10 Early Cancer Symptoms Men Should Not Ignore

The key to successful cancer treatment is often early diagnosis.  Here are the top ten signs that men should look out for that could be indicative of early stage cancers. 

1.      Skin changes

Most of us have moles or color spots on our skin.  If you notice any changes in the shape, color or size of a mole or skin spot, this could be a sign of skin cancer.  Guys who work outdoors or spend a lot of time at the beach are especially at risk if they don’t use UV protection. 

2.      Lymph node changes

Lymph nodes are small glands found in your armpits, groin and neck.  If they become swollen and painful, this is usually a sign that your body’s immune system is reacting to something like a cold virus or a sore throat.  However, certain types of cancer can also affect your lymph nodes.  If the swelling does not disappear within a couple of weeks and you have no other obvious symptoms, get checked out by your doctor.

3.      Problems swallowing

Prolonged problems with swallowing together with unexplained weight loss or vomiting can be a sign of throat or stomach cancer.  Always consult your doctor for a check-up if you suffer from all or any of the above symptoms.

4.      Heartburn

There have been recent reports in the press citing prolonged heartburn as a sign of stomach or throat cancer.  Usually, heartburn is caused by drinking or dietary habits, and sometimes by stress.  If you have suffered from heartburn repeatedly for more than three weeks, always consult your doctor.

5.      Changes in your mouth

Smoking and chewing tobacco can cause mouth cancer.  Red or white patches on your lips, tongue or inside your mouth that won’t go away could be a sign of cancer.  Ask your dentist or doctor for advice if you have these symptoms.

6.      Urinary problems

It’s not uncommon for men to experience urinary problems as they get older.  Problems can include needing to urinate urgently and more frequently, trouble with leakage, and problems with beginning to urinate.

These issues could simply be caused by an enlarged prostate gland, but prostate cancer can also be responsible.  Always consult your doctor if you experience any of these problems.

7.      Testicular changes

Testicular cancer is very aggressive.  If you notice any lumps, changes to your testes, or experience a feeling of heaviness in one or both testicles, never put off asking your doctor’s advice. 

8.      Breast changes

Many men ignore lumps in their pectoral muscles because breast cancer simply isn’t on their radar.  Although it’s more common in women, men do suffer from breast cancer so it’s important that you get any lumps or changes checked out by a doctor.  Also, breast cancer in men tends to be diagnosed much later than it is in women so don’t take chances and get yourself checked out if you are at all concerned.

9.      Blood in urine or stool

Blood in your urine or stool can be one of the first signs of cancer attacking the kidneys, colon or bladder.  It’s more likely that you are suffering from some other problem like a urinary infection or haemorrhoids, but you must always get yourself checked out to be sure.

10.  Fever and fatigue

A fever usually means that your body is fighting off an infection of some kind.  However, a fever that’s prolonged or has no obvious explanation could signal some kind of blood cancer.

Fatigue is another signal that shouldn’t be ignored.  Many men suffer from exhaustion from time to time especially if they have a hectic job and family pressures to cope with.  Many types of cancer can cause a crushing feeling of tiredness that won’t go away no matter how much sleep and rest you get.  If you find that persistent fatigue is impacting on your daily life, always have a chat with your doctor.    

In conclusion

Many of these signs and symptoms can indicate relatively minor conditions that are easily treatable or that will resolve themselves without the need for medical intervention.  However, they can also be signs of early stage cancers and it’s important that you get yourself checked out by a health professional to be on the safe side.

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Alison Page

About Alison Page

Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies. Read her full story at

Alison Page

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