Cancer warning signs all men should know

Early cancer detection is important for cancer care

Catching cancer as early as possible is vital to your chances of beating it.

Catching cancer in the early stages typically means health care providers have better cancer treatment options available. Plus, the survival rate for patients is much higher when cancer is caught early than when cancer isn’t caught until the later stages.

The most effective thing you can do to help detect cancer early is to get your recommended cancer screenings.

Types of cancer men should know

Another important way you can help to catch any cancer early is to know the specific signs of cancer for men.

A lot of cancers can impact people of any gender, but only men are at risk for testicular cancer and prostate cancer. Men also have a higher risk than women of developing lung cancer, colon cancer and cancers of the head and neck.

And while breast cancer predominantly occurs in women, men can also get breast cancer, so it’s smart to check for lumps in your chest and armpits.

Prostate cancer warning signs

Signs of prostate cancer to be on the lookout for include trouble with urination:

  • Increased frequency of going
  • Dribbling
  • Can’t completely void your bladder
  • Pain
  • Blood in your urine

Testicular cancer warning signs

Keep an eye on any changes in your testicles. Make sure there are no new lumps and bumps on your testicles and watch for extra swelling in the scrotum or one of your testicles.

Testicular cancer can occur in adolescence, so teens need to check themselves, too.

Head and neck cancer warning signs

Signs of head or neck cancers to watch for:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • Indigestion
  • Sore throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Lumps or bumps on tongue

Other cancer warning signs

Several different types of cancer can have effects on different parts of the body. That means there are a lot of possible signs and symptoms.

Common cancer signs to watch for:

  • Fevers, night sweats or trouble regulating your temperature
  • Throat pain, coughing, hoarseness or trouble swallowing
  • Headaches and pain in the breast, armpit or groin
  • Sudden double or blurry vision

Many of the early signs of cancer can be non-cancerous and harmless. So how can you tell if you have cancer? The short answer is that you’ll need to speak with your primary care provider about getting the appropriate tests. There’s simply no way to know on your own.

“One isolated symptom doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer,” said Mary Stapel, MD, a physician at OSF HealthCare. “But if any symptoms persist past a couple weeks, that’s when you should talk to your primary care provider.”

It’s also important to remember that some cancers early on have no visible signs – which is why it’s so important to get your cancer screenings. Screenings often reveal signs of cancer before symptoms begin to show themselves, giving you a head start on beating the disease.

Last Updated: August 24, 2022

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About Author: Ken Harris

Ken Harris is the proudest father and was a writing coordinator for the Marketing & Communications division of OSF HealthCare.

He has a bachelor's in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked as a daily newspaper reporter for four years before leaving the field and eventually finding his way to OSF HealthCare.

In his free time, Ken likes reading, fly fishing, hanging out with his dog and generally pestering his lovely, patient wife.

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Categories: Cancer, Men's Health