4 Cancer Screening Tests for Men
By Stacy Simon
American Cancer Society
Celebrate the fathers in your life this June by encouraging them to protect their health by getting up to date on cancer screening tests. Screening tests look for cancer before a person has any signs or symptoms.
Regular screenings can catch some cancers early, when they’re small, have not spread, and are easier to treat.
With colon cancer, some screening tests can even help prevent cancer from developing in the first place.
Men should start screening at age 50, or earlier if they have a family history of colon or rectal cancer or colon problems that raise their risk.
Some screening tests can find growths called polyps, which can then be removed before they turn into cancer. All of the tests used can help find colon and rectal cancer earlier, when treatments are more likely to be successful.
There are several different tests that screen for colon and rectal cancer, including some you can take at home. Talk to your doctor about when you should start and which tests might be right for you.
Starting at age 50, men should talk to their doctor about the pros and cons of prostate cancer testing, and then decide if they want to be tested.
Men at high risk (African American men and those with a family history of the disease) should have this talk at age 40 or 45.
Men ages 55 to 74 who are or were heavy smokers should talk to a doctor about whether a low-dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer is right for them.
People who have never smoked or who quit long ago can and do get lung cancer, but for them the risks of screening usually outweigh the benefits.
Screening does not make it OK to keep using tobacco. If you or the men in your life smoke, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 for help quitting.
Men should be aware of all moles and spots on their skin, and report any changes to a doctor right away. A skin exam should be part of regular health check-ups.
For information on how to reduce your cancer risk and other questions about cancer, please visitwww.cancer.org or call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345.