Cancer is on the rise in India with 2.25 million people currently suffering from it. the probability of contracting cancer before one turns 75 is 9.81% with the mortality rate being 7.34%. However, it is possible to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer early on such that we may reduce the mortality rate. There are certain cancers that are prevalent in specific genders. Onlymyhealth got in touch with Dr Rajan Verma, Medical Director, Lab operations, Oncquest Laboratories Ltd. To know about the common cancers in men. If you are interested in raising awareness, you must read about these commonest cancers found among men.
Although smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, anybody can be affected by it irrespective of whether the person smokes or not. It is one of the worst forms of cancer and can be caused by environmental pollution, chewing of tobacco and any kind of exposure to carcinogens. People crossing the age of 60 with a history of COPD are much likelier to develop lung cancer.
In the initial stages, the symptoms are not distinctly visible, but the most prominent ones include:
- Coughing (including coughing up blood)
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest
- Louder and noisier breathing
- Altered sputum
Preventive Measures: Quit smoking and avoid being in the presence of smokers.
Although prostate cancer is less prevalent in India, there has been a recent surge in cases. It affects the prostate glands and takes years to progress. Its development shows when it slowly begins interfering with the urinary system and its functioning. The risks of contracting prostate cancer are dependent upon family history, age, dietary habits and sometimes even race.
Unfortunately, there are no visible symptoms until cancer reaches its advanced stage. Nonetheless, there are indicators of prostate cancer that include:
- Leaking of urine
- Pain in the bones
- Presence of blood in the urine
- Pain when passing urine
Preventive Measures: All one can do here is to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet. Smoking is to be avoided.
This cancer usually affects men over the age of 50 years and occurs when the inner linings of the rectum and the colon witness an overgrowth of cells. The odds of contracting colorectal cancer are higher if the person smokes, has inflammatory bowel disease or is obese. Other factors such as a history of colorectal cancer or polyps in the family, excessive idling, a fibre-deficient diet and excess consumption of red meat further complicate the problem. Luckily, colorectal cancer can be prevented and is also the most treatable form of cancer if detected in time.
There are no visible symptoms in the early stages. However, over time one may observe:
- Rectal bleeding
- Pain in the belly
- Irregular bowel
- Loss of weight and weakness
Preventive Measures: Upon crossing 50 years of age, it is recommended for men to get screened for colorectal cancer. Regular exercising, a balanced & healthy diet, weight management, no smoking and restricted alcohol consumptions work well in keeping this cancer at bay.
Although one can be affected by this cancer at any age, it is usually observed in the age bracket of 15-44 years. It is a rare form of cancer but is very treatable. The chances of having testicular cancer are higher in men with a father/brother who had this cancer, men with undescended testes (also known as cryptorchidism) or in men with abnormal cells in the testicles known as germ cell neoplasia in situ (GCNIS). GCNIS is often found in cases dealing with infertility.
- A lump in the testicle (usually painless)
- Swelling of the testicle
- Feeling of added weight in the scrotum
- Pain or ache in the scrotum, groin or testicle
- Softness in the male breast tissue
It is a rare variant of cancer and usually works its way from the outside in. It starts in the skin cells of the penis and involves rapid cellular growth. Fortunately, it can be treated if detected in the nascent stages. There are 4 types of penile cancer:
- Epidermoid carcinoma: Comprises 95% of the cases and usually starts in the foreskin. (may appear elsewhere as well)
- Sarcoma: This forms in tissues like muscles, fat and blood vessels
- Melanoma: This begins in the skin cells that give it a complexion
- Basal Cell Carcinoma: This cancer starts in the deeper layers of your skin and grows sluggishly. It is unlikely to spread anywhere else.
- Alteration in skin colour
- Arash/lump on the penis
- Bluish-brown growth
- Odourful discharge under the foreskin
- Swelling or a bleeding sore on the penis
They do not necessarily mean the cancer is present; it is advisable to get checked at this stage.
Preventive Measures: None. However, circumcision, avoiding tobacco and regularly cleaning the foreskin can help reduce the chances of contracting this cancer.
Cancers are neither easy to bear nor treat. It is therefore advisable to live the healthiest possible lifestyle to steer clear of the risks and dangers that may lead to a cancerous path in the future. If you are vigilant about your health, you can easily prevent and treat any type of cancer at the initial stage itself.
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