By Mark Saunders
“A healthy prostate cannot exist in an unhealthy body.”
— Dr. Jesse Stoff, M.D.
“Prevention is bunk!”
That’s what a prominent urologist shouted at the presenter during a prostate cancer symposium I attended recently.
The audience chuckled politely, but I wanted to stand up and shout back, “No, it’s not.” But I was a guest at this symposium, and I’m not a doctor, so it wasn’t a level playing field.
As an 11-year prostate cancer survivor who has co-written two books on the topic, however, I do have a few words to say about prostate cancer prevention. Basically, the same 8 things that keep your entire body healthy also keep your prostate healthy. Here they are:
- Diet & Nutrition
- Stress Management
- Rest & Sleep
- Proper Structural Alignment
- Reduced Environmental Toxins
- Healthy Hormone Balance
- Having a Reason to Live
Diet & Nutrition
Approximately 80 percent of your health begins with what’s on the end of your fork. If you are eating a low-inflammatory diet that is full of fresh vegetables (especially cruciferous vegetables), lean protein, and healthy fats (olive oil, almond oil, and coconut oil) — and low on sweeteners, desserts, grains, dairy, bread, pasta, crackers, legumes, and most nuts — then you’re off to a good start. If not, it’s time to make some changes.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, said, “Walking is the best medicine.” He was right. James Brown sang, “Get up offa that thing, and dance ‘till you feel better.” He was right too.
Whether it’s at a desk, in a car, on a bus, in front of the TV … we all sit way too much. (I’m sitting right now as I write this blog.)
Human beings were meant to move. Our ancestors were hunter/gathers, which cannot be done from a seated position. If you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods at a time, set an alarm and get up and move every hour for at least five minutes.
Even better, take a walk for 30 minutes during your lunch break.
Better yet, get 30 minutes of strenuous exercise every day — the kind that makes you breathe hard.
If you want to pack on the fat, have your doctor inject you with insulin or hydrocortisone (cortisol). Cortisol is a steroid hormone that your body naturally releases during periods of stress. If you’re under stress, you body is releasing a lot of cortisol, which signals your body to store fat.
The easiest way to reduce any kind of stress is deep breathing. Try it. For the next two minutes, I invite you to breathe deeply. At the end of two minutes, ask yourself if you still feel stressed.
Rest & Sleep
Study after medical study show that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night think their brains are functioning normally, but they consistently score lower on cognitive test than they do when they get 8 hours of sleep. The scores on these tests are even worse for people have consecutive nights of less than 6 hours of sleep. Coincidence? I think not.
In order to have a healthy body, mind, and prostate, you need a full night’s sleep — that’s more than 6 hours. In other words, turn the TV off, put the novel down, say “good night” to your Facebook friends, and go to bed.
I will cover Points 5-8 in Part II of this blog.
Mark B. Saunders is a writer, editor, publisher, public speaker, and 11-year cancer survivor. As an active surveillance prostate cancer patient, Mark did not receive traditional treatment like surgery or some form of radiation. Instead, he dramatically overhauled his lifestyle and his cancer went away and hasn’t come back since.
As a prostate cancer survivor, Mark has dedicated his life to sharing what he has learned about health and wellness. A journey that he calls, Inside out, round-about, and back again.
September is National Prostate Health Month. Do what you can to stay healthy.