Out of all the things that we endure throughout life, cancer is one of those diseases that linger in the back of our minds and make us wonder whether or not we will be its next victim. Those who have familial ties to the condition are especially monitoring their health to ensure that their risks remain minimal by listening to their practitioners and taking all preventative measures. Others who may not have cancer run in the family, but have lost a loved one due to it may try to spread awareness to others to help them understand the disease and fight it prior to its development.
The American Cancer Society estimated that there were approximately 1.8 million diagnosed cancer cases with 606,520 cancer deaths in 20201. Unfortunately, even with the medical developments that have been made to improve prognosis of various patients, there is still a lot of uncertainty that surrounds cancer, hence why much research has been conducted into its main cause. In general, cancer as a whole does not have one single cause, as it’s a disease that can be induced for a variety of reasons. Additionally, certain cancer types can be caused by specific factors. Cancer is defined as “an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells within the body”2 and develops due to abnormalities within the cell division process. Normally, when cells divide, they formulate new cells as old and damaged cells die off, however when the body’s control mechanisms stop working, these old and damaged cells continue to divide, thus creating abnormal cells that grow and spread out of control. Eventually, these cells develop into clumps of tissue known as a tumor that interfere with different organs.
For men, these tumors can compromise their prostate; known as prostate cancer. This particular cancer type has several risk factors that young men should be aware of in order to lower their risks when they’re older. However, some are unaware of what these risks are. Below are four major risks to prostate cancer.
1. Agent Orange and Other Environmental Toxins
Like most cancers, prostate cancer can develop due to frequent chemical changes that fluctuate within our environment. This is heavily due to societal advancements within the industrial, manufacturing, and automobile industries that excrete toxic pollution in the air that we breathe. Additionally, this is also caused by the pesticides and preservative chemicals found in food, cleaning products, and cosmetics. When cancer cells form, they undergo changes within their DNA that cause abnormalities in the cell division process. This is important to note because environmental toxicity is one of the biggest causes of DNA cell changes. However, when it comes to prostate cancer, one chemical that specifically increases its risks (and other prostate related issues) is exposure to Agent Orange. Agent Orange is an herbicide and defoliant chemical that was used frequently during the Vietnam War by the U.S military base as a part of the herbicidal warfare program. According to an article produced by Busch Center, a study found that out of 2,700 U.S veterans referred for a prostate biopsy, 900 of them were diagnosed with prostate cancer3. An estimate of about three million Americans served during Vietnam War, and it is heavily theorized that exposure to Agent Orange and its dangerous toxins had been inadvertently ingested into their system through food and drink, breathing it in, or absorbing into their skin while serving.
2. Prostate Inflammation (Prostatitis)
The United States National Library of Medicine indicated in a case study that chronic inflammation can contribute to several forms of cancer tumors (4). Evidence shows that men with symptoms of chronic inflammation in prostate tissues have double the risk of developing prostate cancer than those with a healthy prostate. In addition, studies by Hopkins Medicine reveal that “men with one tissue sample with chronic inflammation had 1.78 times higher odds of having prostate cancer and 2.24 times higher odds of having an aggressive form5.” When men receive high PSA test scores due to inflammation, it is often seen as a warning signal to make health changes before the condition progresses into something more serious.
3. Family History/DNA
Due to shared DNA among family members, it’s not uncommon for prostate cancer to be passed on from blood relatives. However, this is not an official indicator of whether or not one will be diagnosed in the future. Those who have had relatives with prostate cancer are automatically placed at a higher risk, although they can easily prevent the disease by speaking with their practitioner, making good lifestyle choices, exercising, and lowering their exposure to environmental toxins.
4. Vasectomy Procedure
A vasectomy is a form of birth control for men that cuts off the sperm supply from the semen. It is a surgical procedure that involves cutting and sealing the tubes that carry the sperm. Men that receive this procedure have to be 100% certain that they do not want to be a father since the surgery is incredibly difficult to reverse. In addition, they have to understand the potential risks that might affect them later, which include prostate cancer or other prostate health issues. According to the National Library of Medicine, research showed that overall, “vasectomized men had an increased risk of prostate cancer compared with non-vasectomized men6.”
Are You At Risk?
Other more common risks of various cancer types include poor lifestyle, age, ethnicity and geography. Those who are at risk or have already been diagnosed should consult with a practitioner to discuss preventative measures or treatment options. At LifeWorks Wellness Center, we have successfully treated multiple patients with prostate cancer over the span of 23 years using natural remedies. Those who are interested in alternative cancer treatments should consult with a LifeWorks cancer specialist to review diagnosis information, underlying conditions, medications and other medical background information before proceeding with treatment.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or are at high risk, please call to schedule an appointment at 727-466-6789.
- Cancer Facts & Figures 2020 | American Cancer Society
- What is Cancer? | Forms & Oncology Treatment Options | CTCA (cancercenter.com)
- Agent Orange: Likely a Prostate Cancer Risk Factor – Busch Center
- Prostate cancer and inflammation: the evidence (nih.gov)
- Chronic Inflammation Linked to High-Grade Prostate Cancer – 04/18/2014 (hopkinsmedicine.org)
- Vasectomy and Prostate Cancer Risk: A 38-Year Nationwide Cohort Study – PubMed (nih.gov)