The Prostate Cancer Foundation is encouraging Americans to show their support for loved ones battling the disease by taking on a challenge.
The “Eat It to Beat It” challenge asks participants to eat 30 healthy foods during September, which is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. The new campaign is meant to highlight that making healthy lifestyle choices can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and improve outcomes.
Challenge participants are asked to choose 30 healthy foods from the foundation’s Periodic Table of Healthy Foods and to share their cooking and tasting journeys on social media by using the hashtag #EatItToBeatIt or by posting to the foundation’s “Eat It to Beat It” Facebook group.
“We know that 30% of all cancer is preventable with lifestyle factors. Eating healthy and exercising can prevent any number of chronic diseases, and in some cases can help reverse them,” said Howard R. Soule, executive vice president and chief science officer of The Prostate Cancer Foundation.
“Smart lifestyle modifications can help curtail the onset of cancer and its progression, including prostate cancer. Men who adapt these healthier lifestyle changes can help reduce prostate cancer risk, especially Black men who are at a higher risk for developing the disease.”
The Prostate Cancer Foundation also intends for the campaign to highlight the racial health disparities among Black men. One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetimes, but that risk is 75% higher for Black men. They also have double the risk of dying from prostate cancer than white men.
Although advances advances have been made to address these racial disparities, more work needs to be done, the foundation says.
Anyone who joins the “Eat It to Beat It” challenge will receive a special gift to chart their progress during the month. They also will receive the foundation’s latest wellness guide, which includes nutrition and wellness tips.
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the U.S. There aren’t any early warning signs, which makes screening of high importance.
Screenings include the prostate specific antigen test, which measures the antigen level in the prostate. Higher levels may indicate cancer. A health provider also may conduct a digital rectal exam to feel for abnormalities on the prostate.
General guidelines suggest screenings start at age 55, but men may start them as early as age 40 if they are considered high risk.
Symptoms include a need to urinate frequently, especially at night, difficulty starting or holding back urination, difficulties with erections and ejaculations and a painful or burning sensation while urinating.