Do you always postpone trips to the doctor for routine checkups or to consult about an illness you might have? Doing so poses serious risks to your health. Although signs and symptoms can be non-threatening, benign (noncancerous), or require minimal treatment—there are some cases when a seemingly harmless symptom is actually signaling early or advanced cancer. Dismissing what’s amiss with your body without speaking with a doctor eliminates your chances for early cancer detection, early treatment, and a good prognosis.
Doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating cancer, otherwise known as oncologists, identify each of the common cancers in men differently. These cancers include prostate, testes, kidney, and bladder. Some signs and symptoms may suggest cancer, while others may reveal a less serious condition.
Top Two Symptoms Men Should Never Ignore
See a doctor immediately if you notice anything unusual with your body, and most especially if you experience these symptoms:
1. Changes in the testicles
Testicular cancer or testes cancer commonly develops in men between the ages of 15 to 35, but it can also occur in children and older men. Any changes in the testicles, including discomfort, swelling, hardening, or presence of a lump could suggest cancer in the male gonads.
You can identify all of the above signs through a monthly testicular self-exam. If you notice any changes in one or both of your testicles, schedule a meeting with your primary care provider for an in-depth assessment.
2. Blood in the urine
In most cases, bleeding is never a good sign, especially when a man finds it in his urine. This frightening symptom is often associated with other non-cancerous conditions, including an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, or bladder stones. However, it is also one of the telltale signs of cancer in the kidney or bladder. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to consult your doctor if you ever find blood in your urine.
What’s Next After Noticing Symptoms?
If you experience either of the symptoms mentioned, your primary care provider may then send you to a urologist in order to obtain a more detailed evaluation.
If necessary, tests for these cancers will include the following:
- If there are changes in your testicles, then an ultrasound of the testes is the first step toward obtaining an accurate diagnosis. Depending on the results, a doctor may order additional examinations and treatments.
- If there is blood in your urine, then a urine culture and cytology (a test that helps analyze contents of urine), cystoscopy (visual exam of bladder), and CT urogram (imaging exam for urinary tract) are standard diagnostic procedures.
What About Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. The majority of cases are asymptomatic, which means there are no symptoms manifesting the disease. If there are symptoms, they are often vague or too similar to less serious health issues.
Doctors usually diagnose prostate cancer using a simple blood test called prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. It helps determine the levels of PSA—a protein that the prostate gland produces—in a male patient’s body.
Men of all ages should be aware of any changes that may develop in their body. Scheduling regular checkups, keeping an eye on unusual changes, and consulting your physician if you notice anything suspicious will help you detect cancer early and get the necessary treatment to live a long, happy life.
What If I Have Cancer?
If you are looking for less harmful alternatives to conventional cancer treatments, choose New Hope Unlimited. Our team specializes in comprehensive treatments that target the root of cancer without compromising the surrounding healthy cells. Contact us now to schedule your consultation.