Cancer Symptoms Men Shouldn't Ignore

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Eating well and exercising are the most important things you can do toreduce your risk of developing cancer. However, they’re not the only answers to cancer prevention. Whether you go for routine check-ups or procrastinate on scheduling your regular doctor appointments, screenings and physicals are a crucial component in detecting the onset of cancer. Should your doctor confirm a cancer diagnosis in its early stages, you’re giving yourself the chance to treat it before it gets out of control.

Changes in Your Testicles

Unlike prostate cancer, which is slower in growing, testicular cancer can develop and spread quickly. It’s important to know the following changes:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Lumps in testicles or groin area

If you notice any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor immediately for a physical exam.

Changes to Your Skin

The earlier cancer is detected, the sooner you can begin treatment -- something that will drastically improve your survival rate. Men should give themselves routine spot checks by using the ABCDE’s of skin cancer.

  • Asymmetry: One side of a mole or birthmark does not match the other side.
  • Border: Irregular or scalloped borders.
  • Color: Colors vary and may have shades of tan, brown and black or sometimes white, red, pink or blue.
  • Diameter: If the spot is larger than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) however, sometimes it can be smaller.
  • Evolving: If the mole or skin lesion is suddenly changing size, shape and/or color.

If you’ve noticed any of the above changes to your skin, contact your doctor for a skin cancer screening immediately.

Heartburn

Heartburn could be the result of indulging in too much alcohol, eating spicy foods, or even stress. However, persistent heartburn should not be ignored. If you’ve tried making changes to your diet and heartburn still persists, it could be signs of stomach or throat cancer. Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible to also rule out Barrett’s esophagus. Having Barrett’s esophagus (which is also caused by heartburn) is a risk factor for throat cancer.

Breast Changes

There are many misconceptions that breast cancer is a disease that only affects women.. This can be a dangerous myth that could lead men to ignore changes in their breasts. Since men have smaller amounts of breast tissue, it’s harder to feel changes. According to the American Cancer Society, men should pay attention to these breast cancer symptoms:

  • A lump or swelling, which is often (but not always) painless
  • Skin dimpling or puckering
  • Nipple retraction (turning inward)
  • Redness or scaling of the nipple or breast skin
  • Discharge from the nipple

Men should also be aware of other symptoms and the cancers they may indicate. If you are experiencing any of the below, have them further investigated by your doctor.

  • Problems urinating - enlarged prostate/ prostate cancer
  • Difficulty swallowing - throat or stomach cancer
  • Chronic cough - lung cancer
  • Persistent fevers - leukemia or other types of blood cancers
  • Chronic fatigue - a common symptom of many kinds of cancer
  • Changes in lymph nodes - lymphoma
  • Blood in stool or urine - bladder, kidney or colon cancer
  • Chronic stomach pain - pancreatic cancer

Parrish Medical Center offers the latest treatments, advances, and services in cancer screening treatment and care. Our comprehensive cancer program is recognized by the Commission on Cancer (COC). For more information about cancer prevention and treatments, contact the Parrish Cancer Center at 321-529-6202. We are happy to answer all your questions and concerns.

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