Check Yourself Out

June 19, 2015

Yes, that is right. Men also need to know their body, and in some cases check themselves on a regular basis to look for changes. Therefore, in honor of Men’s Health Week, let’s talk about two cancers only men face that may not be the most comfortable to talk about: testicular and prostate cancers. Prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and testicular cancer is the most common cancer for men ages 15-34, and completely beatable when detected early.

Women: these cancers may not directly affect you, but you can play a role in preventing them by educating the men in your life about ways to reduce their risk. Men: here’s what you need to know to reduce your risk for prostate and testicular cancers:

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is highly treatable if the cancer is found early and hasn’t spread to other parts of the body. This year, an estimated 220,800 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and an estimated 2,540 will die from the disease.

Here are the facts to help you prevent it:

  • Talk to your doctor when you turn 50. Tell him or her about any family history of the disease, and discuss when you should start getting screened.
  • African American men are at the highest risk for prostate cancer and are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage due to lack of screening.
  • Exercise has been shown to help prevent prostate cancer and other deadly diseases. Take 30 minutes out of your day five times a week for physical activity.
  • Some studies have linked a diet full of fatty foods to an increased risk for prostate cancer. Limit the meats, oils and dairy products in your diet and replace them with fruits, vegetables and fish. Specific prostate healthy foods include salmon, tomatoes, broccoli, green tea, soy beans and pomegranates.
  • Urinary problems, a painful or difficult erection and pain in the lower back, pelvis or upper thighs are all symptoms of prostate cancer. If you are experiencing any of these, talk to your doctor.

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is also highly treatable with a 96% five-year survival rate. This year, 8,430 new cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed and about 380 men will die of the disease.

Here are the facts to help you prevent it:

  • If you have a family history of testicular cancer or abnormal development of the testes, you could be at a higher risk for this disease.
  • Young, Caucasian men are at the highest risks for this disease.
  • Often times, men are able to detect abnormalities in the testes as early as 15 years old. Start performing self-exams at home so you know what’s normal for you. If you start to notice any changes in size or shape or if you feel a lump, consult your health care professional.
  • Ask your health care professional to examine your testicles as part of your routine physical exam.
  • If you feel pain in your lower back, abdomen or groin, talk to your health care professional.

Did you know 1 out of 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime? About 6,876,600 have been diagnosed with cancer in the United States. This June, take care of your body and talk to your doctor about screenings to reduce your risk for cancer. To learn more about cancer prevention and early detection, visit preventcancer.org.

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