(RxWiki News) Cancer can affect anyone, and that includes men. Below, we discuss seven cancer symptoms that men may overlook.
1) Unexplained weight change. If you lose more than 10 pounds without a change in exercise or diet, this could be a sign of a serious condition. Unexplained weight loss may be a symptom of certain types of cancer, but it can also be a symptom of certain digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome. If you lose more than 10 pounds without trying, speak with your doctor.
2) Feeling very tired all of the time. If you feel very tired no matter the amount of rest you get, this may be a sign of leukemia or other types of cancer.
3) Changes in the skin. Along with checking your body for lumps, it is important to keep an eye out for any changes on your skin. Certain skin abnormalities, including color changes, sores that don’t heal, excessive itchiness and unusual hair growth, can all be signs of a health problem like skin cancer. Furthermore, if you notice any of your moles or freckles change color, size or shape, or if they lose their sharp border, speak with your doctor right away. You can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer by taking steps to prevent skin damage, such as covering exposed skin and reporting abnormalities to your doctor.
4) Changes in restroom habits. If you start noticing that you have to urinate more or less often than usual or experience pain when urinating, this could be related to certain types of cancer, such as bladder or prostate cancer. Other signs to look out for are blood in your urine or stool. Furthermore, if you have constipation or diarrhea that won’t go away, speak with your doctor. This could be a sign of colon cancer. It is best to report any changes in your bowel or bladder function to your doctor.
5) Unusual bleeding. Speak with your doctor if you notice any of the following:
- Coughing up blood, which may be a sign of lung cancer
- Blood in the stool, which can be a sign of colon or rectal cancer
- Blood in your urine, which can be a sign of of bladder or kidney cancer
6) A lump in the breast or other part of the body, such as the testicles. Although breast cancer is more common in women, men can get breast cancer, too. If you notice any of the following, be sure to speak with your doctor:
- A lump or swelling in the breast
- Skin dimpling
- Nipple turned inward
- Redness or scaling of the nipple or breast skin
- Discharge from the nipple
Symptoms to look out for regarding the testicles include the following:
- A lump
- Testicles feeling swollen or extra heavy
7) Pain that does not go away. Whether you have back pain or headaches, it is important to tell your doctor if the pain persists. Pain can be a sign of several different problems, so do not wait to get it checked out.
Having one or more of the above symptoms does not necessarily mean you have cancer. And some of these symptoms are general and therefore, may be related to another condition. However, if these symptoms are constant and do not go away, it's extremely important to have them checked out. Also keep in mind that this list does not cover all of the possible cancer symptoms.
Written by Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS