As June and Men’s Health Month come to a close, all men need to be proactive and take the time to work with their healthcare professionals to schedule checkups and lifesaving health screenings. In particular, men should pay attention to their risk for cancer, and take steps to prevent it or ensure early detection, when cancer is in its most treatable stages. During the pandemic, many people postponed routine but potentially life-saving cancer screenings. Now is the time to have them performed.
According to Katie Couric Media (KCM), studies have shown that men have a one-in-two chance of developing cancer over their lifetime versus a one-in-three chance for women. Here are five more important and lifesaving facts that men should consider:
- Approximately 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Dr. David Samadi, a renowned urologist and director of Men's Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, N.Y., tells Newsmax that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American men after lung cancer, and more than 34,000 men will succumb to the disease in 2021. Samadi says because prostate cancer is a “silent killer,” men should have annual prostate cancer screenings beginning at age 40. “A blood test called the prostate-specific antigen or PSA, is the leading method of screening for prostate cancer,” says Samadi. The expert adds that African American men often hesitate or avoid seeing their doctors, especially for prostate cancer screening. “Because these men are at higher risk for developing prostate cancer, I highly urge them to take charge of their health, learn the facts about prostate cancer, and get screened for the disease,” Samadi tells Newsmax.
- Breast cancer affects men too. According to KCM, it is rare that men develop breast cancer, but more than 2,500 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the U.S. this year. It is important for men to pay close attention to any changes in the breast area, such as a lump or irregularity of the nipples.
- Proactive screening can help detect cancer sooner. Early detection can help find cancers that affect men, such as colorectal cancer, and increase the chances of a positive outcome. Dr. Tim Hoffmeister, medical director of Point Lumineux MedSpa in Sarasota, FL, detected his renal cell carcinoma during a routine ultrasound, a screening test that most likely saved his life. “Men are diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma at almost twice the rate as women, and there is a great prevalence among Black Americans,” he tells Newsmax. Recently the U.S Preventive Services Task Force lowered colorectal cancer screening age to 45 for both men and women.
- Personalized tests may help treat your cancer. Precision medicine based on your individual genetic makeup can help determine the best course of treatment if you are faced with a cancer diagnosis, says KCM. There are genomic tests for early stage or late stage prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers, which are the three most common cancers in men, accounting for 43% of all cancer cases diagnosed in men in 2020.
- You are not alone. A cancer diagnosis is scary. It can impact your mental and emotional health and take a physical toll on your body. Fortunately, there are many organizations that offer support, such as MaleCare, America’s leading men’s cancer survivor support group. The leading national organization, CancerCare, provides free, professional emotional, physical and financial support services for both men and women diagnosed with cancer.
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