Gentlemen, cancer can affect you. Know that early detection and tips for everyday life can be helpful. Read the following!
A few basic notions about cancer
Cancer is a disease that affects cells in the body. Cells are usually reproduced in a controlled manner. Cancer develops when certain cells begin to multiply erratically. The cell mass that results from it forms benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) tumours which can then spread to neighbouring tissue.
It is estimated that 50% of men in Canada will be affected by cancer in the course of their lifetime. Just over 100,000 new cases of the disease are diagnosed in men each year.
The most common cancers found in men are:
Testicular cancer is the 17th most common cancer affecting men.
The prostate is a gland located under a man’s bladder. It is essential for reproduction, as it contributes to sperm production.
Some factors increase the risk of prostate cancer:
- being of African descent, and
Prostate cancer does not progress quickly and can be successfully treated. Prostate cancer screening using a rectal exam (which involves palpating the prostate) or a blood test (which aims to measure the prostate-specific antigen, or PSA) should be provided to men. This is why you should not hesitate to see your doctor for screening, especially if you are 50 years of age or older.
Colorectal cancer develops in the colon and the rectum, that is, in the end portion of the intestine. It is estimated that 1 out of 13 men will be affected by it in the course of their lifetime. Some factors increase the risk of colorectal cancer, including:
- family and personal history of colorectal cancer
- the presence of intestinal or rectal polyps
- alcohol and red meat consumption
- a low-fibre diet
- sedentariness and unhealthy weight
- the presence of an inflammatory bowel disease
Colorectal cancer can be cured when it is detected early. The most reliable method to detect it quickly is to look for blood in the stool. Today, it is recommended to have this screening done at least every two years for people 50 years of age and older. It is even recommended earlier for people who are more at risk.
Testicular cancer: more common in young men
The testicles are the main reproductive organ in men, producing spermatozoa and testosterone. Although uncommon in the male population as a whole, testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 29. In most cases, it is discovered when a painless mass in the testicle is palpated. Other signs and symptoms of testicular cancer can be vague and mild. Therefore, you should seek prompt medical attention if unusual symptoms are present, especially if they occur frequently or if they have lasted for more than two to four weeks.
Certain factors are associated with an increased risk of testicular cancer:
- cryptorchidism (undescended testes in the scrotum)
- personal and family history of testicular cancer
- tall stature in adulthood
Focus on prevention
When it comes to cancer, prevention is key. A healthy lifestyle will help reduce the risk of cancer while having a positive effect on your overall health. Moreover, it’s important to see your doctor regularly even if you think you’re in good health. Your doctor can tell you what screening tests are available and appropriate for your situation. If you have unusual signs or symptoms, see your doctor promptly. Health issues are generally easier to treat when they are detected early, and cancer is no exception. The consequences of a cancer diagnosis are infinitely greater than the effort put in to prevent it!
Don’t hesitate to speak to your pharmacist for additional information or advice on how to stay healthy.