Top Ten Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
The bad news is men are much more reluctant than women to front up and seek help when they sense bodily discomfort or early warning signs.
And ignoring those early warning signs can mean the difference between life and death when it comes to detecting and treating cancer.
Whether it is changes in your normal digestion, an undetected rise in PSA levels in the blood, or undiagnosed pain, it’s important to check out anything unusual and get regular checkups.
The Most Common Warning Signs Nos 1 – 5:
Cancer Symptom in Men No. 1: Urinary Problems
The most common cancer in men is prostate cancer, while cancer of the bladder is the fourth most common.
Prostate cancer frequently does not produce any symptoms until the condition is quite advanced. Often it is diagnosed incidentally after treatment is sought for problems with urinary function.
Common symptoms include:
- Decreased force of the urine stream
- Pain and/or difficulty when passing urine.
- Passing urine more frequently (especially at night).
- Blood in the urine.
- Inability to pass urine (this can occur as the cancer enlarges, blocking the urethra).
Bladder cancer also causes urinary problems, namely:
- Pain during urination
- Frequent urination
- Feeling the need to urinate without results.
If you have some of these symptoms, there is no need to panic, as many of them are similar to those of benign (non-cancerous) prostate conditions.
You do need to get yourself checked out though, to ensure your PSA levels are not too high, or that there is no other more serious underlying problem.
Cancer Symptom in Men No. 2: Pain
As they age, people often complain of more aches and pains. But pain, as vague as it may be, can be an early symptom of some cancers, although most pain complaints are not from cancer.
Any pain that persists, according to the American Cancer Society, should be checked out by your physician. The doctor can take a careful history, get more details, and then decide whether further testing is necessary, and if so what kind.
If it’s not cancer, you will still benefit from the visit. That’s because the doctor can work with you to find out what’s causing the pain and help you know what to do about it.
Cancer Symptom in Men No. 3: Changes in the Lymph Nodes
Several cancers, including the fifth most common in men, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, can be diagnosed by changes in lymph nodes.
If you notice a lump or swelling in the lymph nodes under your armpit or in your neck — or anywhere else — it could be a reason for concern.
Your doctor will examine you and figure out any associated issues that could explain the lymph node enlargement, such as infection. If there is no infection, a doctor will typically order a biopsy.
Cancer Symptom in Men No. 4: Fever or Fatigue
Several common cancers, including kidney cancer (seventh most common in men) and non Hodgkins lymphoma can be picked up by general signs like fever, sweats, and vague feelings of fatigue.
Both fatigue and fever occur after the cancer has spread from its original site and invaded another part of the body.
Both can also occur with leukemia, or with some colon or stomach cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.
It’s best not to ignore extreme tiredness or a fever that can’t be explained. Check with your doctor to find out what might be causing it and if anything needs to be done.
Cancer Symptom in Men No. 5: Unexplained Weight Loss
We’re not talking about a few pounds lost from a stepped up exercise program or to eating less because of a busy schedule. If a man loses more than 10% of his body weight in a short time period such as a matter of weeks, it’s time to see the doctor.
Like fever and fatigue, it’s another vague symptom that can indicate all is not well. The sooner the source of the loss is identified, the better.