10 Early Symptoms Of Cancer In Men You Should Not Avoid

7 min read
Feb 14, 2024
10 Early Symptoms Of Cancer In Men You Should Not Avoid

What are the top 10 early signs of cancer in men?

Men testicles, bowel movements, and urination can all be early indicators of malignancy. The type of cancer will determine the symptoms, though. There are situations where symptoms do not show up right away.
In the United States, men are more likely than women to pass away from cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
It's possible that some people will miss the early warning signals of cancer or will mistake them for symptoms of other illnesses. A person can receive treatment sooner if they are aware of the signs that could point to cancer .
The following symptoms could be signs of cancer :
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Urination difficulties
  • Weight loss
  • Testicular changes
  • Breast lumps
  • Skin and mouth sores
  • Persistent cough
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bone pain
  • Fatigue
These ten prevalent early warning indicators of cancer in men are examined in greater detail in this article. A few of these also apply to women.

A note about sex and gender

Gender and sex are spectrum concepts. When referring to sex assigned at birth, this article will use the terms "male," "female," or both.

1. Changes in bowel habits

Changes in bowel habits might happen occasionally for a variety of causes, most of which are not alarming.
Long-term bowel alterations, however, may indicate some digestive problems, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Additionally, certain cancers, such as colorectal, bladder, and prostate cancer, may occasionally be indicated by these changes.
A doctor should be consulted by anyone experiencing severe or ongoing diarrhea or constipation, particularly if there is blood in the stools or rectal bleeding.
Hemorrhoids and colorectal cancer can both result in pain, irritation, bleeding in the rectal area, and bloody feces. Hemorrhoids, however, often flare up before becoming better, thus symptoms could only show up sometimes. In contrast to hemorrhoids, cancer may be the cause of continuous or increasing bleeding from the rectum.

2. Urination difficulties

See a doctor if you have persistent problems urinating or find blood in your urine or semen. Bladder cancer may be indicated by these symptoms.
Urinating that hurts or is difficult may also be an indication of prostate cancer. Approximately 1 in 8 males may receive a prostate cancer diagnosis from a doctor, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
Additional signs of prostate cancer may consist of:
  • A feeling of burning when urinating
  • A feeble flow of pee
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • A loss of bowel or bladder control

3. Weight loss

Body weight can fluctuate somewhat throughout the day. Water consumption, vigorous exercise, and large meals can all momentarily alter a person's body weight. Those who lose weight accidentally, though, ought to consult a physician.
Unintentional weight loss is defined by a 2017 study as occurring when a person loses more than 5% of their body weight in less than a year without altering their food or way of life.
Unintentional weight loss does not always indicate cancer ous tissue in the body. People shouldn't disregard this symptom, though, as it may be an early warning indication of a variety of illnesses.

4. Testicular changes

Males between the ages of 15 and 45 are most commonly affected by testicular cancer, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). Early-stage symptoms are not usually present in testicular cancer. Frequently, a bump on a testicle is the first obvious symptom.
Additional signs of testicular cancer may consist of:
  • One or both testicles are hurting.
  • Variations in a testicle's size or hardness.
  • Sensation of pain in the penis.
  • Swelling in the penis.
  • A dull ache in the groin.
Testicular alterations are not necessarily a sign of testicular cancer . Testicular pain and edema can also be brought on by bacterial and viral diseases. Nonetheless, it is still crucial that anyone who observes changes in their testicles consult a physician.

5. Breast lumps

Males can also develop breast cancer, however this is uncommon. Males account for about 1% of cases of breast cancer.
Males have a little amount of breast tissue below the nipples that contains ducts. When it comes to men, breast cancer frequently starts in these ducts and moves to the surrounding breast tissue.
Changes in the breast that may signal cancer include:
  • A swelling or lump
  • Dimpling of the skin
  • Nipple discharge
  • Scaling or redness
  • An inverted nipple

Men should consult their doctor if they observe any of these changes in their breasts.

6. Skin and mouth sores

Certain types of skin cancer can resemble other kinds of skin lesions. Skin cancer may first appear as hard, red lumps that bleed or as dry, scaly patches on the skin's surface.
Open sores or huge red lesions in the mouth can be signs of early-stage oral cancer . Leukoplakia is a disorder where some people get white or gray patches on their tongue and inside of their mouths. Oral cancer may develop from leukoplakia if treatment is not received.
Use of tobacco can greatly raise one's risk of leukoplakia, oral cancer , and mouth sores.

7. Persistent cough

A persistent cough or one that becomes worse over time may indicate lung cancer, among other dangerous medical concerns. See your doctor if you have a chronic cough that has no apparent reason for it.
Additional signs of a potentially dangerous condition include:
  • Coughing up blood
  • Excessive mucus production
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Hoarseness

8. Abdominal pain

Abdominal discomfort or nausea that does not go away or returns frequently may be a sign of a digestive problem like gastroenteritis or IBS. These symptoms may also occasionally be brought on by pancreatic, biliary tract, or stomach cancer .
A person may choose to see a doctor if they have stomach pain in addition to any of the following symptoms.
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blood in the stool
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice
  • Heartburn

9. Bone pain

Certain cancers can spread to the bones, including lung and prostate cancer. In the latter stages of cancer, this spreading—known as metastasis—occurs.
A dull, throbbing pain that may start out intermittently before becoming constant can be brought on by bone metastases. Additionally, cancer can weaken bones, increasing the risk of fractures.

10. Fatigue

Fatigue is the term used to describe a persistent state of exhaustion or low energy. Fatigue can be a symptom of many chronic illnesses, including cancer .
The synthesis of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body, can be interfered with by some malignancies, including lymphoma and leukemia. Because their bodies aren't getting as much oxygen, people with low red blood cell counts may feel tired all the time.
Healthy cells are in competition with tumors for vital nutrients, and insufficient sustenance will cause the death of the healthy cells. Fatigue and abrupt weight loss may result from unchecked tumor growth.
Sleeping does not make cancer-related fatigue go away. Those with chronic, inexplicable weariness ought to consult their physician.

Notable early symptoms in men

For some male cancer forms, there are some early indications that might be noteworthy. Most malignancies can be cured. The likelihood of a better outcome increases with the early diagnosis.
Certain cancer s could not show any signs until much later on, when the illness has progressed to other body parts.
On the other hand, being watchful and cognizant of physical changes helps expedite the diagnosing process. For the majority of malignancies, early detection and treatment usually enhance a patient's prognosis.
If someone experiences any of the following symptoms, they should consult a doctor:
  • Abnormal moles
  • Lumps in the breast
  • A persistent cough
  • Hoarseness
  • Blood in sputum
  • Bloody stool
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • Bone pain
  • Chronic headaches

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some more responses to frequently asked questions regarding cancer in men.

What is the most common reason why men get cancer?

Males are more susceptible to some cancer risk factors. These include heredity, age, smoking, food, ethnicity, and STIs (sexually transmitted illnesses).

How can men check for cancer?

Men should be aware of their bodies at all times. They need to consult their doctor if they see any irregularities. In addition, men should undergo advised screenings such as a PSA exam, fecal occult blood test, and colonoscopy.

When should men check for cancer?

Men should begin having cancer screenings at age 45. A person should also consult their doctor if they experience any worrisome symptoms that last for more than two weeks, particularly if they are at higher risk or have a family history of the disease.

In brief

Males in the United States are more likely than females to pass away from cancer. People can, however, take preventative measures by being watchful and consulting their physician about any strange physical changes or enduring symptoms.
Participation in cancer screening exams is another option. For instance, the American Cancer Society advises men over 50 to see a medical practitioner about whether prostate cancer screening is appropriate for them.
Adults between the ages of 45 and 75 should also get checked for colorectal cancer, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
A person's prognosis for many cancer types is typically improved by early diagnosis and treatment.

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