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September 27, 2016 | Medical Oncology
Men should be concerned about all types of cancer but the four that men should be most worried about are:
Prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer are the three most common types of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Along with liver cancer, they are also the top four most common causes of cancer deaths among men.
About one in seven men will develop prostate cancer sometime during their lives, and about 1 in 39 men will die from it. The American Cancer Society predicts doctors will diagnose 180,890 new cases of prostate cancer in 2016 and that the disease will claim 26,120 lives this year. There is no sure way to prevent prostate cancer, but men can reduce their risk, such as eating at least 2 ½ cups of vegetables each day, exercising regularly, and staying at a healthy weight.
The condition typically develops in older men, with about 6 in 10 cases diagnosed in men aged 65 and older. Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer include frequent urination, weak or interrupted flow, or the need to strain in order to empty the bladder. Doctors use the PSA blood test to screen for prostate cancer. Early screening can detect prostate cancer early, before it spreads to other organs.
Until recently, doctors recommended beginning prostate cancer screening at age 50 for most, and beginning at age 40 or 45 for African American men, those with a family history of prostate cancer, and others at higher risk for the disease. Some organizations have recently cautioned against routine screening, citing more potential harm than good from overly aggressive treatment for slow-growing cancer. Men should talk with their doctors about the appropriate age to begin prostate cancer screenings.
One in 14 men will develop lung cancer at some time in life and one in 16 will die from it. Men who smoke are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer than are men who do not smoke, according to the American Lung Association. The best way to prevent lung cancer is to stop smoking and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
The most common signs and symptoms of lung cancer include a cough that never goes away or grows worse, coughing up blood, chest pain that worsens with deep breathing or coughing, hoarseness, and shortness of breath.
The only screening for lung cancer is the low-dose computed tomography scan (low-dose CT scan). The American Cancer Society does not recommend tests for patients at average risk but do recommend screening for certain smokers aged 55 to 74.
One in 21 men in the United States will develop colorectal cancer. This cancer affects the colon, which is the last part of the small intestine, and the rectum. Colorectal cancer does not always cause symptoms, especially in its earliest stages, but later symptoms may appear such as diarrhea or constipation, narrowing of stools, and rectal bleeding.
Men should undergo colorectal cancer screening beginning at age 50. Screening tests include sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, barium colonoscopy, and CT colonoscopy. Medical experts have not yet established the role diet plays in colorectal cancer but most agree that a low-fat diet that is high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables lowers the risk.
Liver and bile duct cancers affect about one in every 76 men in the United States. Signs and symptoms usually do not appear until the disease has reached a late stage but they can include unintended weight loss, feeling full after a small meal, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, and pain on the right side of the abdomen or near the right shoulder blade.
Men can reduce their risk for developing liver cancer by limiting alcohol use, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling type 2 diabetes.
There are no widely recommended screening tests for liver cancer, but screening is appropriate for men who have a higher risk for developing the disease. Screening includes ultrasound tests and AFP blood tests.
For more information about the four cancers men should be aware of, talk with a cancer doctor at Revere Health. Our oncology specialists at our Cancer Center provide a variety of services for patients diagnosed with cancer.
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.