Prostate Cancer Awareness takes centre stage this September, so it's only fitting to shed some light on one of the deadliest cancers in the world to lower your risk of getting it. Did you know that in the middle of the pandemic in 2020, more than one million new cases of prostate cancer have been recorded? And if that's not alarming enough, around 300,000+ men succumbed to this disease in the same year.
Prostate cancer (which has been tormenting men since the middle of the 19th century) is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in a whopping 100+ countries. To boot, it's the leading cause of cancer death in 40+ countries. In this piece, we'll spill the beans on how prostate cancer relates to male sexual function, including erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
The World Cancer Research Fund International Organization (WCRF) checked a total of 104 global studies (comprising 9 million men and 191,000 prostate cancer cases) and found solid evidence that your (1) diet, (2) age, (3) genetics, and (4) physical activity play major roles in prostate cancer development.
Obesity elevates the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer. However, according to a different study published in the National Library of Medicine, the link between a higher adult BMI and prostate cancer risk is quite controversial, as some studies found no association between the two. They cited a Norwegian study, which revealed that having a BMI over 30 kg/m2 heightened the risk of prostate cancer by merely 9%. But obese men aged 50-59 had a 58% higher chance (no other age group showed a significant increase). This suggests that the relationship between age, obesity, and prostate cancer risk may vary across different studies.
Apart from obesity, being tall also increases your risk of developing a more aggressive version of prostate cancer. The University of Washington School of Public Health supports this finding but clarified that height is not generally linked with prostate cancer risk. However, taller men have a 22% higher risk of having high-grade (more advanced or aggressive) cancer compared to shorter men (5 feet 6 inches and below).
We've probably all heard or seen from popular media that frequent masturbation can reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer. Although some scientific studies support the idea, some results are rather contradictory.
Prostate cancer is a silent disease. This is because the tumour does not cause pain as it doesn't push against anything as it grows initially. So, many months can go by, and you probably won't know that you have it due to the lack of early warning signs.
However, symptoms can also manifest for some people. If you experience these symptoms below, don't hesitate to reach out to your trusted healthcare pro:
There's a long list of negative impacts of prostate cancer on male sexual function. These may include:
Treatments for prostate cancer can damage your nerves and blood vessels important for maintaining hard-rock erections. In fact, a treatment called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) accounts for 94% of men experiencing erectile dysfunction.
Prostate cancer by itself lessens sexual desire because of the body pain associated with it. Plus, the treatments can decrease your libido and lower testosterone levels.
The same nerve damages from the treatments can reduce the intensity of your orgasms. Some people even have difficulty achieving orgasm at all.
Treatment methods like surgery and radiation therapy can change the amount of your semen. They can also cause premature ejaculation (PE) or overall absence of ejaculation.
Any type of cancer can cause emotional distress. When you're diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may feel anxious or depressed because the disease can disrupt your life. You may even develop body image issues along the way. Considering the mind-body connection in our health, these psychological factors can cause premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction.
While you can't change your age or genes (which are main risk factors for prostate cancer), you can do certain lifestyle changes to lower your risk. Here are some tips:
Prostate cancer is actually caused by DNA changes in a prostate cell. Some factors increase your risk of developing it, including genetics, age, poor diet, and destructive lifestyle.
Several studies are proving that frequent ejaculation can lower your risk of developing prostate cancer. However, there are findings that the protective effect of frequent ejaculation is linked with age.
While you can't change your age and genetics (which play significant roles in prostate cancer development), you can adopt lifestyle changes that can lessen your risk of getting the disease. Introduce healthier food options in your diet and have a simple workout routine at least three times a week.
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month provides opportunities for the prevention and early detection of the dreadful disease. Information dissemination is crucial to reduce the burden prostate cancer has across the globe, so kindly share our post on your feed for awareness. Remember: sharing is caring.
If you know someone with prostate cancer looking to address other health issues like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, or even chronic pain, feel free to connect with us. We're all about providing comprehensive treatments to help prostate cancer patients improve their health. MHC is not just an ED or PE clinic; we also have general physicians, mental health experts, and registered nutritionist-dietitians (RNDs) who can work collaboratively to provide customised treatments. Answer our questionnaire to get started.
With one of our Senior Patient Coordinators who can provide you with more information regarding bespoke treatment options.