Cancer and Men
“Hopefully, my heartbreak is your wake-up call,” says Terrence Howard in this video about losing his mother to colon cancer.
“Both my father and grandfather died of colon cancer—that’s what motivates me to get screened,” says David.
“My father did not get screened. It actually wasn’t until he had some symptoms that he went to the doctor and they found the cancer. Unfortunately, at that point it had already spread.
“I started getting screened right around when I turned 50, and I’ve had them regularly ever since,” he says. “The preparation is unpleasant, but the procedure itself is nothing.
“If they can catch [cancer] early, before it becomes a problem, why not get screened?”
Tips for Lowering Your Chance of Getting Cancer
You can do several things to lower the chances that you’ll get cancer. Some of the most important are—
- Staying away from tobacco. If you smoke, try to quit,external icon and stay away from other people’s smoke.
- Staying up-to-date on screening tests for colorectal and lung cancer.
- Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Protecting your skin from the sun.
- Getting to and keeping a healthy weight, and staying physically active.
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 doses of the vaccine when they were younger.
“Understanding your cultural background can help you prevent cancer,” writes Demetrius Parker in this blog post.