Know the warning signs of cancer and act early
Cancer appears to hit most people out of nowhere. While many women take cancer screening seriously and have them checked regularly, men are still a real screening muffle. The MedUni Vienna has now called on men to become more sensitive, since the early diagnosis of the tumors significantly increases the chances of a cure. The experts also show which initial symptoms you should watch out for. These may or may not occur. General complaints such as fatigue can also have a completely harmless background.
According to MedUni Vienna, every fifth man falls ill with prostate cancer in the course of his life and "this makes this type of tumor in men as common as breast cancer in women", but most men do not see any reason for regular checkups here. You only go to the doctor when the first symptoms appear. However, the chances of a cure are often already drastically restricted. Accordingly, the diseases in men are increasingly fatal.
Men only go to the doctor if they have complaints "In many cancers, the mortality rate among men is higher than that of women," reports the MedUni Vienna. A possible explanation is the different behaviors in dealing with the classic risk factors. So men would still smoke more and consume more alcohol than women. However, according to the experts, the control examinations probably also play a role here. "While women regularly go to gynecological examinations in their early years, men usually only consult a doctor if they have symptoms - and even then the initiative often comes from their women," explains the head of the University Clinic for Urology at MedUni Vienna on Vienna General Hospital, Shahrokh Shariat.
Men should also take preventive medical examinations. The head of the University Clinic for Urology therefore urgently recommends that men over the age of 45 regularly go to preventive medical examinations, because the earlier carcinomas are discovered, the better the chances of recovery. Nobody should be ashamed to see a urologist here. "In the event of complaints, it is advisable to seek medical help as soon as possible," says Shariat. Under no circumstances should a visit to the doctor be put on the back burner, because "a full sex life and urological preventive measures also serve general well-being," said the expert. According to Shariat, prostate diseases in particular often have a massive impact on male self-esteem because they are often associated with a loss of sexual performance.
Problems with urination Note on prostate cancer As a possible indication of tumors of the prostate, the MedUni Vienna cites constant urge to urinate and at the same time a decrease in pressure. The complaints are often the result of a so-called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which, according to the experts, is the most common reason for a visit to urologists as a benign enlargement in the prostate area. Those affected are usually severely limited in their quality of life, not only because urination becomes a problem, but also because “a sick prostate affects male sex life,” said the MedUni. “The prostate is the emotional seat of masculinity. In the event of disorders, you often question yourself. Men no longer feel like men, ”explained the head of the University Clinic for Urology at MedUni Vienna.
Broad spectrum of possible cancer signs In addition to the symptoms mentioned in the early stages of prostate cancer, numerous other cancer signs are known, the occurrence of which should be checked by a doctor. As unspecific general symptoms, drastic losses in performance, chronic fatigue and a noticeable weight loss can be mentioned. Corresponding symptoms are observed for example in colorectal cancer, bone marrow cancer, kidney cancer or leukemia. In particular, if a drop in performance, fatigue and weight loss occur at the same time, a medical examination should be carried out promptly. This applies all the more if there are further complaints in the area of the respiratory tract, digestive tract and abdominal area or at the neurological level.
For example, swallowing problems, which increasingly occur with cancer of the larynx, esophagus or stomach, abdominal pain or nausea and vomiting are possible indications of cancer. Diarrhea, constipation, a bloated stomach, urinary retention or other disturbances in micturition (urination) and bowel movements can also be linked to cancer. In addition, blood in the urine or stool should be assessed as a warning signal.
Chronic respiratory complaints a warning signal Persistent respiratory complaints such as a chronic cough or smoker's cough in the worst case in the form of coughing up blood (hemoptysis) are also possible signs of cancer. However, the symptoms usually only show up in the extremely advanced stage of bronchial carcinoma. This also applies to chest pain and shortness of breath, which can sometimes be observed as noticeable symptoms.
In the early stages of lung cancer, these are often shown by unusually pronounced colds with a strong, long-lasting cough. Hoarseness can also occur as a side effect in cancer of the larynx and nasopharynx. Headaches may indicate bone marrow cancer or tumors directly in the brain. In particular if further neurological impairments such as paralysis, dizziness, drowsiness, personality changes, speech, vision or hearing disorders are added, a doctor should be consulted promptly. A particularly noticeable symptom of brain tumors are new epileptic seizures.
Changes in the skin's appearance Cancer of the skin can often be recognized by the associated changes in the skin's appearance, whereby in addition to optically changed birthmarks, skin irritations such as flaky, dry skin areas should be checked as possible indications for cancer. The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) names dark, raised, growing liver spots with different colors as typical signs of the particularly dangerous black skin cancer.
For most cancers, however, the symptoms can only be determined when the disease has already progressed significantly, which is why special examinations are considered to be of particular importance here. However, the willingness of men to participate in these routine examinations is often still relatively low to this day. It is all the more important that those affected take special care with all forms of unusual, repeated pain or other complaints and consult a doctor at an early stage. (fp)