Most Common Cancers in Men
The five most common cancers among American men are prostate, lung, colorectal, bladder, and melanoma, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now that you know what to watch for, get your cancer IQ up to date with the basics on each of these threats to your health.
Prostate cancer is the No. 1 cancer risk for men, as well as the No. 2 cancer killer (behind lung cancer). To give you an idea, about 160 of every 100,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), and just over 29,000 men died from it, according to the CDC.
- Symptoms.- Prostate cancer often occurs without any symptoms.
But symptoms are more likely if the disease is advanced.
They include straining to pass urine, leaking urine, bloody urine, and bone pain.
- Screening.- Screening for prostate cancer is done with a blood test called the PSA test.
The American Cancer Society recommends talking to your doctor about screening by age 50,
or sooner if you have a family history or you are African-American.
The PSA test is often combined with a digital rectal exam.
- Treatment and prognosis.- Treatment depends on your age and how aggressive your cancer is.
Options include watching and waiting (which mean monitoring the cancer but not starting treatment unless it progresses),surgery,
radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The prognosis for prostate cancer is good. Overall, the survival rate for prostate cancer 10
years after diagnosis is 98 percent.
- Reducing your risk.-Some prostate cancer risk factors — such as race, family history, and age — can't be helped. However, you may be able to reduce your cancer risk by eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight,and not smoking.
Lung cancer strikes about 81 of every 100,000 men. That’s about half the number affected by prostate cancer, but lung cancer remains the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths in men. More than 88,000 men died from lung cancer in 2007. Here is what you need to know about lung cancer:
- Symptoms.- You can have lung cancer before symptoms develop. When they do appear, they include shortness of breath, cough, a change in sputum, chest pain, noisy breathing, hoarseness, and coughing up blood.
- Screening.- Several screening tests are available, including examining the lungs with a fiberoptic telescope,sampling sputum to look for cancer cells, and doing a CT scan. If you are older than 60 and have a history of smoking or have COPD, talk to your doctor about screening.
- Treatment and prognosis.- Treatment depends on the type of cancer, its location, and how advanced it is.Options involve surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination. Prognosis depends on whether the cancer has spread. For cancers that have not spread, the five-year survival rate is about 50 percent.
- Reducing your risk.-The best way to prevent lung cancer is to not smoke and to avoid secondhand smoke.
Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the third most common cancer in men. It strikes about 53 of every 100,000 men. About 27,000 men died from this cancer in 2007. Find out more:
- Symptoms.-You can have early colorectal cancer without symptoms. When they occur, symptoms include a change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, belly pain, weakness, and weight loss.
- Screening.-Colorectal cancer can be found early with a screening test called a colonoscopy. Other screening tests are also available. For most men, screening should begin at age 50 and be repeated every 5-10 years.
- Treatment and prognosis.-Treatment depends on how far the cancer has advanced and may include surgery,radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of these therapies. Prognosis also depends on how far the cancer has advanced. For early (stage I) cancer of the colon or rectum, the five-year survival is about 75 percent.
- Reducing your risk.-Make sure to get cancer screenings, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, don't smoke, and don't have more than two alcoholic drinks a day.
Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men, striking 36 of every 100,000 men and killing eight out of every 100,000. Get the details:
- Symptoms.- The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in your urine. Blood may change color of your urine or show up as blood clots. Needing to go frequently and burning pain are other symptoms.
- Screening.-There aren’t any screening recommendations for bladder cancer. Tell your doctor if you have any symptoms or are at a high risk.
- Treatment and prognosis.-Surgery is the most common treatment. Additional treatments may include administering drugs directly into the bladder, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Like all cancers,prognosis depends on finding the cancer early. For stage I bladder cancer, the five-year survival is about 90 percent.
- Reducing your risk.-Risk factors include being older than 55 and having a family history of bladder cancer.The biggest risk factor you can avoid is smoking — smoking doubles your risk.
Melanoma Skin Cancer
A melanoma of the skin is diagnosed in about 27 of every 100,000 men each year, and about four of them will die from it. Here is what you need to know:
- Symptoms.-The first symptom of melanoma might be a change in the size, shape, or color of a mole or freckle. You should also let your doctor know about any sores on your skin that don't heal and any new mole or lump.
- Screening.-The best way to screen is by doing a complete skin self-exam every month. This is especially important if you have a family history of melanoma. Make sure to check your scalp and the soles of your feet.
- Treatment and prognosis.-Surgery is the first choice for early melanoma. Chemotherapy, immunotherapy,and radiation therapy may also be used. For stage I melanoma, the five-year survival rate is over 90 %