Taking Cancer Seriously Throughout Life

Cancer continues to be one of the biggest medical causes of death in America. Every year, millions will be diagnosed with some form of cancer, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths. Men, in particular, are at risk. Studies show that men are more likely to die from cancer than women. Some cancers are rare, but others can be dangerous for all men, especially with age. That’s why cancer screenings are crucial for men at every stage in life.

center for family medicine Men's Cancer Screenings Guidelines _ Tests By Age

Why cancer screening?

Cancer screenings are simple to complex tests that help detect the early stages of cancer. Screenings usually happen before symptoms appear, as many cancers can show no signs at first. These tests range from straightforward physical exams to advanced surgical procedures and lab tests. Most of all, screening saves lives. By detecting cancers at an early stage, doctors can remove or treat tumors that can become dangerous. Early treatment means easy procedures, faster recovery, and a better quality of life. All men should get specific cancer screenings at different points of life.

Skin cancer checks

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in America. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that 1 in 5 Americans will get skin cancer by age 70. Unfortunately, skin cancer can go undetected for years. Regular screenings can help locate and treat the issue as skin cancer is one of the most treatable in existence. From age 20, men should perform yearly skin cancer screenings. Screenings can happen at home or by a board-certified dermatologist. Look for blemishes, marks, or strange and unusual spots on the skin. What looks like a mole or skin blemish could be the early signs of skin cancer.

Testicular cancer checks

Testicular cancer is rare but still impacts up to 10,000 men yearly. Testicular cancer, like skin cancer, has fantastic success rates when detected early. Most cases happen to men in their late teens to early 30s. Testicular cancer screening, also like skin cancer, can be a simple self-assessment. At least once a year, men should carefully check the testicles for abnormal growths. From there, an ultrasound, blood test, or biopsy can confirm the disease.

Prostate cancer screening

From age 40 and beyond, the risk for other cancers in men increases significantly. Prostate cancer, for instance, can affect 1 in 8 men over 40. These rates increase from age 50 and beyond. Therefore, screenings should happen yearly for men who have a genetic predisposition for the disease. Prostate screenings can occur via a Prostate Specific Antigen or PSA test. A doctor can also perform a physical rectal exam. With early detection, prostate cancer treatment has a high outcome.

Colon cancer screening

Colon cancers form when abnormal growths form in the large intestine. These growths also develop in the rectum, creating the term colorectal cancer. Colon cancer affects close to 150,000 men and women every year from age 45 until age 70. Doctors recommend screenings at least every 5 years. Men with a family history of colorectal cancer, IBD, and other digestive conditions should get tested before age 45. Colon cancer screenings can be a colonoscopy, which should happen every 10 years. Five-year tests include CT colonography, flexible sigmoidoscopy, or a multi-targeted stool DNA test.

Screening saves lives

Getting the required cancer screening at the required times can save lives. Men should start simple screening for skin and testicular cancer as soon as possible. From age 40 and beyond, other advanced tests come into play. If there is a concern for particular cancer or a family history of cancers, speak with a doctor for more advice.

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