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Cancer and Men

Photo of a father and his adult son

Every year, more than 300,000 men in the United States lose their lives to cancer. You can lower your cancer risk in several ways.

What You Can Do

  • Don’t smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke. More men in the United States die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer, and cigarette smoking causes most cases.
  • If you’re 50 or older, get screened for colorectal cancer. Screening tests can help prevent colorectal cancer or find it early, when treatment works best.
  • Protect your skin from the sun. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Most cases of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun and tanning devices, but fewer than 15% of men use sunscreen regularly when outside for more than an hour. When you’re outside, follow our easy sun safety tips for men.
  • Stay active and keep a healthy weight. Adopting a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity can help lower your risk for several kinds of cancer.

Fast Facts About Cancer and Men

  • The most common kinds of cancer among men in the U.S. are skin cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer.
  • Most prostate cancers grow slowly, and don’t cause any health problems in men who have them. Treatment can cause serious side effects. Talk to your doctor before you decide to get tested or treated for prostate cancer.
  • A human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is recommended routinely for boys at 11 or 12 years of age to prevent anal cancer and genital warts. The vaccine also is recommended for all teenage boys and men through age 21, any man who has sex with men through age 26, and men with compromised immune systems (including HIV) through age 26, if they did not receive all three doses of the vaccine when they were younger.

Featured Resources

Screening for Prostate Cancer: A Decision for You and Your Doctor

Screening for Prostate Cancer [PDF-1MB] provides an overview of screening tests and treatment options.

Lung cancer quiz

Test your knowledge about lung cancer with this simple quiz!

Photo of Doctor Travis Kidner

“There I was at age 36 with two small children and a potentially deadly cancer,” says skin cancer surgeon and survivor Dr. Travis Kidner.

Colorectal Cancer Screening Saves Lives brochure

Our Colorectal Cancer Screening Saves Lives booklet [PDF-2.6MB] provides detailed screening information.

HPV and Men fact sheet

This fact sheet explains the health problems HPV can cause in men, especially cancer.

Photo of Terrence Howard

“Hopefully, my heartbreak is your wake-up call,” says Terrence Howard in this video about losing his mother to colon cancer.

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