Cancers are diseases in which some body cells undergo uncontrolled growth, invasion of surrounding tissues, and spread to other parts of the body. Cancerous diseases are also called malignant neoplasms. These diseases are easier to prevent, treat or manage adequately if they are detected at an early stage in the course of the disease. As such, people are advised to undergo routine screening to check for the presence of these conditions. Men suffer from a number of cancers which include:
Prostate Cancer (cancer of the prostate gland)
Testicular Cancer (cancer of the testes)
Colorectal Cancer (cancer of the colon and rectum)
Penile Cancer (cancer of the penis)
Other cancerous diseases they could suffer from include cancers of the skin, thyroid gland, and oral cavity.
Screening Tests Men Should Undergo for Early Detection of Cancer
- Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test: This is done to measure the level of PSA in the blood of men at risk for prostate cancer. PSA is usually elevated in the presence of prostate cancer. It is recommended yearly for men older than 50 years.
- Digital Rectal Examination (DRE): This is carried out by doctor periodically for men at risk for prostate cancer. It is recommended for men above 40 years of age, especially in African American men who have a family history of prostate cancer.
- Testicular Self-Examination (TSE): This should be carried out by men themselves regularly, usually monthly. It is recommended for males from the time they attain puberty. Any change should be reported to a doctor (not all changes indicate cancer). How to Perform a Testicular Self-Examination
- Clinical Testicular Examination: This is carried out a doctor periodically during health checkups.
These tests are recommended for men 50 years old and above.
Invasive Tests (Detect Both Cancer and Polyps)
1. Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: Recommended every 5 years.
2. Double Contrast Barium Enema: Recommended every 5 years.
3. CT Colonography: Recommended every 5 years.
4. Colonoscopy: Recommended every 10 years or if one of the above tests gives a positive result.
Non-Invasive Tests (Detect Only Cancer)
- Faecal Occult Blood Test: Recommended annually.
- Faecal Immunochemical Test: Recommended annually.
There are no widely recommended screening tests for penile cancer but men should know to inspect their penises on a regular basis for any changes. HPV infection and smoking are risk factors for penile cancer and avoiding these can prevent it. Good hygiene is also important in preventing penile cancer.
Other Cancerous Conditions
Cancer of the Skin: Periodic clinical skin examinations should be carried out by a dermatologist to detect possible cancerous changes.
Cancer of the Oral Cavity: The oral cavity can be screened by a dentist during dental visits.
Cancer of the Thyroid Gland: Screening for changes in the thyroid gland should be part of regular medical work-ups
Early Cancer Detection: Screening Tests in Women