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September 27, 2021

Cancer refers to the collection of diseases characterized by the unrestrained multiplication of rogue cells that leads to the abnormal growth in tissue or organ in the human body which sometimes spread through the bloodstream or lymphatic system.

Most adult cancers are associated with lifestyle and aging. However, early detection and modern methods of treatment can help cure many types of cancer nowadays. 

In the data gathered by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) for the Globocan 2018, it has been revealed that the top 5 most common cancers affecting men across the globe are lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach, and liver which are evident in about 14.5%,13.5%, 10.9%, 7.2%, and 6.3%, respectively of the total incidences of cancers in males globally.

Male-specific cancers which are prostate and testicular cancer have reached epidemic proportions among men. Among Australian men, prostate cancer is the leading number of cancer cases.

According to the Cancer Council, cancer has been the leading cause of death in Australia with an estimated number of deaths of almost 50,000 last 2019. Here are the top 5 most common cancers in men and the signs and symptoms associated with each cancer:

1. Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths in men across the globe. This is common in adults who are aged 50 and 70 years old. Smoking is considered the main cause of lung cancer in men with 90% of cases related to smoking cigarettes. Other cases are due to occupation which includes painters, metal workers, cleaners, and construction workers, this is because they are more exposed to materials and chemicals that increase their risk of developing lung cancer.

Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer

  • Frequent lung infections like bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Cough that lasts longer than a few weeks
  • Chest pain, wheezing, and hoarseness
  • Shortness of breath and tiredness
  • Coughing up blood


2. Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men where it affects the male reproductive organ that produces the prostate fluid which is one of the components of semen. The prostate cancer has a survival rate of 80% if detected and treated early. Men who are aged over 40 should go for the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test at least every 3 years while men over 50 should be examined annually. Research has shown that the incidence of prostate cancer increases with each decade after age 50. 

Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

  • Pain and discomfort when sitting due to enlarged prostate
  • Blood in the urine and seminal fluid (haematuria)
  • Pain and discomfort when urinating (dysuria)
  • Frequent urination at night (nocturia)
  • Erectile dysfunction, hip and back pain

Testicular Cancer

According to the Cancer Council, testicular cancer is the second most common cancer in young men who are aged 18 to 39. Every man from the age of 15 should check for lumps in his testicles every month. Some of the symptoms of testicular cancer are the following:

Signs and Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

  • Swelling or lump in the testicle
  • Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • Change in the size or shape of the testicle
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Back pain


3. Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is a collective term for colon and rectal cancer. Colon cancer usually develops at a slow pace because the tumors grow extremely slowly with 10 to 20 years before it becomes malignant. According to the World Health Organization, colorectal cancer causes 655,000 deaths worldwide annually with most cases occurring in people who are aged more than 50 years. Man’s lifetime risk of developing colon and rectal cancer is 1 in 22. It is recommended to start colorectal cancer screening at the age of 45 for both men and women.

Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancer

  • Persistent changes in bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation)
  • Unexplained weight loss, weakness, and fatigue
  • Blood in the stool/ black stools or narrow stools
  • Abdominal discomforts such as cramps and gas
  • Painful bowel movements


4. Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer also called gastric cancer occurs when there is a growth of cancerous cells in the lining of your stomach. However, it is difficult to detect gastric cancer in its early stages because the symptoms don’t show, the reason why it is often undiagnosed that leads to the growth of cancer cells to other parts of the body. People who are suffering from stomach cancer may experience the following signs and symptoms listed below, however, these symptoms can be also experienced when you have ulcer or stomach virus so it is essential to check with your healthcare practitioner.

Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

  • Poor appetite and unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal pain usually above the navel
  • Frequent heartburn or indigestion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloody stools


5. Liver Cancer

According to studies, liver cancer is common in men because they are prone to having chronic liver disease due to the fact that the male liver is less well equipped to cope with chronic inflammation than in women. Researchers have discovered that a hormone secreted by fat cells that is present at higher levels in women can stop liver cells from becoming cancerous. Here are the following signs and symptoms of liver cancer:

Signs and Symptoms of Liver Cancer

  • Jaundice or the yellow discoloration of the skin
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • White and chalky stools
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you are suffering from any of the following signs and symptoms mentioned above, we suggest consulting your healthcare practitioner. Your doctor will ask how often you've been experiencing the symptoms to figure out and diagnose the problem. Be sure to talk with your medical provider about the symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

Disclaimer: The vitamin health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. VitaminsOnly strongly recommends consulting your healthcare professional for any questions concerning your health. 


International Agency for Research on Cancer
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
World Cancer Research Fund
The Sydney Morning Herald
Wiley Online Library
Cancer Australia
Cancer Council

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