Cancer Prevention Tips for the Men in Your Life
Have you seen men sporting a little extra facial hair this month? Well maybe it’s because they’re taking up the challenge of No-Shave November.
What exactly is No-Shave November? The concept is simple. It’s a month of no shaving to raise cancer awareness, primarily for testicular and prostate cancer. The goal is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, something many cancer patients lose during treatment. The idea is that people asking men about their facial hair will spark conversation about men’s health issues.
What started as family effort in 2009 has turned into a worldwide phenomenon and a brilliant way to encourage men to make their health a priority. The men of TODAY on NBC are a high-profile example of participants this year, but you don’t have to be a news anchor or celebrity to help the men in your life stay healthy. Encourage the men in your life to learn the facts about cancer.
Screening tests can find cancer early, when it's more treatable.
- Colon Cancer: Many colon cancers begin as growths called polyps. If these polyps are found through screening and removed before they turn into cancer, the disease can be stopped before it starts. Screening can also find cancer before it has had a chance to grow and spread. Start testing at age 50, or younger if people in your family had colon cancer, or if you have had colon problems in the past. Talk to your doctor about which test is right for you.
- Prostate Cancer: Starting at age 50, men should talk to their doctor about the pros and cons of prostate cancer testing, then decide if they want to be tested. Men at high risk (African-American men and those with a family history of the disease) should have this talk at age 45 or 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.
Healthy lifestyle choices can lower your risk for cancer.
- Quit smoking. In the US, tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths. About half of all people who continue to smoke will end up dying from a tobacco-related disease. Tobacco use causes more than a dozen types of cancer, as well as heart disease, emphysema, and stroke.
- Get regular exercise. Each week, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (the level of a brisk walk) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity (the level of a run), preferably spread throughout the week. Clear any new activity with your doctor.
- Eat healthy. Eat at least 2 ½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day. Eat less bacon, sausage, luncheon meats, hot dogs, and other processed meats. Choose whole-grain breads, pasta, and cereals.
- Limit how much alcohol you drink (if you drink at all). Men should have no more than 2 drinks a day.
Here are some other ways you can join the American Cancer Society in November in raising awareness of men's health. Take action to make a difference in your life or the life of a man you care about:
- Join the men of TODAY in growing out your facial hair.
- Download our Prevention Checklist for Men on cancer.org.
- Share the American Cancer Society guidelines to help prevent cancer in men or to detect it at an early stage.
- Talk to your health care professional about which screening tests are right for you.