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Movember – Take Part, Take an Interest and Look after Yourself…

| By: Dr Robert Stevens

So…  you’re growing a moustache for Movember to raise awareness of Men’s Health issues, but what do you actually know about keeping your prostate healthy, preventing prostate cancer and keeping your body healthy so that you minimise your chances of getting cancer in the first place?  I’m guessing not enough.

There should be a massive emphasis on prevention not just cure.  We are exposed to carcinogens (cancer causing agents) both natural and manmade on a daily basis, some voluntarily, some not, so why not provide a strong defence mechanism against it?  I’m sure there is more than simply luck and genetics as to the reason one 50-year-old gets cancer and one doesn’t.  Let the scientists research the ‘sciency’ stuff and please continue to raise money and donate to these wonderful causes.  Just don’t forget about yourselves

I encourage you to help minimise your chances of contracting cancer by leading a healthy and active life.  Adopting a healthy lifestyle through a positive mental attitude, diet and exercise.  These are pivotal to health and happiness in my opinion.

We all recognise the importance of prevention over cure.  We need to stand up and fight, not just for others, but also for ourselves.

Our government isn’t even willing to support the NHS, a national health service that was based on need and funded by government through taxation.  A wonderful and humanitarian endeavour.  Through systematic abuse both from big business and our ever-growing society of ‘entitled takers,’ it is drowning.  It’s no secret that Jeremy Hunt and his pals are set to profit greatly from it’s inevitable privatisation.  What are you willing to do to stop this?  I’ll tell you what you can do right now, I’m not talking revolution, I’m talking about looking after your health so that you don’t need to use it!

We need charities because our government is more interested in buying the latest military equipment because the latest model blows up an extra 10 square miles.  Surely we have enough weapons of mass destruction?  We are securing our borders so that we can congratulate ourselves, repeat after me, ‘you are free, to do as we tell you’.  A land so free that we can’t find funding for essential cancer treatments and research, or provide enough social support for our increasingly frail and elderly population.  Only the filthy rich can afford the latest treatments, way outside of the realms of the NHS patient.  Don’t worry, we have ‘guns, guns, guns’, we are safe!

There is a certain irony to programs like ‘The Great British Bake Off’ who do some brilliant work in supporting charities, yet essentially promote the use of refined sugar which I believe to be a bigger killer than any illicit drug.  Flora margarine sponsors the London Marathon which raises enormous amounts of cash by you for worthwhile charities.  Flora contains artificial transaturated fats which cause heart disease.  They are essentially drumming up business.  We are essentially being subversively manipulated.

I’m not saying lead a purely virtuous ‘goodie two shoes’ life without risk and adventure, where would the fun be in that?  You’d probably die a premature death from boredom!  I’m just saying that there is so much hypocrisy out there and we are constantly being bombarded with misinformation.  We, you, need to take ownership of your own health and start looking out for your own best interests.  Big business, which controls government (let’s not kid ourselves), is motivated by wealth not health.

“Man surprised me most about humanity.  Because he sacrifices his health, in order to make money.  Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.  And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” – Dali Lama 

Before I get too right wing and this blog gets flagged for inciting revolution, let’s get back to what you can do as an individual right now.

Prostate Health

Healthy Diet

This should really go without saying, but the fundamentals of a healthy diet are:-

  • Eat real food – Avoid artificial chemicals, flavourings and preservatives if possible. We are human beings, natural living creatures, not created in a laboratory!
  • Eat vegetables and fruits – Ideally organic. Rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre.  Choose more vegetables than fruits, as fruits are loaded with natural sugars.
  • Eat nuts and seeds – High in healthy minerals, fats, proteins and fibre.
  • Drink plenty of water – Your organs need to be adequately hydrated in order to function. Avoid poisonous high sugar and sodas loaded with artificial sweeteners. If you drink loads of caffeine, remember it’s a diuretic.
  • Avoid refined sugar – Sugar is a primary energy source for cancer and stimulates production of insulin which is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, testosterone deficiency syndrome and prostate cancer.
  • Avoid processed foods – I am a human being, not a machine.
  • Dietary supplements – Should do just that, supplement an already healthy diet.
  • Excess Calcium – Has been associated with prostate cancer.
  • Minimise alcohol intake – Whilst there is no causal link between alcohol and prostate cancer, alcohol reduces testosterone levels.

Of particular importance in prostate health are:-

  • Zinc – Found in Pumpkin seeds / Sesame seeds / Almonds / Adzuki beans
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – Found in Salmon / Walnuts Ground flax seeds / Chia seeds / Canola oil
  • Vitamin C – Found in Bell Peppers / Broccoli / Cauliflower / Kale / Brussels sprouts
  • Lycopene, the bright carotenoid – Found in Tomatoes / Watermelon / Apricots / Pink grapefruit / Papaya
  • Beta-sitosterol – Found in Avocado / Pumpkin seeds / Wheat germ / Soybeans / Pecans.

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

  • A healthy sex life is healthy – Frequent ejaculations may have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
  • Exercise & activity – There is also strong evidence that being overweight or obese increases the risk of aggressive or advanced prostate cancer.  Obesity promotes insulin resistance, which reduces levels of IGF binding proteins that stimulate prostate cancer cell death.
  • Minimise stress – We all know stress is counterproductive.  On a physiological level, it produces the hormone cortisol which is catabolic.  Free radicals damage cell integrity, antioxidants help to mop these up but why not prevent them from occurring in the first place?
  • Go outside – Exposure to sunlight increases Vitamin D levels.  Lack of Vitamin D has a role in prostate cancer development.
  • Stop smoking – Whilst not causal, smoking increases the aggressive nature of the cancer.
  • Testosterone plays a role in maintaining a healthy prostate. The incidence of prostate cancer is highest in men with low testosterone.  To find out more about testosterone and its importance in your health, please check our homepage to see if you are at risk.

Remember life, is about balance and harmony. Everything we do, even the ‘good’ things, have risks. Live life to the fullest, there are no second chances…

Dr Robert Stevens MBChB MRCGP Dip.FIPT