Men often brush aside health issues like diarrhea or frequent urination as minor problems that don’t warrant a visit to the doctor. On the contrary, any health anomaly, even if it is minor, should never be ignored as it could be an early sign of cancer.
Remember, symptoms of cancer are vague and hence, it is vital for men to stay informed and pay attention to any change in their bodies. This will facilitate early detection and ensure your cancer gets treated in the initial stages, when prognosis is the best.
- Frequent Urination
As men age, they have problems with urination. They may feel the need to pee more frequently, particularly at night, notice leaking or dribbling or have trouble getting the urine flow to start. These symptoms often are a sign of an enlarged prostate, but are also similar to prostate cancer signs and symptoms.
- Changes in the Testicles
A lump, heaviness, or any other change in the testicles means scheduling an immediate visit to the doctor. Testicular cancer progresses slowly, unlike prostate cancer, and keeping a close watch can help you catch this cancer early. If you notice issues with your testicles, visit your physician for a physical examination, blood test, and ultrasound of the testicles to find out the reason behind these changes.
- Changes in the Appearance of a Mole
Skin cancer can develop at any age, and one of the first signs of melanoma or skin cancer is appearance of unusual moles. If you notice any change in your skin, such as a new mole or a mole that is growing or changing color, call your doctor for an appointment.
- Persistent Cough or Hoarseness of Voice
If you are a heavy smoker and have a cough that does not abate, it could be a symptom of lung cancer. On the other hand, hoarseness of voice is a sign of throat cancer. This malignancy affects your voice box or damages the nerves controlling the voice box, resulting in paralysis of the vocal cords. Occurrence of head and neck cancers has been linked to Human Papillomavirus or HPV. So it is vital to get periodically tested for this sexually transmitted disease if you have multiple sex partners.
- Changes in the Lymph Nodes
Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped glands present all over your body, including your neck and armpits. They are part of your immune system and tend to swell up when your body is fighting a cold or sore throat. However, swollen lymph nodes are also a symptom of cancer. So if the swelling doesn’t ease in two to four weeks, it is best to visit your doctor.
Usually, heartburn occurs when you are stressed, overeat, or drink too much alcohol. If these are the reasons, taking an antacid should ease the heartburn. However, if you experience persistent heartburn, consult your doctor. Heartburn is one of the symptoms of stomach and throat cancers.
- Losing Weight for No Reason
If you are not trying to lose weight, but you notice that your clothes are looser than what they should be, it could mean you have a thyroid-related problem or you are under a lot of stress. However, if the weight loss is excessive, 10 pounds or more, it is prudent to consult your physician. Unintended weight loss is one of the symptoms of pancreatic, lungs, and stomach cancers. Your doctor will recommend a CT or PET scan and a few blood tests to find out the reason behind this excessive weight loss.
- Changes in Bowel Habits
Bowel habits are a good indication of your health. So any change in these habits should be taken seriously. Colon cancer can alter the way your poop looks and also cause diarrhea or constipation. Colon cancer has a genetic association. So be vigilant about your bowel habits and report anything out of the ordinary to your doctor if your family has a history of this cancer.
- Unexplained, Protracted Pain
Usually, when you indulge in a rigorous workout or do a physical activity after a long time, you may experience pain in your back, legs, or chest. This pain tends to disappear after a few days. However, if the pain persists for three months or more, you need to schedule an appointment. Malignant tumors can exert pressure on bones, nerves and organs, causing persistent pain.
- Constant Fatigue
It is natural after a tiring day at work, you will feel listless and fatigued. You may not have the energy to play with your kids or join friends at the local watering holes. However, if you are constantly tired even after resting, don’t turn a blind eye to it. Constant fatigue is one of the symptoms of leukemia, and/or cancers of the stomach and colon.