Three 'P's - Prostate, PSA, Prevention - critical for men's health
TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - November marks the sporting of moustaches
on thousands of men's faces to raise funds and awareness of prostate
cancer. And awareness needs to begin with basic anatomy. According to a
national survey, 4 in 10 Canadian men between 20 and 49 don't know
their prostate's primary function is to produce fluid in semen and is
vital to sexual function.
"It's well known men put off seeing their doctors, but it's important
for them to take charge of their health, educate themselves, and talk
to their doctor about their prostate cancer risk," said Dr. R. Jeffrey
Karnes, urologist, Mayo Clinic. "From its function, to PSA testing and
prevention, it's critical for men to be informed of their preventative
and screening options."
But the survey, commissioned by Mayo Clinic, revealed a general lack of
knowledge regarding the prostate-specific antigen test (PSA), a common
way for physicians to determine a patient's potential risk of
developing prostate cancer. The test measures the amount of PSA, a
protein produced by cells of the prostate gland, in the patient's
blood. A surprising 50 per cent of men (aged 20-49) do not know what
the PSA test is -men in Quebec being the least aware (67%) and men in
Ontario being the most aware of the test (31%).
Of survey respondents, only 37 per cent of men in the older age group
(40-49) know what a PSA test is. Those in the highest income bracket
($100K+) are most likely to know about the test (34%) versus those
making less than $50K (16%).
When asked if they would consider getting a PSA test at the age of 50,
men in Ontario (64%) were much more likely to consider a PSA test
compared to those in Quebec (52%) and British Columbia (54%). While 3
in 10 men in their 20s and 30s said they might consider a PSA test,
they would have to learn more about the test before making a decision
(31% of men aged 20-29 and 30% of men aged 30-39); this was true for
only 21 per cent of men aged 40-49. Of particular interest, 25 per cent
of those with a high school education or less had not thought about
prostate cancer screening.
One hotly debated question has been the PSA test's accuracy as a
predictor of the need for a biopsy and future development of low-risk
cancer. A Mayo Clinic study, released on October 21, 2011, found a
clear link between the test and next steps in the prostate cancer
continuum of care.
"The decision to get a PSA test done is best made by the patient in
consultation with their doctor, as there isn't always an easy answer,"
said Dr. Karnes.
Preventative steps to take now
While screening tests are typically considered at the age of 40 and
over, there are steps the majority of Canadian men aren't taking now
but can help in their fight against prostate cancer. Everyday actions
like drinking more green tea, adding fish and soy to their meals have
been linked to keeping the prostate healthy.
Interestingly, 73 per cent of men have not considered adding soy to
their diets to help reduce risks. There's an important nutrient in soy
called isoflavones which has been linked to fighting prostate cancer.
If eating tofu isn't appealing, try adding peanuts, kidney beans,
chickpeas and lentils to meals - all these foods contain isoflavones.
If you want to reduce your risk of prostate cancer, consider trying to:
Choose a low-fat diet
Eat more fat from plants than from animals
Consume more fruits and vegetables
Eat fatty fish
Drink green tea
Drink alcohol in moderation
Maintain a healthy weight
Exercise most days of the week
For more information on ways to reduce your risk visit, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/prostate-cancer-prevention/MC00027
About the survey
From October 27th to October 28th, 2011, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 582 Canadian
men between the ages of 20 and 49 who are Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error on the full base — which measures sampling
variability — is +/- 4.0%. Discrepancies in or between totals are due
About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research
and education for people from all walks of life. For more information,
visit www.mayoclinic.org/canada, www.mayoclinic.com and www.mayoclinic.org/news.
SOURCE Mayo Clinic
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