Top 3 Male Cancers and Their Warning Signs

By: Bel Marra Health | Cancer | Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 02:32 PM

156727801Approximately 41 percent of all Americans will develop cancer at some point in their lives. Breast cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer are the top 3 cancers that effect women, and below is an explanation of the top three cancers that affect men.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and it is also the leading cause of cancer-related death in males over the age of 75. As the name would suggest, prostate cancer starts in the prostate, which is a walnut-sized structure that wraps around the urethra—the tube that is responsible for carrying urine out of the body. Prostate cancer causes an enlargement of the prostate gland, which then pushes against the urethra, and as a result, the most common late stage prostate cancer symptoms are urine related and may include: delayed start of urine stream, slow urine steam, straining to urinate and incomplete urination.  Unfortunately, early stage prostate cancer does not usually yield any cancer warning signs, which can make it hard to diagnose.

If your doctor suspects that you may have prostate cancer, he or she will perform a rectal exam and order a blood test to check your PSA levels (which are a type of protein that indicate the presence of prostate cancer). As for treatment options, they will vary depending on the stage of the cancer and may include surgery, radiation therapy, proton therapy, hormone therapy and/or chemotherapy. Unfortunately, we do not know the exact cause of prostate cancer, nor how to definitely prevent it.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer amongst American men and more men die from lung cancer than any other cancer type each year. Similar to prostate cancer, lung cancer warning signs do not usually present in the early stages. However, as the disease progresses symptoms such as the development of a persistent cough that doesn’t go away, changes in current chronic cough or ‘smokers cough,’ shortness of breath, coughing up blood, hoarseness, wheezing, chest pain, headache, unexplained weight loss, and bone pain, may all ensue.

There is a wide range of diagnostic tests used to determine if you have lung cancer, including physical examination, a detailed patient history, chest X-rays, CAT scans, MRI scans and PET scans, to name a few. The most common cause of lung cancer is by far smoking and it is estimated that 90 percent of all lung-cancer deaths are due to smoking.  Other potential risk factors include exposure to second-hand smoke, exposure to asbestos, radon gas or toxic chemicals, a family history of lung cancer, and excessive alcohol use. Although there are never any guarantees, you can vastly reduce your risk of developing lung cancer by avoiding these risk factors. Once diagnosed, your treatment options in the conventional medicine realm include surgery, radiation, targeted drug therapy and chemotherapy.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer, which includes both colon and rectal cancer, is the third most common cancer amongst men. Most of the time colon cancer begins with the formation of noncancerous clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps, which overtime, develop into colon cancer. Colon cancer warning signs at the early stages aren’t always present, but when they are, they may include a change in bowel habits, such as the onset of diarrhea or constipation, rectal bleeding, relentless abdominal discomfort, fatigue, weakness, a feeling that your bowels aren’t completely empty, and/or unintended weight loss.  Unfortunately, scientists have still not identified a clear cause of colon cancer or what exactly causes the adenomatous polyps to develop in the first place, although it is suspected that there is a genetic component at play.

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The most common risk factors for colorectal cancer include being over the age of 50, being African-American, a history of polyps or inflammatory intestinal conditions, a family history of colon cancer, a low fiber diet , diabetes, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol intake and a sedentary lifestyle. Targeted drug therapy, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the most common methods of treatment for colon cancer.

Alternative Prevention and Treatment Methods

There is no use feeling powerless over your risk of developing these cancers, when you can actively help to reduce your risk for developing them. Avoiding tobacco, eating a healthy diet that is high in fruits and vegetables, drinking alcohol only in moderation, maintaining a healthy body weight and staying physically active can help to vastly reduce your cancer risk. When it comes to treatment methods, there are alternative practices that can complement conventional therapies and support your body’s ability to heal. Some of the most common include: acupuncture, dietary modifications, hypnosis, reiki, massage therapy, meditation and yoga.


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