Healthy Focus – June 2021
How To Help Your Favorite Men Avoid Prostate Cancer
Mention that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer in men and that it’s easily screened for, and you may begin to see your man’s eyes glaze over. Who has time for screens that aren’t connected to their computer, phone, or TV?
But having prostate cancer and knowing it can be two completely different things. Prostate cancer is typically slow-growing, and in its very early stages often requires nothing but monitoring and awareness of symptoms, say physicians. The challenge is to avoid giving prostate cancer an environment in which it can become aggressive and invasive. And that begins with screening, doctors agree.
Because prostate cancer is so common, the American Urological Association recommends regular prostate exams for all men beginning at age 40. This may include a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test as well as a digital rectal exam (DRE).
Depending on the results of those tests and other factors such as race and family history, subsequent exams may be recommended yearly or every five years. African American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer have a higher risk, so they are encouraged to get earlier and more frequent screenings. Your own doctor is your best guide to when screening is appropriate.
When prostate cancer is caught in its very early stages, lifestyle changes are crucial to ensure that the cancer does not have an environment in which it can thrive. Obesity and smoking are associated with a more aggressive cancer and poorer survival rates. Men diagnosed with early prostate cancer will be counseled to make lifestyle changes that include regular exercise, stress reduction, a lower intake of animal fat and milk proteins, and a higher vegetable intake. From there, the cancer will be monitored for growth and aggressiveness.
If prostate cancer is not caught soon enough, other treatment options may be needed. It’s important that men be alert for the following symptoms:
- Trouble urinating
- Blood in urine
- Bone, back or hip pain
Unfortunately, by the time symptoms appear the cancer is usually in a later stage, which makes regular screenings important.
Even better is prevention: a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and stress reduction, a healthy diet heavy on vegetables and good fats, and maintaining a healthy weight. Regular, moderate exposure to sunlight has also been shown to lower prostate cancer risk.
Behind Every Man’s Doctor Visit Is…A Woman
Men and women think differently when it comes to health care, especially preventative healthcare. Studies have shown most of the family health care decisions, including choosing the doctor and making appointments, are actually determined by the wife or partner. Getting checkups is an important topic of discussion between a couple, since the wife or partner is usually a major force in getting it done.
5 Ways to Help Prevent Prostate Cancer
- Exercise regularly.
- Reduce stress.
- Eat a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Get regular, moderate sun exposure.
High Risk Factors
Although every man faces the possibility of developing prostate cancer one day, the risk is higher for those who are:
- African American
- Older than 50
- Closely related (brother, son or father) to someone who had prostate cancer before age 65
Source: American Cancer Society
Kentucky Lake Urologic Associates offers specialized urologic care to the residents of Henry County and the adjoining region. Dr.’s Joe Mobley, Jr and Joe Mobley, III along with Dr. John Beddies, combine their vast experience and attentive customer care to create an office fit to handle any urologic need. For more information or to schedule an appointment call them today at 731-642-8884 or visit www.hcmc-tn.org
Slow It Don’t Blow It
In today’s society, being busy is sometimes viewed as a badge of honor. Many of us measure our self-worth by the number of things we check off our to-do lists. The more we accomplish, the more value we offer to our work, families and friends.
Psychologists say that some of us may even be addicted to being busy. This is because when we complete tasks, our brain releases the pleasure hormone, dopamine, which makes us feel good. It’s easy to get addicted to this feeling, so we repeat the pattern, craving the feeling that being busy and accomplishing things gives us.
But is the point of life to rush through it in order to cross things off our never-ending to-do list? And what toll does being constantly busy have on our physical and mental health?
Are You Addicted to Being Busy?
Here are some of the signs:
Being Busy is a Status Symbol
We all want to feel like we are successful. Our society praises productivity and working hard, so being constantly busy can make you feel as though you are ahead of the game and can elevate your sense of social status.
Fear of Missing Out (FoMo)
Does FoMo rob you from your personal downtime that you need to relax and recharge? If you overschedule yourself due to FoMo, or if you feel anxious at the idea of slowing down, you may be addicted to being busy.
Doing Nothing Makes You Feel Guilty
The pressure to be constantly busy can make us feel worry or guilt if we are not doing continuously doing something that we consider productive. Because of the value we place on accomplishments, you may feel pressure to constantly complete tasks and feel anxious or guilty if you don’t.
Staying Busy Helps Distract You from Dealing with Negative Emotions
Sometimes, being busy can be used as an excuse to avoid dealing with family issues or relationships problems. When your mind has downtime, you are left with your own negative feelings, which can make you feel anxious or depressed.
You Feel that Keeping Busy is the Only Key to Success
Some people feel that the only way to achieve success is to be busy. When you aren’t busy, you feel a sense of failure and that you will never be able to achieve your goals.
Health Risks of Being Constantly Busy
Studies show that people with FoMo tend to have lower self-esteem, and increased feelings of inferiority, especially for those who have the sense that other people are more successful than they are. This can lead to a perpetual cycle of negativity, since being depressed leads to increased FoMo.
When you are always trying to stay busy, it keeps you from living in the moment. When you are more mindful, you usually have less anxiety and are more adaptive to new situations.
Feeling the compulsion to be constantly busy causes stress, which is your body’s way of preparing for a threat—real or imagined. When you’re stressed, your body physically prepares for danger. Your heart rate increases, your pupils dilate, your blood is diverted to your muscles. It’s the classic “fight or flight” mode. When the immediate danger passes, your physiological functions return to normal.
People who struggle with chronic stress, however, are stuck in “fight or flight.” Over time, chronic stress can cause headaches, sleep problems, sadness and anger, as well as serious health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression.
Breaking the Busyness Habit
Here are a few tips for managing the stress and anxiety that is associated with the urge to always be busy.
Breathe. Taking a few slow, mindful breaths can significantly reduce stress and worry.
Unplug. Periodically unplugging (taking a digital detox) is good for your mental health.
Connect socially—IRL (in real life). Don’t let social media replace spending quality time with people you care about—especially your children.
Take care of yourself. Eat right, exercise, limit your alcohol consumption, get enough sleep, and spend time on enjoyable activities.
If the constant need to be busy defines your self-worth, talk to your healthcare provider about how it may be affecting your mental and physical health.
Together, they can help you find effective strategies to manage your stress and help you be more mindful.
Lake Haven Behavioral Health Center at Henry County Medical Center offers individualized care in a warm, caring atmosphere. To make a referral or learn more about the psychiatric services and programs, call 731 644-8420 or 1-800-489-1203.
Were you able to attend our May 21st Facebook Live event, Stress Less? If not, don’t stress! We recorded it for you. Watch it here.