15 Cancer Symptoms Men Can’t Miss

Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 18 May 2022

15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore

You eat well on some days and exercise regularly most days. But, if you're like most guys, going to the doctor isn't high on your priority list. This can be harmful if it leads to you ignoring the early symptoms of cancer.

One of the most effective ways to combat the disease is to detect it early on when it is more treatable. The issue is that many cancer warning signs may appear to be very mild.

Look out for these 15 warning signs and symptoms. Some are more closely related to cancer than others, but they're all worth learning about and discussing with your doctor.

1. Problems When You Pee

When men grow older, they also have issues with peeing, such as:

  • A need to pee more frequently, especially at night
  • Dribbling, leaking, or a pressing need to relieve yourself
  • Peeing difficulties or a poor urine stream
  • A burning feeling when you pee

These symptoms are typically caused by an enlarged prostate gland, but prostate cancer may also cause them. Consult your doctor to determine the source of the problem. They'll perform a physical exam to check for an enlarged prostate and might suggest a blood test for prostate cancer, called a PSA test.

2. Changes in Your Testicles

A lump, heaviness, or any other changes in your testicle should never be ignored. Unlike prostate cancer, which develops slowly, testicular cancer will spread quickly. A physical exam, blood tests, and an ultrasound of the scrotum will be used by your doctor to check for any complications.

3. Blood in Your Pee or Stool

These may be one of the first symptoms of bladder, prostate, or colon cancer. Even if you don't have any other signs, it's a good idea to see the doctor if you have any unusual bleeding. Although you're more likely to have a problem that isn't cancer, such as haemorrhoids or a urinary infection, it's always important to figure out what's causing it and treat it, before it’s too late.

4. Skin Changes

If the size, shape, or colour of a mole or other spot on your skin changes, see your doctor as soon as possible. Fresh or different-looking spots are common signs of skin cancer. You'll need a physical exam and possibly a biopsy, in which a small piece of tissue is removed for examination. You don't want to wait for skin cancer, seek medical attention immediately if in any doubt.

5. Changes in Lymph Nodes

Swelling and tenderness in your lymph nodes, which are tiny bean-shaped glands located in your stomach, armpits, and other locations, may indicate that something is wrong with your body. It usually indicates that the immune system is battling an infection, but it may also indicate the presence of cancer. Any swelling or tenderness that does not improve in 2 to 4 weeks should be checked by a doctor.

6. Difficulty Swallowing

Some may have difficulty swallowing on occasion. Your doctor will want to check you for throat or stomach cancer if your symptoms don't go away and you're also losing weight or vomiting. The procedure will begin with a throat exam and a barium X-ray. You drink a special liquid that makes your throat stand out an X-ray during a barium exam.

7. Heartburn

Most cases of heartburn can be alleviated by changing your diet, drinking habits, and stress levels. If it doesn't work, consult your doctor about your symptoms. Heartburn that persists or worsens may indicate stomach or throat cancer. Barrett's oesophagus, which happens when stomach acid affects the lining of the oesophagus, can also be caused by heartburn. Barrett's can make you more vulnerable to throat cancer, even though it's rare.

8. Mouth Changes

You have a greater risk of mouth cancer if you smoke or chew tobacco. Look inside your mouth or on your lips for white, red, gray, or yellow patches. You may even get a canker sore that resembles an ulcer with a crater. Concerns about testing and procedures should be discussed with the doctor or dentist.

9. Unintentional Weight Loss

Are you noticing any weight loss? If you haven't made any changes to your diet or workout routine, it's possible that stress or a thyroid condition is to blame. It's not normal to lose 10 pounds or more without trying. Even though most accidental weight loss isn't cancer, it may be a symptom of pancreatic, abdominal, or lung cancer. Blood tests and imaging tests, such as a CT or PET scan, will help your doctor determine the cause.

10. Fever

A fever is generally not harmful because it indicates that the body is battling an infection. However, one that persists and has no cause may be a symptom of leukaemia or another blood cancer. To determine the cause, your doctor will take your medical history and conduct a physical examination.

11. Breast Changes

1% of breast cancer occurs in men. Men are likely to overlook breast lumps because breast cancer isn't on their radar. Cancers in men are often diagnosed at a later stage. You can't afford to take any risks. Tell your doctor if you notice a lump and have it examined. The importance of early detection in the treatment of cancer is critical.

12. Fatigue

Many forms of cancer leave you exhausted to the bone, regardless of how much rest you get. It's not the same as the fatigue that comes after a long week or a lot of exercise. Consult your doctor if exhaustion is interfering with your everyday activities. They will assist you in determining the cause and determining whether or not treatment is available.

13. Cough

A persistent cough in nonsmokers is typically not cancer. After 3 to 4 weeks, the majority of them have vanished. If yours doesn't, and you're having trouble breathing or coughing up blood, see your doctor right away, particularly if you smoke. The most common symptom of lung cancer is a cough. To see if you have an infection, your doctor will test mucus from your lungs. They can also perform a chest X-ray to rule out any other issues.

14. Pain

Most aches and pains aren't caused by cancer, so if you've been in pain for more than a month, don't just put up with it. Ongoing pain may be a sign of a variety of cancers, including bone or brain cancer, particularly if it has spread.

15. Abdominal Pain and Depression

Depression combined with stomach pain may be a symptom of pancreatic cancer, but this is an uncommon occurrence. Should you be concerned? If you have a family history of cancer, then you must see your doctor.


Referenced on  27/4/2021

  1. American Cancer Society: “Prostate Enlargement: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia;" “The prostate gland;" “Signs and symptoms of kidney cancer;" “Signs and symptoms of bladder cancer;" “Cancer in the lymph nodes;" and “Breast Cancer in Men."
  2. Cancer Patients Alliance.
  3. Cancer Research UK: “Is indigestion a sign of cancer?" and “About cancer pain."
  4. Johns Hopkins: “Barium Swallow."
  5. LungCancer.org: “Symptoms of Lung Cancer."
  6. The Mayo Clinic: “Cancer Pain."
  7. MD Anderson Cancer Center: “Skin Cancer Symptoms."
  8. Herbert Lepor, MD, pharmacology professor, urology department chairman and professor, NYU Langone Medical Center.
  9. Marleen Meyers, MD, assistant professor, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Center.
  10. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse: “Prostate Enlargement: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.”
  11. Skin Cancer Foundation: Skin Cancer Treatment.
  12. https://www.webmd.com/cancer/features/15-cancer-symptoms-men-ignore

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