The 10 red flag signs of cancer in men… from lumps to peeing in the night – The Sun
MEN die on average six years younger than women – often for reasons that could be prevented.
Cancer is one of them… but the earlier you catch it, the better your chances of living through it.
But in order to catch it early, it's vital you know the signs to watch out for.
There are some cancers that only affect blokes, testicular and prostate are the obvious ones, but penile cancer is a thing too.
And there are others that are more common in men – like bowel and lung cancer.
Father and Son Day founders Daniel Marks and Jack Dyson both survived testicular cancer through early diagnosis.
Now, they are calling on guys to open up about their health after helping their dad's through their own cancer battle.
Instead of ignoring them, the friends want you to know the early warning signs to look out for…
1. Pee problems
Dribbling, leaking, a desperate urge or waking up busting in the night.
Pain when you pee and struggling to pee even when you want to. All should ring alarm bells.
It will likely be something harmless, but men should see their GPs if they noticed any changes along these lines.
An enlarged prostate could be the cause – and that can mean prostate cancer.
Other signs of the disease, which kills more than 10,000 Brits a year, include lower back pain, pain in the rectum, hips or pelvis.
2. A lump on your balls
It's fact of life, blokes play with (rearrange) their balls.
So next time you've got your hands down there, just take a moment to check them.
If you notice a lump, heaviness or thickness it could be a warning sign of testicular cancer.
It's a cancer that is more common in younger blokes, so don't think you're immune just because of your age – this isn't an old man's disease.
How to check your balls for signs of testicular cancer – in 3 simple steps
A terrifying 68 per cent of men don't know how to check themselves for signs of testicular cancer.
That's really worrying, given that testicular cancer is the most common cancer among young men aged 15-49 in the UK.
Although most men survive the disease, one in 20 die of it – and usually, that's because they don't do anything about it in time.
It's critically important to perform regular self-checks, as early diagnosis can prove life-saving.
Here are three simple steps for checking your balls…
Step 1 – Get steamy
This might not be as exciting as it first seems, but stick with it.
A hot shower is the best place to get in the know, when it comes to your balls.
The warm temperatures will get your nuts in the mood for the next step.
Step 2 – Get handsy
Well, to be accurate, get your fingers on your balls.
The best way to have a good feel about is to gently roll your testicle between your thumb and fingers.
You'll get a sense of how they feel, their size and shape.
By repeating this every week or so, you'll get a good picture of what's normal means for your nuts.
Step 3 – Go again
Easiest step so far, repeat part two just on your second, as yet un-touched testicle.
3. Blood in your poo or pee
Another toilet related one – but blood in your number ones or twos is a reason to book an appointment with your GP.
Blood in your poo is one of the red-flag warning signs of bowel cancer – the second deadliest cancer in the UK.
That combined with a change in your toilet habits – going more often than normal, suffering more constipation, and anything else out of the ordinary for you, should kick you in gear to get checked out.
If you spot blood in your pee, it could be a sign of bladder or kidney cancer.
Chances are it's something far less sinister like haemorrhoids or a UTI, but it's not worth running the risk – get checked.
4. Changes to your manhood
Sounds odd, but stick with us.
If you notice any changes to the skin on your penis, it's worth taking note.
It could be a red patch, a velvety rash under the foreskin, a change in colour or a patch of thicker skin.
They tend to be the first warning signs of penile cancer – yep, that's cancer specifically of the penis.
Other signs include lumps, crusty bumps, an ulcer or sore and smelly discharge.
Penis cancer is deadly, and can end up in amputation – so when we say it's not worth the risk, it really isn't. Get any changes checked out asap.
SHARE YOUR STORIES OF THE INSPIRING MEN IN YOUR LIFE
FATHER & Son Day was set up in 2014 by Daniel Marks and Jack Dyson, to open up the conversation around men’s heath.
This Sunday is the fifth anniversary of the campaign which asks all men to share stories and photos of the inspirational men in their lives on social media using the hashtag #inspiringmen and tagging @FatherandSonDay.
The charity also raises money for The Royal Marsden hospital.
You can donate £5 by texting MARSDEN to 70800.
The money raised helps fund a unique programme which trains multidisciplinary robotic surgeons of the future.
Specialists working across gynaecological, urological and colorectal units are trained to use the da Vinci robots in surgery.
To date, the money raised has funded three surgeons to complete their training.
The next step is to raise money to fund specialist counsellors to help younger cancer patients during their treatment and recovery.
To find out more visit The Royal Marsden website here.
5. Breast be aware
Men can get breast cancer too, it's not just a disease that affects women.
It's rare, yes, but that doesn't mean it's not worth squatting up on.
Like with women, a lump is a key warning sign in men with breast cancer, the NHS states.
But it's important to watch for inverted nipples, fluid oozing from the nipple, a sore or rash around the nipple, hard, red skin, swellings or lumps in the armpit.
If you spot any of the signs, don't let embarrassment put you off, go see your GP – and know they have seen it all! No judgement there.
6. Cough, cough
Most coughs disappear after three or four weeks.
But if yours doesn't and if you're short of breath and coughing up phlegm with signs of blood, it could be a sign of lung cancer.
Chances are, if you're a non-smoker especially, it won't be anything to worry about.
But 43,500 Brits are diagnosed with lung cancer every year, so it's best to check and be on the safe side.
We've all been there after a big meal, a searing pain in our chest.
It's not a heart attack, but heartburn or indigestion.
But if you notice it doesn't go away and you're regularly suffering bouts of painful heartburn it's important to get checked out.
It can be a sign of stomach or throat cancer.
8. Weight loss
It's always nice to notice the pounds dropping off, but be warned – drop too fast and there could be something nasty going on.
The key here is "unexplained" weight loss – a disappearing beer belly for seemingly no reason.
If you haven't been trying to trim down but have, that's when the alarm bells should start to ring.
Losing more than 10lbs without trying could be one of the first signs of cancers of the pancreas, stomach, oesophagus, or lungs.
Cancer Research UK states: "If you normally weigh 10 stone and lose half a stone in a month, or a stone in six months, that would need investigating."
9. Tired all the time
Who isn't tired all the time? It's life!
Well, there's a difference between being a bit sleep deprived and having a complete lack of energy.
Extreme tiredness can be a sign of things like chronic fatigue syndrome or ME, but fatigue can also be a sign of cancer.
Often described as feeling "tired to your bones", if you notice it's affecting your daily life, go see your doctor.
"Fatigue for people with cancer might not go away even when you rest," according to CRUK.
10. Mole changes
We all know moles can be a sign of skin cancer, but lots of us have no clue of the changes to watch out for.
You need to be on the lookout for any new moles or any changes in the size, shape or colour of existing ones.
If they become crusty, bloody or seem to ooze any liquid, they also need to be checked out.
What should you do?
If you spot any of these signs or changes, first things first… don't panic.
In many cases there will be another, much less scary explanation.
But, don't delay either. If you notice a change or are worried about something book in to see your GP, it's much better to be safe than sorry.
And having the balls to make that call really could save your life.
- You can support Father & Son Day by donating to their JustGiving page – every penny goes to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity
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