Cancer Facts for Men
Each year, about 179,000 are diagnosed with prostate cancer, and it will claim about 37,000 lives. If prostate cancer is detected early it can be treated effectively, but early prostate cancer has no symptoms.
Who is at Risk?
Most cases of prostate cancer occur in older men than 50, and more than 75% of these cases are in men over 65. For some reason, which is still unknown, African-American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer in the world. Their death rate from this disease is twice that of white men.
The Best Defense: Early Detection
Prostate cancer can be detected in its early stages. Any of the hospitals within the Health Alliance can check you for prostate cancer with two simple tests:
- a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, and
- a digital rectal examination (DRE).
The American Cancer Society recommends the following guidelines for early detection of prostate cancer:
At age 50 talk with your health care provider about beginning PSA and DRE testing of the prostate gland. Factors to consider include your overall health and life expectancy. Men who are in high-risk groups, such as African-American men or men who have a history of prostate cancer in close family members should talk with their health care providers about beginning screenings at a younger age.
Lung cancer claims more lives than any other cancer. Every year it will strike more than 94,000 men, and an estimated 91,000 will die of the disease. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of lung cancer is that it can be almost totally prevented, but still takes so many lives each year.
Who is at Risk?
People who smoke are at the greatest risk of getting lung cancer and a host of other tobacco-related diseases such as heart disease, stroke and emphysema. Smoking is responsible for 87% of all lung cancers. Other risk factors include exposure to radon and asbestos, especially in smokers.
The Best Defense: Prevention
Lung cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented, because almost all of it is caused by smoking. If you are a smoker, ask your health care provider to help you quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If your friends and loved ones are smokers, help them quit.
Colorectal cancer is a disease of the lower digestive tract. About 63,000 men will be diagnosed with it this year, and about 28,000 will die of the disease. Advances in the detection and treatment of this cancer have made it very treatable if caught early.
Who Is At Risk?
Anyone is at risk for colorectal cancer. People with a family history of the disease or who have polyps in the colon or rectum, or inflammatory bowel disease are at somewhat greater risk than the general population. Diets high in fat and low in fiber put people at risk for colorectal cancer.
The Best Defense: Early Detection
Most colorectal cancers begin as polyps, which later become cancerous. These polyps can be detected and removed before they become cancer. In this sense, colorectal cancer is a disease that can be prevented. Eating food that is low in fat and high in fiber appears to lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
The American Cancer Society recommends the following guidelines for early detection of colorectal cancer: Beginning at age 50, have a fecal occult blood test and a flexible sigmoidoscopy. Repeat the fecal occult blood test annually and the sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or have a colonoscopy at 10 year intervals or have a double-contrast barium enema every 5 to 10 years.
There have been remarkable advances in the treatment of this cancer, and few survivors of the disease need to have colostomies or wear external bags anymore. Don’t be afraid to talk about colorectal cancer. An early diagnosis can save your life.
Although there are one million cases of skin cancer each year, most of these cancers are easily treatable and cured. One type of skin cancer, melanoma, is deadly if not treated early and the number of new cases is increasing rapidly in both women and men.
Who is at Risk?
People with fair complexions, especially redheads, have a greater risk of getting this type of cancer than people with darker coloring, although anyone who spends a lot of time in the sun is at risk. People who have had close family members with a melanoma are at higher risk for this type of skin cancer as are people who have severe sunburns before the age of 18. It is especially important to protect children from sun exposure.
The Best Defense: Prevention and Early Detection
Most skin cancers can be prevented by avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wear protective clothing — hats with brims, long-sleeved shirts — and use sunscreen on all exposed parts of the skin. If you have children, protect them from the sun and don’t let them get sunburned. Examine your skin regularly, and have a skin exam during your regular health checkups.
Early detection — finding a cancer early before it has spread – gives you the best chance of being cured. Too many men die each year from cancer. Knowing about these cancers and how they can be prevented or detected early can save your life.
The Health Alliance continues to be a leader in cancer care using a multidisciplinary approach in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, education and research of cancer. Our diverse health care team includes physicians and specialists in all areas of cancer care including medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, gynecological oncology, as well as nurses, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, nutritionists, psychologists and many others. In addition, Health Alliance physicians and world-renowned cancer researchers in our facilities offer internationally recognized services in neuro-oncology, head and neck oncology, stem cell transplantation and clinical cancer research. The Health Alliance offers a holistic approach to cancer care not only recognizing the physical needs of our patients, but also recognizing and supporting the emotional and spiritual needs of them and their families.
Through the collaborative efforts of the cancer centers throughout the Health Alliance, patients and their families receive the most comprehensive and highest quality cancer care available. Our continued commitment to provide the best possible patient care includes clinical research studies, programs of cancer prevention, cancer information services, commitment to community services and outreach activities, programs of research training and continuing education for health care professionals.
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