Cancer is a debilitating disease that starts in any organ or tissue of the body that grows abnormally and uncontrollably beyond its usual boundaries and spread to other organs.
That said, cancer is perhaps the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths or more every year. While breast, colorectal, lung, cervical, and thyroid cancer are the most common types of cancer in women, lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach, and liver cancer are the most common types in men.
Here is detailed information on the most common cancers affecting men:
The prevalence of prostate cancer has been on a surge lately. This cancer develops in the tissues of the prostate gland and may eventually interfere with the urinary system and its functions. While prostate cancer might not show any symptoms up to the advanced stage, some of the common symptoms are bone pain, blood in urine, and feeling of strain when passing urine. That said, prostate cancer can be prevented with a combination of a healthy lifestyle and not smoking.
Although smoking is the primary risk factor of lung cancer, however, it can affect anybody regardless of smoking habits. Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer of all and is most likely to be triggered by environmental pollution, chewing tobacco, and exposure to dangerous carcinogenic compounds. The common symptoms of lung cancer include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, hoarseness, noisy breathing, change in sputum, and coughing up blood.
Colorectal cancer is the cancer of the colon or rectum that primarily affects men/women of the older age group. Obesity, smoking, and inflammatory bowel disease can increase the risk of this cancer in individuals. Other factors like a family history of colorectal cancer, physical inactivity, age, low intake of fiber-rich food, and excessive intake of processed and red meats are likely to increase the risk of this cancer. Symptoms like belly pain, rectal bleeding, change in bowel habits, and weight loss may be noticeable. It is advisable for men aged 50 and above to repeatedly get screened for colorectal every 5 to 10 years and ensure early detection and proper treatment.
It's important to distinguish liver cancer from metastases to the liver, as liver cancer refers to cancer that has spread to the liver from other regions of the body. The symptoms of liver cancer include jaundice, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. Preventive measures like limiting alcohol intake, exercising regularly, eating healthy, weight management, and protecting yourself from getting infected with hepatitis B and C viruses will reduce the risk of liver cancer.
While these four types of cancers are commonly found in men, adopting preventive measures and consulting your medical professional is essential for timely medical intervention.
Young men can have curable cancers like Lymphomas and Testicular Cancers which one needs to be aware of. Simple testicular examination and immediately reviewing with an oncologist for a persistent lymph nodal swelling can help us successfully manage these conditions too. A tobacco chewer can learn how to do a self-head and neck examination in front of bright light to bring to attention early lesions.
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