15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
Men, heed these possible clues and find cancer early, when it's more treatable.
Cancer Symptom in Men No. 11: Changes in the Skin
You should be alert to not only changes in moles -- a well-known sign of potential skin cancer -- but also changes in skin pigmentation, says Mary Daly, MD. Daly is an oncologist and head of the department of clinical genetics at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
Daly also says that suddenly developing bleeding on your skin or excessive scaling are reasons to check with your doctor. It's difficult to say how long is too long to observe skin changes, but most experts say not to wait longer than several weeks.
To find out what’s causing the skin changes, your doctor should take a careful history and perform a careful physical exam. The doctor may also order a biopsy to rule out cancer.
Cancer Symptom in Men No. 12: Blood Where It Shouldn't Be
“Anytime you see blood coming from a body part where you've never seen it before, see a doctor,” Lichtenfeld says. "If you start coughing up blood, spitting up blood, have blood in the bowel or in the urine, it’s time for a doctor visit.”
Mishori says it’s a mistake to assume blood in the stool is simply from a hemorrhoid. "It could be colon cancer," he says.
Your doctor should ask you questions about your symptoms. The doctor may also order tests such as a colonoscopy. This is an examination of the colon using a long flexible tube with a camera on one end. The purpose of a colonoscopy is to identify any signs of cancer or precancer or identify any other causes of the bleeding.
Cancer Symptom in Men No. 13: Mouth Changes
If you smoke or chew tobacco, you need to be especially alert for any white patches inside your mouth or white spots on your tongue. Those changes may indicate leukoplakia, a pre-cancerous area that can occur with ongoing irritation. This condition can progress to oral cancer.
You should report the changes to your doctor or dentist. The dentist or doctor should take a careful history, examine the changes, and then decide what other tests might be needed.