Cancer Facts for Men
The cancers that most frequently affect men are prostate, colon, lung and skin cancers.
Know yourself, your family history and your risks.
The chance of getting prostate cancer goes up as you get older. Having one or more close relatives with prostate cancer also increases your risk of having prostate cancer.
It is recommended that starting at age 50, you should talk to your doctor about prostate cancer screening. Research has not yet proven that the benefits of testing outweigh the harms of testing and treatment. If you choose to get tested you will have the PSA blood test. Results of this test can be used to monitor the level of PSA in your blood. Higher levels of PSA may require further surveillance.
Most colorectal cancers occur in adults after age 50. People with a family history of this cancer are more likely to have colon cancer. Being overweight, smoking or being inactive can increase your chances of having colon cancer.
It is recommended that starting at age 50 you have one of the following colon cancer tests:
• Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years;
• Colonoscopy every ten years;|
• Fecal Occult blood test (FOBT) or Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) every year.
Smoking is the cause for more than 80% of all lung cancers, but people who don’t smoke can also get lung cancer. It is recommended that if you are a smoker, ask your doctor to help you quit. You may also be eligible to participate in a lung cancer screening program. If you don’t smoke, avoid breathing in other people’s smoke. Tobacco cessation programs can be accessed on-line at 802Quits.org.
The second leading cause of lung cancer is radon, a naturally occurring gas that comes from rocks and dirt and can get trapped in houses and buildings. Get your home tested for radon, click here.
For more information on Lung Cancer, click here.
Anyone who spends time in the sun can have skin cancer. People who have had a close family member with melanoma and those who have had severe sunburns before the age of 18 are more likely to get skin cancer.
Most skin cancers can be prevented by avoiding the midday sun. When outside wear hats with brims, long sleeve shirts, sunglasses and use sunscreen. Be aware of all moles and spots on your skin and report any changes to your doctor right away. Always ask for a skin exam during your regular checkups.
Reduce Your Cancer Risk
- Stay away from tobacco.
- Protect your skin.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get moving.
- Eat healthy.
- Limit alcohol.
- Have regular checkups and cancer screening tests.
(from the American Cancer Society – cancer.org)