Cancer is complicated. It’s sneaky and silent, so you need to know the symptoms. Regular check-ups make all the difference.
However, if you’re a man, take heed. Cancer kills more men than women, with a rate of 207.9 per 100,000 men.1
It doesn’t help that men are 33 percent less likely than women to visit the doctor.2 There’s a good chance this contributes to the cancer rates! But whatever the relationship, check-ups are crucial.
Many cancer symptoms seem mild. Sometimes, they’ll look like a totally different disease. Yet, early detection equals early treatment, so you need to pay attention.
Get to know these early cancer symptoms in men. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
1. Frequent Urination
If you drink a lot of water, this one’s hard to catch. It may be a sign of prostate cancer.
Of course, it can happen during the day, but it’s more common at night. Additional symptoms of prostate cancer include pain, burning, and blood. Your back, hips, and pelvis may also hurt.3
2. Weak Urine Flow
Another prostate cancer symptom is a weak urine flow. It might be hard to get the pee going. At first, you might think it’s from dehydration, but don’t assume. Other symptoms like pain and frequency should raise a red flag.4
3. Testicle Lump
The most common, early symptom of testicular cancer is a lump in or on a testicle. The lump is usually painless, so you might think it’s nothing.
Go to the doctor ASAP. Any change in your testicles should raise concern. When caught early, testicular cancer is treatable.5
4. Lower Belly Ache
An ache in the lower belly can be anything. Have you been lifting? Did you eat too many tacos? It can be anything, but testicular cancer is a possibility.
If the ache is heavy and consistent, don’t ignore it. You might also feel it in your scrotum. If these symptoms crop up with a testicular lump, visit the doctor.6
5. Bloody Urine
Blood in the urine is never a good sign. It can point to cancer of the prostate or bladder. In fact, it’s the most common symptom of bladder cancer.7
Here’s where it gets tricky. Bladder cancer symptoms, like low back pain and frequent urination, overlap with other types of cancer.8 This is exactly why regular check-ups are vital.
6. Trouble Swallowing
Swallowing difficulties are easy to ignore. But if it doesn’t go away, and you have a sore throat, take note. This is a major, early sign of throat cancer.
You’re more likely to develop throat cancer if you’re a heavy drinker or smoker. If you are either or both, throat cancer should be on your radar.9
7. Breast Redness
Most people associate breast cancer with women, but men can also get it.
Redness on the chest might look like irritation or something minor. But if there’s scaling, puckering, or a painless lump, call your doctor.10
Do you live a busy lifestyle? Tiredness may seem normal. If it doesn’t go away with rest, cancer is a possibility.
It might have to do with your blood. For example, fatigue is a common sign of leukemia. Some stomach and colon cancers may also subtly cause blood loss, which then causes fatigue.11 Lung cancer is another possibility.12
If you’re a smoker, you might think that hoarseness is normal. But it’s not a good sign. Hoarseness may indicate throat cancer – not just a cold.
Pay attention if it doesn’t go away, especially, if it’s paired with a persistent cough.
As you can see, these early symptoms seem like nothing. Sure, they can very well be caused by something minor – but how do you know? Visiting a doctor is the only way to find out.
|↑1||Cancer Statistics. National Cancer Institute.|
|↑2||Women more likely than men to visit the doctor, more likely to have annual exams. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑3, ↑4||What Are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑5, ↑6||Do I Have Testicular Cancer? American Cancer Society.|
|↑7||Bladder Cancer-Patient Version. National Cancer Institute.|
|↑8||Bladder Cancer. MedlinePlus.|
|↑9||Throat Cancer. MedlinePlus.|
|↑10||Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer in Men. American Cancer Society.|
|↑11||Signs and Symptoms of Cancer. American Cancer Association.|
|↑12||What Are the Symptoms of Lung Cancer? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|