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Top 5 most common cancers that affect men

More than 9 million men were diagnosed with cancer in 2018. Know the risk factors and when to see a doctor.
More than 9 million men were diagnosed with cancer in 2018. Know the risk factors and when to see a doctor.
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Sometimes a cancer diagnosis comes out of nowhere, even during a routine test for a different condition. Other times, cancer can be traced to something like a smoking habit or sun exposure. About 18 million people were diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and about 9.5 million of those were men, according to the World Cancer Research Fund International.

Here are the top five types of cancer that affect men, along with risk factors and symptoms that might tell you when you should seek medical attention.

Lung cancer

More than 1.3 million new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed in men in 2018, making it the most common type of cancer among men across the world. Lung cancer is also the most deadly type of cancer among men.

It's possible to have lung cancer before you develop any symptoms. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, hoarseness, or you start coughing up blood, you may want to request a medical test for lung cancer.

Risk factors include smoking or spending a lot of time around other smokers.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer among men worldwide, and it is the most common cancer among men in the United States.

At an early age, men with at least one close relative who had prostate cancer should start getting tested at the age of 40. Men at average risk of developing prostate cancer should begin regular testing around the age of 50. Race, family history, and age are all risk factors for developing prostate cancer.

Symptoms may not develop until advanced stages of the disease. These symptoms could include bloody urine or difficulty urinating and bone pain.

Colorectal cancer

This term refers to the combination of cancers found in the colon and the rectum. More than 1 million new cases were discovered among men in 2018.

Irregular bowel movements and belly pain are possible signs, although regular testing beginning at the age of 50 is your best bet at detecting this type of cancer. Symptoms may not appear in the early stages of colorectal cancer.

Family history, obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol use, and eating red meat regularly are all contributors to these types of cancers.

Stomach cancer

Almost 700,000 cases of stomach cancer were found among men in 2018. Once again, stomach cancer is typically hard to find in its early stages because it doesn't produce any symptoms. Only about 20% of stomach cancers in the U.S. are detected early before they've spread to other parts of the body. If you have symptoms, you might notice nausea, poor appetite, weight loss, vomiting, and swelling in the abdominal area.

Age, family history, obesity, tobacco use, and diets high in smoked foods and salted meats are some of the risk factors for developing stomach cancer.

Liver cancer

Almost 600,000 men were diagnosed with liver cancer in 2018. Symptoms of liver cancer are somewhat similar to stomach cancer. Unique symptoms include yellowing of the skin, eyes, and enlargement of the liver or spleen.

Heavy alcohol use is one of the main factors that can lead to liver cancer. This is because alcohol abuse is a leading cause of cirrhosis, a disease that damages liver cells and replaces them with scar tissue. Many people who develop liver cancer already show signs of cirrhosis, too.

There is no cure for cancer, but there are several ways you can prevent it in your daily life. Along with regular testing and self-examination, maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding smoking and drinking excessively, and using sunscreen are all healthy strategies for delaying or preventing a cancer diagnosis altogether.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. If you have any concerns, please speak with your doctor.

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Sinclair Broadcast Group is committed to the health and well-being of our viewers, which is why we initiated Sinclair Cares. Every month we'll bring you information about the "Cause of the Month," including topical information, education, awareness, and prevention. June is Men's Health Education and Awareness Month.