“Many men die with prostate cancer, but most men with the diagnosis will not die from prostate cancer.” I have heard numerous doctors and medical professionals use this line, but don’t let sayings like this diminish the importance of self-care and regular prostate checks as you age. While prostate cancer diagnoses do not typically come with a terminal prognosis (or predicted outcome), there are some types of prostate cancer that have a very high Gleason score, which is to say, they are highly aggressive. Prostate cancer is, in fact, the second leading cause of death among American men according to the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society also reports that 1 in 9 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Cancer aside, the significant impact on quality of life that can result from other prostate related complications, like benign prostatic hypertrophy (or an enlarged prostate, abbreviated as BPH) further highlight the value of doing everything possible to take care of your prostate and urinary system.
The most commonly discussed risk factors for prostate cancer are age and family history. And while these are certainly two significant factors, I cannot place enough emphasis on the importance of lifestyle and its ability to literally change the way your genetic code is expressed in your body. A few weeks ago, I wrote about epigenetics and how our genetic code changes in response to our everyday decisions. If you would like to learn more about epigenetics, something I personally think everyone should do, a quick Google search will unearth an endless supply of literature on the topic. But, I digress, let’s get back to the specifics of what you can do to maintain or improve prostate health over time.
Two hugely influential factors in prostate health are maintaining at least a moderate level of physical activity and taking care not to sit for excessively long periods of time. A relatively new buzz phrase in medicine is, “sitting is the new smoking.” While this may sound like a stretch, higher blood pressure, as well as increased risk of stroke, blood clots and several other serious health conditions, have been observed in people who chronically sit for prolonged periods of time. The constriction created by sitting creates congestion in the legs and groin region and reduces the supply of nutrients and clearance of waste products from those tissues, adversely impacting their health in the long run.
Many of the men with whom I work start with some degree of urinary symptoms, ranging from impaired urinary flow to waking several times a night to use the restroom. I work with them using acupuncture, nutrition, physical activity and other lifestyle factors, to help these gentlemen regain the quality of life by helping them sleep better (by not waking as often at night), and easing the flow to make a trip to the restroom a non-event once again. I invest the time with all of my patients to investigate the underlying causes of their issues in order to treat their concerns from the bottom up, with the mission of restoring long-term health.
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Jonathan M. Sasser holds a Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine, is a Licensed Acupuncturist and is board certified in Oriental Medicine by the NCCAOM. He has more than 3,000 hours of training in acupuncture, classical Oriental Medicine, herbal medicine and nutrition.
Additionally, Jon also holds a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine. Jon is a “Health Detective.” He looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Jonathan is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene.
Visit our website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Jonathan, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Jonathan can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.