Men’s Health Awareness - Blog # 37
Hello Everyone and welcome back to another Friday blog. June is Men’s Health Awareness Month, so I wanted to focus on our men today. Unfortunately, men die 5 years earlier than women. There are multiple contributing factors to this statistic.
Let’s look at the top 10 health concerns for men and how to improve their longevity. According to the CDC, here are the top 10 causes of death for men in the U.S.
Heart disease is still the leading cause of death worldwide for both men and women. According to the WHO, heart disease (HD) has increased dramatically from 2000-2019 by about 2 million deaths. HD is responsible for 16% of deaths worldwide. Alzheimer’s came in 3rd as a top killer for 2019, while CDC reported Covid-19 as 3rd killer for 2020. “Deaths from diabetes increased by 70% globally between 2000 and 2019, with an 80% rise in deaths among males.” The Texas Department of Statistics reports HD and Cancer being the top 2 killers since 1950.
Okay guys! Today is about the men! Since I just addressed the #1 killer of us all 2 weeks ago, (check out my latest blog on heart disease!), let’s focus on the #2 killer for men, CANCER. Statistics put out by the John Stoddard Cancer Center:
1. Lung Cancer - kills more than prostate and colorectal combined! Nearly 90% of all lung cancer is due to cigarette smoking. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. According to the CDC, “Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 80% to 90% of lung cancer deaths. Using other tobacco products such as cigars or pipes also increases the risk for lung cancer. Tobacco smoke is a toxic mix of more than 7,000 chemicals. Many are poisons. At least 70 are known to cause cancer in people or animals. Cigarette smoking causes cancer of the mouth and throat, esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, voicebox (larynx), trachea, bronchus, kidney and renal pelvis, urinary bladder, and cervix, and causes acute myeloid leukemia.”
Second-hand smoke is another contributor. Estimates are 1 in 4 people and 14 million children in the U.S. from 2013-2014 were exposed to second-hand smoke.
Radon gas. This is a naturally occurring gas that you cannot see, taste or smell. It seeps in from the ground and rocks and gets trapped in buildings. Nearly 1 of 15 homes in the U.S. has high radon gas levels. “According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),external icon radon causes about 20,000 cases of lung cancer each year, making it the second leading cause of lung cancer.”
Exposure to other harmful substances such as asbestos, arsenic, diesel exhaust are also contributors.
Radiation due to cancer in another part of the body, particularly with radiation over the chest
Family history - you may be more at risk if a close family member also had lung cancer.
Diet - “smokers who take beta-carotene supplements have increased risk of lung cancer” - what?? Yikes!
2. Prostate cancer - the most common type of cancer in men after melanoma, and it is the #2 cancer killer of men in the U.S. This is a very slow-growing cancer. Risk increases with age and annual screenings are recommended beginning at age 40. When detected and treated early, survival rate is nearly 100% at the 5 year mark. Roughly 60% of prostate cancer is found in men >65. According to the American Cancer Society, once it has spread to distant parts of the body, it drops to about 30%. As with all cancers, early detection is key to survival. Risk factors include smoking, obesity, exposure to agent orange, inflammation of prostate, exposure to chemicals, sexually transmitted infection, vasectomy.
3. Colorectal cancer - 75-95% have little to no genetic risk and more people are surviving this cancer now. Risk factors include smoking, age, obesity, being male, high intake of sugar, alcohol, red meat, processed meat, and lack of physical exercise.
5. Bladder cancer - men are 4 times more likely to get bladder cancer than women. Risk factors include smoking, age, being male, chronic inflammation of bladder, exposure to chemicals.
6. Melanoma - Risk factors include exposure to UV light, smoking, age, being male, moles, fair skin/eyes/hair, family history.
Estimated new cases for 2021:
Okay, so what can we do to prevent and even treat any of these cancers in our men? Let’s take a look at the latest research. The NIH produced a report summarizing the III International Conference on Virgin Olive Oil held in Spain in 2018. They summarized the latest studies in their report and “concluded that substantial evidence is accruing to support the widespread opinion that extra virgin olive oil should, indeed, be the fat of choice when it comes to human health and sustainable agronomy.” Oleocanthal (OC) has been proven to be cytotoxic to human melanoma cells, but not to normal dermal fibroblasts! It selectively kills cancer cells!!! The polyphenols in EVOO are powerful anti-cancer molecules. They not only kill the cancer cells, but also inhibit blood vessel formation around the cancer cell to prevent growth!!! Incredible.
An earlier report summarized findings of multiple studies on how OC is able to target cancer cells and destroy them. They explained that OC attenuates inflammatory enzymes (COX). One COX enzyme is responsible for the pathogenesis of several cancers in both human and animal studies. OC is able to attenuate a chemoattractive human myeloma cell line, promote apoptosis (normal controlled cell death) and “potentially disrupts the pathogenesis of c-Met kinase related malignancies. Elnagar and colleagues  have reported that oleocanthal has significant anti-proliferative effects that have been demonstrated in both human breast and prostate cancer lines. Additionally data from this study showed that oleocanthal exhibits anti-migratory and anti-invasive actions in some cell lines.”
Hunter College published a new study that revealed that high polyphenol EVOO kills human cancer cells. A previous 2015 article reported “Oleocanthal Rapidly and Selectively Induces Cancer Cell Death via Lysosomal Membrane Permeabilization,” published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Oncology.”
A research team led by Dr Goren and Dr David Foster has shown that oleocanthal specifically kills human cancer cells, but not normal, non-cancerous cells. The study demonstrates that olive oils rich in oleocanthal are powerful enough to kill cancer cells, while oleocanthal-poor olive oils are not. “Not every extra virgin olive oil contributes equally to cancer prevention and treatment. The concentration of active molecules found in various olive oils is what determines the anti-cancer effects of extra virgin olive oils. Thus, it will be important that the phenolic content of extra virgin olive oils be available.”
Okay, the bottom line in keeping our men healthy. Have regular checkups, don’t smoke, exercise, de-stress, choose healthier options and ingest high polyphenol EVOO. High Oleocanthal content in EVOO kills cancer cells!!!
So, until next time my friends, drink, drizzle, digest high polyphenol EVOO, eat wild-caught fatty fish rich in Omega 3s, eat foods high in lutein, drink lots of water, get a good pre/probiotic, exercise your body and mind, add a few minutes of mindful meditation to your day to combat stress, get plenty of sleep and...turn off the light!! #EVOO