During the month of Movember, the focus on prostate and testicular cancer is well placed. One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, making it the second most diagnosed form of cancer, behind only skin cancer. Testicular cancer is rare but it usually strikes men between the ages of 15 and 35, where men often think they are immune to health problems.
Who am I kidding? We men at any age have a sense of invincibility when it comes to our health. While that might be an admirable trait in your touch-football league, it is not when it comes to cancer.
Here are a few things you should be on watching for this month to help you detect cancer early so you can remain “invincible.”
Most men probably have a few pounds they would like to lose, but losing too much weight too quickly can be a sign of bigger trouble. WebMD recommends checking in with your doctor if you have an unexpected weight loss of more than 10 percent of your body weight within a three-month period.
If your stomach ache comes after a big meal, then you are probably in the clear. If, however, that ache doesn’t go away or cannot be explained easily, it could be an early indicator of pancreatic or liver cancer.
3. Breast mass
Men can, and do, get breast cancer. Some things you should be watching for are similar to the things women should be watching for, like unexplained lumps, nipple retraction and nipple discharges.
Combine a chronic cough with shortness of breath or repeated bouts with bronchitis, and you could be showing the signs of lung cancer.
If you find yourself having trouble getting a good night’s sleep because you keep getting up to go to the bathroom, make sure you are finding your phone in the morning to call in for an appointment with your doctor. This can be an early indicator of prostate cancer.
6. Lumps on your testicles
Lumps are bad. They don’t always hurt, so it isn’t obvious when they start growing — meaning a self-examination is needed to find them. Testicular cancer is a tough one to detect, but if you catch it early, it is also one of the most curable cancers.
If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, start taking notes about the symptoms you are experiencing. That way, when you are talking with your doctor, you are giving them a complete picture of what you are experiencing so they can help get you back on track to invincibility as soon as possible.
Photo credit: Movember