June is Men’s Health Awareness Month

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June is Men’s Health Awareness Month

June is a month designated to raise awareness about cancers affecting men and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

The cancers that most frequently affect men are:

Knowing about these cancers and how they can be prevented or found early can save your life.

Prostate Cancer

The chance of getting prostate cancer goes up as a man gets older. Most prostate cancers are found in men over the age of 65. For reasons that are still unknown, African American men are more likely than white men to develop prostate cancer. Having one or more close relatives with prostate cancer also increases a man’s risk of having prostate cancer.

What you can do: Screening and Prevention

The American Cancer Society recommends that men make an informed decision with their doctor about whether to be tested for prostate cancer. Starting at age 50 talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of testing so you can decide if getting tested is the right choice for you. If you are African American or have a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65, you should have this talk with your doctor starting at age 45. If you decide to be tested, you should have the PSA blood test (it measures the blood level of PSA, a protein that is produced by the prostate gland) with or without a rectal exam. How often you are tested will depend on your PSA level.

Lung Cancer

Smoking is the cause for more than 80% of all lung cancers, but people who do not smoke can also have lung cancer.

What you can do: Screening and Prevention

Lung cancer is one of the few cancers that can often be prevented simply by not smoking. If you are a smoker, ask your doctor or nurse to help you quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start, and avoid breathing in other people’s smoke. If your friends and loved ones are smokers, help them quit.

Skin Cancer

Anyone who spends time in the sun can have skin cancer. People with fair skin, especially those with blond or red hair, are more likely to get skin cancer than people with darker coloring. People who have had a close family member with melanoma and those who had severe sunburns before the age of 18 are more likely to get skin cancer.

What you can do: Screening and Prevention

Most skin cancers can be prevented by avoiding the midday sun, between 1pm and 3 pm. Be aware of all moles and spots on your skin, and report any changes to your doctor right away. Have a skin exam during your regular health check-ups. When in the sun, wear hats with wide brims, long-sleeved shirts, sunglasses, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Colon Cancer

Any adult can have colorectal cancers (cancers of the colon and rectum), but most of these cancers are found in people age 50 or older. People with a personal or family history of this cancer, or who have polyps in their colon or rectum, or those with inflammatory bowel disease are more likely to have colon cancer. Also, eating a diet mostly of high fat foods (especially from animal sources), being overweight, smoking and being inactive can make a person more likely to have colon cancer.

What you can do: Screening and Prevention

Colon cancer almost always starts with a polyp. Testing can save lives by finding polyps before they become cancer. If pre-cancerous polyps are removed, colon cancer can be prevented. Eating a low-fat diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables may also make you less likely to have this cancer

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