“Both my father and grandfather died of colon cancer—that’s what motivates me to get screened,” says David.
“My father did not get screened. It actually wasn’t until he had some symptoms that he went to the doctor and they found the cancer. Unfortunately, at that point it had already spread.
“I started getting screened right around when I turned 50, and I’ve had them regularly ever since,” he says. “The preparation is unpleasant, but the procedure itself is nothing.
“If they can catch [cancer] early, before it becomes a problem, why not get screened?”
Tips for Lowering Your Cancer Risk
Every year, more than 300,000 men in the United States lose their lives to cancer. You can lower your cancer risk in several ways.
- Don’t smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Stay up-to-date on screening tests for colorectal and lung cancer.
- Protect your skin from the sun when outdoors, and avoid indoor tanning.
- Make healthy choices like staying active, keeping a healthy weight, and limiting how much alcohol you drink.
Fast Facts About Cancer and Men
- The most common kinds of cancer among men in the U.S. are skin cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer.
- Most prostate cancers grow slowly, and don’t cause any health problems in men who have them. Treatment can cause serious side effects. Talk to your doctor before you decide to get tested or treated for prostate cancer.
- A human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is recommended routinely for boys at 11 or 12 years of age to prevent anal cancer and genital warts. The vaccine also is recommended for all teenage boys and men through age 21, any man who has sex with men through age 26, and men with compromised immune systems (including HIV) through age 26, if they did not receive all doses of the vaccine when they were younger.