February 4th is World Cancer Day (link: http://www.worldcancerday.org/). This day is about making the most of preventing cancer, being knowledgeable about the disease, and taking action in the fight to prevent it. Every year, over 8 million people die from cancer.
When it comes to men’s cancer such as prostate and testicular cancer, there are things you can do to help prevent the disease. Your urologist can help you decide if you need to be screened, what your risk is, and your treatment options.
What should your urologist check when it comes to men’s cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States. Every year, over 200,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. This illness doesn’t just affect older men—it can affect any age group and is common for men in their 30s throughout their 60s and 70s. Prostate cancer can either be slow-growing or aggressive, depending on your type and diagnosis. This is why it’s crucial to get diagnosed early.
Your urologist can screen you for prostate cancer. Screening is simple and can involve a protein-specific antigen (PSA) blood test as well as a digital rectal exam (DRE). If you have a family history of prostate cancer, you may consider getting screened every year depending on your risk. While most prostate cancer is slow to grow and may not even need treatment, it’s important to know the symptoms and visit your urologist for checkups and screenings as necessary.
Symptoms of prostate cancer include trouble urinating, weak urine stream, erectile dysfunction, pain in your back or hips, and even blood in your urine. Some of these symptoms mimic other lower urinary tract problems, so it’s important to get checked out by your urologist to determine the cause of your symptoms.
Bladder and Kidneys
Bladder cancer is another common cancer that’s more common among men than it is among women. The symptoms are similar to a urinary tract infection (UTI), so you’ll need to get checked by your urologist to determine if you have a UTI or if you could be experiencing symptoms of bladder cancer. You may not even have any symptoms; this is what makes regular checkups so important. Your urologist can ensure your bladder is healthy during your checkup. You may need a CT scan to ensure your kidneys and bladder are healthy.
Kidney cancer is much more common in men than in women as well. Symptoms include blood in your urine, weight loss, fatigue, anemia, and pain along your side. A urine and blood test or CT scan can show if you have kidney cancer. Your urologist can talk with you about your symptoms and examine your bladder and kidneys during your checkup.
Although testicular cancer is not as common as bladder or prostate cancer in men, this cancer is most common in younger men. Luckily, this type of cancer generally responds very well to treatment if detected early, even if the cancer has spread. Your doctor can perform a physical exam during your visit to ensure no lumps or tumors are present, and may encourage you to do self-exams as well.
Symptoms of testicular cancer include a lump in one or both of your testicles, pain in your abdomen or testes, and breast tenderness. While cancer is common in only one testicle, both may be affected. Getting checkups with your urologist can ensure that your testes are healthy, and you can also learn how to help prevent testicular cancer by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
This World Cancer Day, schedule a visit with your urologist to get screened or talk with your urologist about the most common cancers in men, including prostate and bladder cancer. Remember that testicular cancer affects younger men, and nearly 1 in 10 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Take time for your health and be aware of the symptoms of these cancers in men, and talk with your urologist about how to prevent them!