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On Guard: 10 Early Symptoms of Cancer in Men

  • Take action on cancer symptoms

    Take action on cancer symptoms

    Cancer is among the most common causes of death in adult
    males. While a healthy diet can decrease the risk of developing certain cancer,
    other factors like genes can play a larger role.

    Once cancer spreads, it can be difficult to treat.
    Knowing early symptoms can help you seek early treatment to better your chances
    of remission. Consider 10 of the most common cancer symptoms in men and discuss
    your concerns with your doctor right away.

  • Bowel changes

    Bowel changes

    The occasional bowel problem is normal, but changes
    in your bowels may indicate either colon or rectal cancer. These are collectively
    called colorectal cancers. Colon cancer can develop in any part of the colon,
    while rectal cancer affects the rectum, which connects the colon to the anus.

    Frequent diarrhea and constipation may be symptoms
    of cancer, particularly if these bowel changes come on suddenly. These problems
    also may occur with frequent gas and abdominal pain.

    A change in the caliber or size of your bowel
    movement may also be a symptom of cancer. 

  • Rectal bleeding

    Rectal bleeding

    Rectal bleeding may be an early sign of rectal
    cancer. This is especially concerning if the bleeding persists or if you are
    found to have iron deficiency anemia due to blood loss. You may also notice
    blood in your stools.

    Although there are other more common causes of rectal
    bleeding like hemorrhoids, you shouldn’t try to diagnose yourself if you’re
    having these symptoms. Talk to your doctor about your concerns. You should get
    regular colon cancer screenings starting at age 50.

  • Urinary changes

    Urinary changes

    Incontinence and other urinary changes may develop
    as you age. However, certain symptoms may
    indicate prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is most common in men ages 60 and

    Common urinary symptoms include:

    • urinary leaks
    • incontinence
    • an inability to urinate despite urges to go
    • delayed urination
    • straining during urination


  • Blood in your urine

    Blood in your urine

    If you have blood in your urine, you shouldn’t
    ignore it. A common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine. This type
    of cancer is more
    common in current and former smokers than in people who’ve
    never smoked. Prostatitis, prostate cancer, and urinary tract infections can
    also cause blood in the urine.

    Early prostate cancer can cause blood in the semen.

  • Persistent back pain

    Persistent back pain

    Back pain is the most common cause of disability,
    but few men realize that it may be a symptom of cancer. Symptoms of cancer may
    not show until it has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones of
    the spine.

    Unlike occasional muscle pain, cancer of the bone causes
    tenderness and discomfort in the bones. Prostate cancer is especially prone to
    spread to the bones and may cause these symptoms within the hip bones and lower

  • Unusual coughing

    Unusual coughing

    Coughing isn’t exclusive to smokers, or to people
    with a cold or allergies. A persistent cough is an early sign of lung cancer.
    If you don’t have any other related symptoms, such as a stuffy nose or fever,
    the cough probably isn’t related to a virus or infection.

    Coughing accompanied with bloody mucus is also associated
    with lung cancer in men.

  • Testicular lumps

    Testicular lumps

    Testicular cancers in men are less common than
    cancers of the prostate, lungs, and colon. Still, you shouldn’t ignore early
    symptoms. Lumps in the testicles are symptoms of testicular cancer.

    Doctors look for these lumps during wellness checks. For
    earliest detection, you should check for lumps once per month.

  • Excessive fatigue

    Excessive fatigue

    Fatigue can be related to a number of chronic
    illnesses and medical disorders. Excessive fatigue is your body’s way of
    telling you that something just isn’t right. As cancer cells grow and
    reproduce, your body may start to feel run down.

    Fatigue is a common symptom of colorectal cancers in
    men. See your doctor if you have excessive tiredness that doesn’t go away after
    a good night’s sleep.

  • Unexplained weight loss

    Unexplained weight loss

    It becomes more difficult to maintain your weight as
    you age, so you might consider weight loss as a positive thing. But, sudden and
    unexplained weight loss can indicate a serious health problem, including almost
    any type of cancer.

    If you rapidly lose weight without changing your
    diet or how much you exercise, discuss this with your doctor.

  • Lumps in the breast

    Lumps in the breast

    Breast cancer isn’t exclusive to women. Men also
    need to be on guard and check for suspicious lumps in the breast area. This is
    the earliest detectable symptom of male breast cancer. Call your doctor
    immediately for testing if you notice a lump.

    Genes can play a role in male breast cancer, but it
    may also occur due to exposure to radiation or high estrogen levels. Breast lumps
    are most commonly found in men in their 60s.

  • Take charge

    Take charge

    Many cancers are difficult to detect in the earliest
    stages, but some may cause noticeable differences. Knowing the most common
    cancer symptoms is vital to obtaining a prompt diagnosis. Still, the exact
    signs and symptoms of cancer can vary. As a rule of thumb, you should always
    see your doctor if you suspect something isn’t right.

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  • Can testicular cancer be found early? (2015, January 20).
    Retrieved from
  • General information about male breast cancer. (n.d.).
    Retrieved from
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016, February 23). Colon cancer.
    Retrieved from
  • Smoking and bladder cancer. (2011, August 29). Retrieved

man with back pain

5 Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is one of the top ten most common cancers, and it is most often discovered in men over fifty, according to the American Cancer Society.

What to look for »

kidney illustration

Are There Early Signs of Kidney Cancer?

Because the kidneys are so deep inside the body, it’s harder to find kidney cancer just by looking or feeling for growths. Though tests can screen for breast and colorectal cancers, there is no screening test for kidney cancer in people who aren’t at high risk for the disease.

Learn about possible signs »

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Posted by: Dr.Health

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