butter, farmed, salmon (high in contaminants), microwave popcorn, canned tomatoes, artificial sweeteners, non-organic potatoes, non-organic meat[/stextbox]