The urologic oncology specialists and researchers at MedStar treat hundreds of patients with urologic and rare cancers each year, with prostate cancer as the most common. Many patients wonder "how could I have prevented this?" or "how can my children prevent this?"
Scientific investigations into cancer risk factors are constant and ongoing and there are known risks you can take into consideration right away. Smoking is one of the clearest risk factors across all urologic cancers. At the same time, there seems to be a never-ending list of substances (like artificial sweeteners, aspirin, and soymilk) said to cause cancer, though there are no conclusive studies. Also, history has shown us that things believed to cause cancer are often later shown to help fight it, and vice versa.
Unfortunately, if you have a genetic tie to the disease, there is no way to prevent it, but there are ways to be better prepared through genetic counseling.
Urologic Cancer Risk Factors
The best thing you can do for yourself is to lead a healthy lifestyle, avoid smoking, get regular exercise, and eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Never miss your annual screenings and, if you have a family history of cancer, make your screenings and examinations an even higher priority.
- Stop smoking - known to contribute to renal, bladder, penile and prostate cancer, and makes fighting off any disease more challenging.
- Maintain a normal body weight and control blood pressure - which can help prevent renal and prostate cancer.
- Use condoms - this helps to prevent the spread of human papillomavirus, which can lead to cancers in both men and women.
- Limit exposure to toxic chemical and paint products.
- Mediterranean diet - some studies show a diet focused on healthy oils, fruits and vegetables and lean proteins is connected to lower rates of cancer.
- Practice good hygiene of the genital area.
- Perform regular self checks - like a monthly self-check for testicular cancer.
- Attend annual check-ups - never miss your annual visit to the doctor. If you have a family history, screenings might be more frequent.
Smoking Cessation at MedStar
Are you ready to be smoke free? Quitting smoking is one of the best lifestyle changes you can make to prevent cancers and a host of other diseases. MedStar Health provides FREE smoking cessation support through Stop Smoking Today, designed to help you kick the habit for good.
Stop Smoking Today is a six-week program taught by nurses who are certified tobacco treatment specialists (CTTS). The program is designed to provide highly motivated adults with lifestyle and habit counseling and to provide the encouragement needed to become smoke free.
Family history of urologic cancer is a known risk factor for patients, but newer research has even connected breast cancer in the family as a risk factor for prostate cancer. Genetic counseling can help assess your risk of urologic cancers based on your family medical history of urologic and other cancers with known correlations to urologic cancers.
Urologic Cancer Care at MedStar Health
For a physician referral, please call 1-877-715-HOPE.
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237
MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239
MedStar Harbor Hospital
The Cancer Center
3001 South Hanover St.
Baltimore, MD 21225
MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
3333 North Calvert St.
Johnston Professional Bldg
Baltimore, MD 21218
MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus
12 MedStar Blvd.
Bel Air, MD 21015