Men’s Wellness | Know the Signs of Cancer

Men: don’t wait. Get checked for cancer. Today.

Fifty percent of all men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.

The most prevalent types of cancer for men are lung, colorectal and prostate cancer and each has a simple screening that can lead to early detection and diagnosis. However, cancer signs are not always obvious.

The message: Get checked. If you have any family history of cancer or meet any of the risk factors, talk to your physician about getting screened. Now.

Lung Cancer

Usually originating in the lining of the bronchi (main airway of the lungs), lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. Many times, lung cancer doesn’t cause symptoms until the tumor begins to grow, a later stage of the cancer. Almost all of the diagnosed cases develop in the lining of the lungs, but there are many different kinds of lung cancer. Each grows differently and must be treated differently.

The two major types are non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for 85 to 90 percent of cases. The three types of non-small cell lung cancer are named after the cells they originate in: squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and large cell carcinomas. The less-common small cell type usually grows rapidly and spreads quickly to other tissuse and organs.

Prostate Cancer

The prostate is a gland below the man’s bladder that produces the fluid that carries sperm. While prostate cancer is rare among men younger than 40, it’s much more common in older men. A prostate cancer diagnosis can be intimidating for men, as the prostate is located around tissues that control sexual function and continence. When caught early, however, this cancer is very treatable and beatable — which is why regular physical exams that look for warning signs of prostate cancer are imperative for men over 50. When caught early, prostate cancer has a nearly 100 percent five-year relative survival rate. 

Colorectal Cancer

Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine. Cancer that develops in the last 8  to 10 inches of the colon is called rectal cancer; together they are often referred to as colorectal cancer. More than 95 percent of colon cancer cases are adenocarcinomas, or cancer in the glands or secretory cells, which develop when a change occurs in the cells lining the colon or rectum. Colon cancer often begins as an abnormal, exaggerated tissue growth called an intestinal polyp or adenoma; these adenomatous polyps gradually become precancerous and then cancerous, and in later stages of colon cancer they can spread to nearby lymph nodes and other organs.

While colorectal cancer is very common, when diagnosed early it is among the more treatable types of cancer. The five-year survival rate for patients whose colorectal cancers were diagnosed before the cancer spread is more than 90 percent. However, only 37 percent of colorectal cancers are detected in this localized stage.

Know the risk factors lung cancer 

– Age 55 or older

– Have smoked at least 30 packs of cigarettes per year

– Have quit in the last 15 years

Know the risk factors of colorectal cancer

– Age 50 or older

– Diagnoses of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis

– Family history of colon polyps

– Family history of colon, breast or uterine cancer

Know the risk factors of prostate cancer

 – Age 50 or older

– Age 45 or older and of African-American descent or have a family history of cancer (single first-degree relative — father, brother or son — diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65)

– Age 40 or older and have a family history of cancer