If it’s consistently difficult to urinate, or there’s blood in your urine or semen, or if you experience unexplained erectile dysfunction, see your doctor; these could be symptoms of prostate cancer. “Unfortunately, there aren’t noticeable symptoms of prostate cancer until the aggressive stages,” says gastroenterologist Dr Moshe Shike. Dr Shike says he frequently sees patients who ignore these symptoms for up to six months before they seek help, but the sooner you check out your symptoms, the better.
Just as women should be familiar with how their breasts look and feel, men should pay attention to their testicles. If you notice changes in size (to one or both), if they feel swollen or extra heavy, or if you feel a lump, these symptoms could indicate testicular cancer, says Dr Maurie Markman, an oncologist. Testicular cancer is most common in young and middle-aged men.
Noticeable skin changes
Men over 50 are more likely to die from skin cancer than women in the same age group; young men have a higher probability of developing deadly melanoma (the most serious skin cancer) than any other cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. It’s easy to miss the early warning signs of cancer in men, says Dr Richard Wender, a cancer specialist. “Many people think freckles, moles, or a darker age spot is just like the others they’ve had,” he explains. If you notice a mole getting darker, larger, or becoming raised, get it checked. With melanoma, spots are often irregularly shaped (not round), significantly darker in colour, or even two distinctly different colours within one spot, he says. “Melanoma is far less common than other skin cancers, but has the potential to be more deadly,” says Dr Wender. “However, many melanomas have a long period where they’re not invasive and easy to cure, as long as they’re caught early.”