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28,170 men will die because of prostate cancer this year. Here's what you should know: / Thomas Northcut/Getty Images

The American Cancer Society estimates that 28,170 men will die because of prostate cancer this year. Take charge of your prostate health with these five things to know, says H. Ballentine Carter, author of The Whole Life Prostate Book: Everything That Every Man — At Every Age — Needs to Know About Maintaining Optimal Prostate Health and professor of urology and oncology at Johns Hopkins:

Educate yourself. Know the prostate’s purpose — to make the fluid that activates sperm — as well as the common problems: inflammation, enlargement and cancer.

Live a healthy life. Don’t just rely on exercise and visits to the doctor. Keep in mind food choices and portion size, Carter advises. Healthy choices have substances that protect against cancer.

Protect the surrounding area. There’s “high-priced real estate” around the prostate, Carter points out, including the bladder, rectum and nerves. These areas of the body can spread infection easily. Protect those areas by adopting the healthy-living choices listed above.

Don’t overtreat. Overtreatment of prostate cancer can cause bowel, urinary and sexual side effects, Carter says. Discuss treatments with your doctor.

Women do play a role. Women should learn as much as they can for their loved ones who may be affected by prostate disease or cancer.

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