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Healthy Habits Men Need to Know

Article date: May 31, 2011

Today, more and more people are surviving cancer, thanks to advances in treatment and to screening tests that can find cancer early, when it's most treatable. As Father's Day approaches, help the men in your life stay healthy by encouraging them to follow the guidelines below:

Eat Right, Get Active

The lifestyle choices you make every day can have an impact on your risk for developing cancer. It’s important to stay at a healthy weight, because being overweight or obese is linked to a higher risk of some cancers. Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. You should also exercise regularly – 30 minutes a day on 5 or more days per week. And if you drink alcohol, limit yourself to 2 drinks a day (women should limit themselves to 1 drink a day).

Learn more about these healthy lifestyle habits in our guidelines for nutrition and physical activity.

Colon Cancer

Many colon cancers begin as growths called polyps, and if these polyps are found through screening and removed before they turn into cancer, the disease can be stopped before it starts. Even when colon cancer isn’t prevented, screening can find this disease earlier, when treatment is more likely to be successful. Start testing at age 50, or younger if people in your family had colon cancer. Talk to your doctor about which test is right for you.

Prostate Cancer

The American Cancer Society recommends that men decide whether they want to be tested for prostate cancer after learning about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of testing. Men who are not at high risk for prostate cancer should start talking to their doctors about testing at age 50.

Men who are at high risk, such as African-American men and those with a family history of the disease, should have this conversation at age 45. Men with multiple family members diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65 are at even higher risk, and should discuss testing with their doctor beginning at age 40.

Skin Cancer

During your regular checkups, have your doctor check your skin for signs of skin cancer. If you notice any changes to existing moles, tell your doctor right away. And any time you go out in the sun, be sure to use sunscreen, cover up with clothing, sunglasses, and a hat, and seek shade.

For more information, see our cancer prevention and early detection guidelines.


Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff

ACS News Center stories are provided as a source of cancer-related news and are not intended to be used as press releases.

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