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Most Common Cancers in Men

Updated: Jun 24

Most Common Cancers in Men
Most Common Cancers in Men

The top five most common cancers in men are prostate cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, bladder cancer and melanoma. These cancers are typically diagnosed through a combination of physical examinations, imaging studies, laboratory tests, and biopsies. Early detection through screening can significantly improve outcomes for many of these cancers.

Out of the most common types of cancer, prostate cancer is the highest. This type of cancer is most common in western countries and in men that are 65 and older. Risk factors for prostate cancer in men include age, family history, diet (a BIG one) and genetics. Majority of the time, symptoms do not appear in the early stages of prostate cancer and will only appear later on. When the symptoms do start to show they may include difficulty starting urination or holding back urine, weak or interrupted flow of urine, frequent urination, especially at night, difficulty emptying the bladder completely, pain or burning during urination, blood in the urine, chronic pain in the back, hips, or pelvis. Diagnoses and detection of prostate cancer can be done through screenings and other types of tests. These include prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests and digital rectal exams (DRE), along with imaging studies and biopsies. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy.

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men which is primarily caused by smoking, and NOT just tobacco. Anyone who smokes or is exposed to second hand smoke are at risk for developing this type of cancer. Exposure to radon gas and environmental carcinogens can also result in lung cancer. The best way to avoid lung cancer is to reduce exposure to smoke or other inhalant hazards. Lung cancer often presents with a chronic cough, chest pain, and shortness of breathe. Regular doctors visits and early detection are key , but prevention of lung cancer has got to be top of mind.

The third most common type of cancer among men is colorectal cancer. This cancer is a cancer that affects the colon or rectum. The various risk factors for this cancer include age, family history, certain genetic disorders, a diet high in red or processed meats, and obesity. Symptoms can include changes in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, persistent abdominal discomfort, and unexplained weight loss. Treatment often includes surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Testing such as a colonoscopy and various other tests can detect the cancer early on and improve treatment results.

The fourth most common cancer in men is bladder cancer. This cancer primarily affects

the bladder. The risk factors of bladder cancer include smoking, exposure to certain industrial chemicals, chronic bladder inflammation, and age. Symptoms can include blood in the urine, frequent urination, painful urination, and back or pelvic pain. Simple periodic urinalysis checking for blood are not often done on a regular basis as they used to be. This inexpensive test done once to twice a year can save many lives. Treatment often includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and other targeted cancer therapy.

The fifth most common cancer in men is melanoma (skin cancer). The risk factors of melanoma are UV exposure (sunlight and tanning beds), family history, fair skin, and the presence of many moles or atypical moles. Symptoms include new or changing moles, asymmetrical moles, irregular borders, multiple colors, and diameter greater than 6 mm. Treatments for melanoma include surgical treatment, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The treatment plan for melanoma is highly individualized and depends on factors such as the stage and genetic profile of the cancer, as well as the patient's overall health. This is why it is important to visit a dermatologist if you have any moles that are concerning.

Awareness and early detection play a crucial role in effectively managing and preventing these cancers. The best general prevention strategies for all of the most common types of cancer are a general plant based diet, avoiding tobacco (smoking and chewing), regular exercise, limiting alcohol consumption, wearing sunscreen, and regular Physicians visits.

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