Early cancer symptoms that men should watch out for

Recognising these early signs could be their saving grace!
Last Updated : 14 April 2024, 00:55 IST
Last Updated : 14 April 2024, 00:55 IST

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Cancer is the formidable foe lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce when we least expect it. Men, notorious for their stoicism and reluctance to seek medical help, often find themselves facing a dire situation when they ignore the subtle signals their bodies send. But recognising these early signs could be their saving grace!

Lumps & bumps
Picture this: You’re in the shower, soaping up when you stumble upon an
unfamiliar lump. Ignoring it, you think, “Ah, probably nothing.” But that couldbe your ticket to an unwanted roller-coaster ride with cancer. Remember, gentlemen, not all bumps are benign. Get them checked out before they decide to invite their cancerous buddies for a party.

Persistent pain
Pain is your body’s way of waving a red flag. Whether it’s a persistent ache in your back or an inexplicable twinge in your abdomen, don’t just brush it off as a consequence of getting older or the aftermath of a rigorous workout. Your body is speaking to you; it’s time to lend an ear.

Unexplained weight loss
Sure, shedding a few kilos might be on your wish list, but when the numbers on the scale start plummeting without a rhyme or reason, it’s cause for concern. Unexplained weight loss could be a sneaky symptom of an underlying illness, including cancer. So, instead of celebrating your new-found “diet success”, schedule a check-up.

Persistent cough
The infamous man-cough, often dismissed as a mere annoyance or a leftover from that seasonal flu. But what if it’s more than just a tickle in your throat? A persistent cough, especially coupled with blood or chest pain, could be signalling trouble in your lungs. 

Changes in bowel habits
Yes, we get it — discussing bowel habits isn’t exactly the highlight of your day.
But when your bathroom routine takes an unexpected turn — be it in frequency, consistency, or the presence of blood — it’s time to swallow your embarrassment and have a chat with your doctor. 

Skin changes
Your skin, the body’s largest organ, often reveals more than you realise. From unusual moles to sudden changes in texture or colour, these seemingly innocent alterations should not be ignored. So, instead of dismissing that strange spot as a random blemish, show it some attention. Remember, ignoring these early warning signs of cancer is like playing a high-stakes game with your health. Sure, it might seem easier to sweep them under the rug and hope for the best, but why leave your well-being to chance? Take charge, listen to your body, and don’t hesitate to seek medical advice. After all, being proactive today could mean a healthier tomorrow.

(The author is senior director of Medical Oncology & Hemato-Oncology at a leading chain of hospitals in Bengaluru.)

Published 14 April 2024, 00:55 IST

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