Did you know that more than 100,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year? According to the National Cancer Institute, this form of cancer was expected to account for approximately 10 percent of all new cancer diagnoses in 2017. The good news is that yearly incidents of this cancer have dropped significantly since 1990, and more than 95 percent of men diagnosed will live for at least five years with proper treatment. Men are also at high risk of developing penile, testicular, bladder, breast and lung cancer.
If you’re a man or you have a man in your life whom you love, you can put the odds of survival in your favor by familiarizing yourself with the work of Dr. David Samadi. He is the pioneer behind the Samadi Challenge, which encourages women to have men they love checked for testosterone levels and prostate specific antigen. These simple tests are lifesaving for men at risk of prostate cancer, which is all men as they age. You may also have heard about Dr. Samadi through the Huffington Post, the New York Observer or other media outlets currently raving about his research and expertise.
In December 2017, Dr. David Samadi released information regarding common signs of cancer that should grab the attention of every man. Knowing the potential symptoms is the first step to fighting prostate and all other forms of cancer, so let’s take a quick look at the most important signs of cancer development.
- Abnormal or changing urination patterns. This may include more frequent trips to the bathroom during the night, a less aggressive flow of urine or painful urination. This is the most prominent sign of prostate cancer.
- Gastrointestinal distress or changing patterns. If you suddenly need laxatives to produce a stool or your bowel movements are looser and thinner for a long period of time, cancer is a possibility. Some men with cancer also experience uncomfortable bloating, chronic gas, bloody stools and/or pain in the stomach. There are many other medical conditions that may cause these changes, but testing is needed to reach an accurate diagnosis.
- Unexplained weight loss. While you may welcome any weight loss that you can get, you should pay attention if it starts to happen without effort. A few pounds here and there may not raise alarms, but 10 pounds or more within a single month should get your attention.
- Swelling, pain or newly formed lumps in the scrotum or breast tissue. This is similar to women checking their breasts for lumps, and the growths aren’t necessarily painful or large. Any changes in the testicles warrant a visit to your primary care physician for analysis. Men can also develop cancer in the breast tissue, so checking for lumps there is important as well.
- Heaviness and/or pain in the pelvic region. Some men may experience discomfort in this area due to overexertion during exercise or other medical issues, but the symptoms tend to disappear rather quickly. If you experience pain or a heavy sensation that gets worse with time or just doesn’t go away, it’s time to see the doctor.
- Sores, lumps or growths on the penis. These spots may or may not come with pain. Most men who keep their penis clean and dry never experience sores or bumps, so these changes are always cause for immediate examination.
- Sudden or chronic fatigue. Men who are naturally energetic and active may suddenly struggle to stay alert through the day. If you notice that your energy levels are on the decline or you don’t feel refreshed no matter how many hours of sleep you get in, checking with your doctor for a cancer screening is important. Even if you don’t have cancer, your doctor can help you implement a strategy for improving your energy levels.
- Excessive sweating. Women going through menopause aren’t the only ones susceptible to hot flashes. If you wake up overheated and need to change your clothing due to moisture, a cancer check is in order. You may also notice that you’re running a fever during the day without other signs of infection.
- Unexplained breathing problems. From struggling to catch your breath to wheezing your way through an exercise session, any abnormal breathing problems are a potential sign of lung cancer. You’re more at risk for this form of cancer if you smoke, but many men are diagnosed with this cancer each year even without a smoking habit.
- White or red patches on the lips or inside the mouth. This is a common problem for men who develop cancer in the mouth, which is often caused by chewing tobacco and/or cigarettes. There are nearly 50,000 cases of oral cancer diagnosed most years, and more than half of those diagnoses are in men.
Did you notice that many of these signs of cancer are less than alarming? It’s easy to assume that you will know if cancer is growing inside your body, but most cancers start out silent or with one symptom that is easy to dismiss. That’s why it’s so important for men to take action whenever they notice a new development within or on their body. From a drop in your immune system that seems to leave you ill all the time to a sore that just won’t heal, that one little change could serve as your only warning.
Tips for Protecting Against Prostate Cancer
While doctors like Dr. David Samadi are now saving lives through surgical intervention, you shouldn’t wait until you receive a diagnosis to start fighting prostate or other forms of cancer. There is no way to ensure that you won’t develop cancer, but you can reduce your chances by nourishing your body with a diet low in fat and rich in vegetables, fruits, fish and plant-sourced protein. Exercising most days of the week and maintaining a healthy body weight may also help you prevent prostate cancer.
If you or someone you love has any of the cancer symptoms identified by Dr. David Samadi, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible. With proper screening, you can rule out or discover the cancer with adequate time remaining to mount a strong defense. The earlier cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat successfully.
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