Feature Archive

15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore

Men, heed these possible clues and find cancer early, when it's more treatable.

By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Some men are notorious foot-draggers, especially when it comes to scheduling doctor visits. That's unfortunate. Routine preventive care can find cancer in men and other diseases in the early stages, when there are more options for treatment and better chances of a cure. Some men, though, would never go to the doctor except for the women in their life. According to Leonard Lichtenfeld, MD, deputy chief medical officer for the national office of the American Cancer Society, women are often the ones who push men to get screened for cancer.

Experts say that men could benefit greatly by being alert to certain cancer symptoms that indicate a trip to the doctor's office sooner rather than later. Some of those cancer symptoms in men are specific. They involve certain body parts and may even point directly to the possibility of cancer. Other symptoms are more vague. For instance, pain that affects many body parts could have dozens of explanations and may not be cancer. But that doesn't mean you can rule out cancer without seeing a doctor.

Cancer Symptom in Men No. 1: Breast Mass

If you're like most men, you've probably never considered the possibility of having breast cancer. Although it's not common, it is possible. "Any new mass in the breast area of a man needs to be checked out by a physician," Lichtenfeld says.