Each Father’s Day, we celebrate dads and thank them for all they do for our families. This year, help give dad the gift of a long, healthy life by emphasizing the importance of prostate health.
All men are at risk for prostate cancer, and one in six will be diagnosed with the disease during his lifetime. Many men may have prostate cancer and don’t know it, so help fathers – and all men – learn the risk factors that contribute to the disease and take the necessary steps toward early detection.
“Prostate cancer can be a silent killer and educating men about the potential risk factors is critical,” said John Phillips, MD, Section Chief, Laparoscopic and Robotic Urology. “Father’s Day is a great time to remind men to take care of themselves and talk to their doctors about prostate health.”
Men may be at increased risk for prostate cancer because of a variety of factors, including age, race and family history of the disease.
Age is the greatest risk factor, with a significantly increased risk after the age of 55 in white men with no family history of the disease. The American Urological Association 2013 guidelines on prostate cancer screening indicate that the greatest benefit may occur in men between the ages of 55 and 69. For men younger than age 55 years at higher risk (e.g. positive family history or African American race), decisions regarding prostate cancer screening should be individualized. “The risk of prostate cancer is more than doubled in a person who has a brother or father with the disease, and the risk is even higher for those who have multiple family members affected,” added Phillips. Prostate cancer has a 60% higher incidence rate in African American men than in white American men, and when diagnosed, these cases are likely to be more advanced. However, Japanese and African males living in their native countries have a lower incidence of prostate cancer, with diagnosis rates for these groups increasing dramatically when they immigrate to the U.S.
Research suggests that high dietary fat may be a contributing factor, as the disease is more common in countries where meat and dairy products are most popular, compared to countries where the typical diet is more frequently rice, soybean products and vegetables.
Making foods like tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon a regular part of a daily diet may lower a man’s risk of prostate cancer, according to several studies. A lifestyle that includes regular exercise may also reduce the risk.
WMCHealth is a 1,500-bed healthcare system headquartered in Valhalla, NY, spanning seven hospitals and several campuses and locations in the Hudson Valley. Its flagship, Westchester Medical Center, is the only regional resource for tertiary and quaternary care, covering 6,000 square miles in eight counties and serving more than three million people. WMCHealth employs more than 10,000 people, with nearly 3,000 attending physicians. From Level 1 and Level 2 Trauma Centers, the region’s only children’s hospital, an academic medical center, several community hospitals and numerous health-related centers, programs and services, today WMCHealth is the leading and pre-eminent provider of integrated health in the Hudson Valley.
Visit www.wmchealth.org to learn more about how Westchester Medical Center is advancing care, right here in the Hudson Valley