The Most Common Male Cancers and How To Avoid Them
As a man, you may be wondering “Which cancers are most likely to affect me?” Well, here are the top five most commonly occurring: Prostate cancer is the single most common cancer in men. Almost 200,000 men are diagnosed with it each year, and although most of them are over 50, some are as young as 22. Should you worry? On one hand, it is a slow growing cancer, but on the other hand, 29,000 men die of it each year. Talk to your doctor, know your family’s cancer history, and make an informed decision about screening. So far, there has been no correlation shown between tobacco use, diet, physical activity or lack of it, and developing prostate cancer. Nevertheless, a healthy lifestyle helps avoid cancer and health problems of all kinds. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer, but it is the deadliest. Of the 108,000 or so men diagnosed with it each year, 92,000 die. And what is the leading cause of this killer disease? Yep, you guessed it—tobacco smoke. Smoking cigarettes or breathing in other peoples’ second-hand smoke is really, really bad for your lungs. Other environmental factors include radon and asbestos. How to avoid lung cancer? Don’t smoke. If you already smoke, quit. Studies have shown that lung function begins to improve almost immediately when a person stops breathing that poisonous stuff into their lungs. Fortunately, most workplaces and public buildings these days are smoke-free, as are many restaurants. Help yourself as well as others by patronizing places that ban smoke. Colorectal cancers are primarily found in men over 50, and affect about 70,000 men a year. For some reason, African-American men are more affected by it than other racial groups. Causes include a family history of colorectal cancers, alcohol consumption, smoking, and a diet which is high in fats and low in fiber. The most important preventive is to have regular screenings starting at age 50. Pre-cancerous polyps are easily found and dealt with during this simple test. Eat healthily, cut down on alcohol, don’t smoke and get plenty of exercise. Bladder cancer is fourth on our list. This cancer is more prevalent in Caucasians and in people older than 70. Limiting exposure to smoke, including second-hand smoke, and avoiding saturated fats can help avoid this cancer. For all you guys out there who like to look like bronzed gods, I have bad news. Melanoma is fifth on our list of skin cancers, and the most common cause? Yes, it's too much sun exposure. Don’t simply switch to the tanning beds, either, because they use the same kind of UV rays as the sun to tan your skin. Fair-skinned people, especially those who burn or freckle easily, are the most prone to developing these skin cancers. Help yourself by staying out the sun between 10:00 and 4:00 pm, especially in southern areas. If you must be out, use sunscreen with a factor of at least 15, wear long sleeves, and a hat.