Men’s Health: September is Prostate Health Awareness Month. Did you know, the prostate is a male body gland that is essential for fertility but not for erections, and just happens to enlarge, rather than shrink, with age? The prostate is younger males is roughly the size of a walnut, but as men age and for reasons still unclear, the prostate continues to grow bigger as a man gets older. This enlargement is often the cause of the urination issues that occur in half of all men by age 60 and in almost all men by age 80. In addition to urination issues, the prostate harbors the most common solid cancer in men, prostate cancer. Fortunately, most cases are caught early and cure rates are extremely high, although prostate cancer only rarely causes symptoms. Prostate cancer is much more slow-growing than most cancers, doubling in size every 2-3 years instead of every 4-6 months like other cancers. That said, a man is 8-10 times more likely to die of heart disease than prostate cancer. Prostate cancer increases with a man's age. This often means many men have it but never know it.. Although genetics plays a role in the development of prostate cancer, there are also things you can do to prevent it. Following a heart-healthy, low animal fat, low carbohydrate diet is key to cancer prevention, as are exercise, weight management and stress reduction. Enjoy fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants to protect your body from cancer-causing oxidants. Soy and green tea may be especially good for the prostate. Eat more fish, a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.There is also good data to suggest that a certain class of pills used to slow BPH (5-alpha reductase inhibitors) can reduce the occurrence of low-grade prostate cancer by 25%. Please don't ignore the prostate. Attend to it before it disrupts your daily life. And that means taking great care of the body around it. In addition, the American Urological Association recommends screening for prostate cancer between the ages of 55 to 70 years. Compared to a root canal, this screening is much easier, involving a quick rectal exam and blood testing for PSA. September is prostate health month. If you haven’t had your prostate checked in a while, please make an appointment with us to do so. Happy prostate, happy life!