While some cancers are obviously gender-specific cancers (think prostate/testicular and ovarian/uterine cancers) some cancers simply affect one gender more than the other. Men take first place when it comes to colorectal, lung, and skin cancer. (Prostate cancer is the second most common cancers among men behind skin cancer.) Despite the statistics stacked against men, there are some things men can do to prevent certain types of cancer or, at the very least, detect cancers early for the best chance of treatment.

  • Colorectal cancer is not a cancer than can be prevented but it is a cancer that can be detected early. Screening should begin for everyone at age 45. Screening can include stool-base tests, colonoscopy, or sigmoidoscopy. Speak with your health care provider to determine the best screening for you.
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men. Not all lung cancers are preventable but you can lower your risk dramatically by not smoking, avoiding second-hand smoke, by quitting tobacco products, and avoiding/limiting exposure to cancer-causing chemicals in the home or workplace. A yearly lung cancer CT scan is recommended for people ages 50-80 who smoke or used to smoke and who have at least a 20 pack-year history (example: 1 pack/ day for 20 years or 2 packs/day for 10 years).
  • Skin cancer is one of the easiest cancers to prevent or detect early. Check your skin for changes in moles about once a month. Get regular skin checks done by a health care provider. Report changes to moles and suspicious spots on your skin right away to your doctor.
  • About one in eight men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime, and Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than men of other races and ethnicities. The chances of getting prostate cancer go up as you get older. Screening for prostate cancer can be done through the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and/or a digital rectal exam (DRE). The decision to screen for prostate cancer is typically made based on age and family history.
  • Testicular cancer affects more White men than other races and ethnicities and is most common in men aged 15-35. It is one of the most curable cancers. Although there are no screenings for testicular cancer, there are signs and symptoms be aware of, such as, a lump or swelling in one testicle, breast growth or soreness, and a heaviness or achiness in the lower belly or scrotum.

Don’t forget that regular screenings are covered by your EWTF Health Plan! Now go take care of yourself!