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Prostate Health 101

Posted October 04, 2018 by Joseph Dankoff, MD Summa Health Urology

Prostate Blog

Right behind skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. Each year, there are roughly 165,000 new cases in the U.S. The prostate is the organ located under the bladder that produces semen. Semen protects the sperm, so it can reach and fertilize a female egg.

While cancer is usually the first thing that comes to mind when discussing prostate issues, it’s not the only cause for concern. Other common prostate issues include non-cancerous enlarged prostate and prostatitis, an inflammatory disease.

Prostate issues also tend to increase with age. Below are some tips to keep your prostate healthy.


While there is no absolute prostate cancer prevention, research has shown that diet and the body’s health are directly related. Along with watching your sugar, sodium and processed foods intake, there may be a correlation between certain foods and prostate health.

Watermelon, tomatoes, strawberries and other red foods are full of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to lower the risk of prostate cancer. Antioxidants play a vital role in the body’s defense against almost all types of cancers.

Vitamin C has also been shown to lower the risk of prostate issues. Incorporating more plant-based items into your diet is the easiest way to up your vitamin C and antioxidant intake. Leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, nuts and legumes are healthier alternatives to consider over sugary, processed foods.

Feast on fish; or at least consider a fish oil supplement. Omega-3 is essential in a good cancer defense.

Physical activity

Too much fat in the midsection of the body is linked to a heightened risk of prostate cancer. While even moderate exercise can have tremendous health benefits, some research suggests vigorous activity may have an even greater effect at keeping prostate cancer at bay. Additionally, for men with prostate cancer, those who regularly exercise have a better survival rate.

Prostate Cancer Screenings

The American Cancer Society recommends that men begin talking to their primary care physician about prostate health aged 55 and older, especially if you are African American and/or have a history of prostate issues in your family.

At Summa Health Medical Group, your urologist may screen you for prostate cancer even if you show no symptoms. There are two types of screenings: the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and the digital rectal examination (DRE).

  • PSA Test: A primary method for screening prostate cancer, the PSA blood test measures the level of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. PSA is a protein made only by the prostate gland. The PSA test can be performed at the Summa Health Medical Group Urologists with no special preparation necessary.
  • DRE: The DRE is conducted with the man bending over or lying curled on his side. With a lubricated gloved finger inserted into the rectum, your urologist will feel for abnormal shapes or thickness in the prostate.

Summa Health’s urologists are committed to helping men take better care of their health, from gaining a better understanding of risk factors to guiding them toward a better overall well-being. For more information on prostate health, contact the Summa Health Urology Team at 330.374.1255 or visit


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