Men’s Health and Cancer Awareness

man working outWritten by:  Heather A Bowen MBA  RT (R)(T)(CT), Supervisor Radiation Oncology

June is Men’s Health Cancer Awareness Month. Here are some things men need to know about cancer.

In the United States, the risk of men developing cancer is about 50 percent, or one in every two men is at risk. The top five cancer sites for men are prostate, lung, colon and rectum, bladder and melanoma. The overall male population in the United States has about a 23 percent chance of dying from cancer.

Prostate Cancer – About one in every six males will develop prostate cancer. Risk factors associated with prostate cancer include:

  • Age – rarely does prostate cancer occur in men under the age of 40.
  • Race/Ethnicity – prostate cancer occurs more frequently in African-American men.
  • Family History – some men may be at greater risk of developing prostate cancer if they have a brother or father who has had the disease.
  • Obesity – very overweight men are at greater of developing prostate cancer.

Screening for prostate cancer: If you are a male age 50 or over, talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of screening and to see if screening is appropriate for you. There are two commonly-used tests for prostate cancer screening.

  • Prostate- Specific Antigen (PSA) – A blood test
  • Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) – The healthcare provider feels the prostate for abnormalities.

Lung Cancer – About one in every 13 males will develop lung cancer. The most common form of lung cancer is called non-small cell lung cancer.

Leading risk factors associated with non-small cell lung cancer include:

  • Tobacco – smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, about 80 percent of all lung cancer deaths may be due to cigarette smoking. If you don’t smoke, but live with someone who does, you may be exposed to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke can increase your risk of lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.
  • Radon – naturally occurring radioactive gas found in the ground. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Screening for lung cancer:

  • Low Dose CT or CAT Scan – According to the American Cancer Society, individuals who have; at least a 30 pack a year smoking history, currently smoking or have quite within the past 15 years, age 55 to 74 and in fairly good health may be candidates for a low dose CT scan.  If you fit this criteria talk with your healthcare provider about lung cancer screening.

Colon and Rectum Cancer – About one in every 19 males will develop colorectal cancer; it is the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Some risk factors associated with colorectal cancer include:

  • Age – Men over the age of 50 are at increased risk.
  • Ethnic background – African Americans are at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer.
  • Inherited syndromes – Several inherited syndromes can increase your risk, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).
  • Diet/Exercise/Obesity – Diets high in red meats, processed meats, and obesity increase your risk for developing colorectal cancer along with lack of exercise and physical activity.
  • Heavy alcohol consumption – More than two drinks per day for men.

Screening for colorectal cancer: Screening can often find colorectal cancers at a very early stage when it is more curable and easily treated. Screening usually begins at age 50 or earlier if you have a family history of colorectal cancer. Talk with your physician about which screening is right for you.

  • Colonoscopy – Considered the best screening test.
  • Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) – A test used to find blood in the stool.
  • Sigmoidoscopy – Similar to a colonoscopy but does not visualize the entire colon.

About Agnesian HealthCare Cancer Care Services

Agnesian HealthCare Cancer Care Services brings cancer care closer to cancer patients. With offices in Fond du Lac, Ripon, and Waupun, there is no need to travel far to get the most advanced technology and treatment.

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