Wish Dad a Healthy Father’s Day

4 Cancer Screening Tests for Men

adult daughter shows her father a pamphlet

Celebrate the fathers in your life this June by encouraging them to protect their health by getting up to date on cancer screening tests. Screening tests look for cancer before a person has any signs or symptoms. Regular screenings can catch some cancers early, when they’re small, have not spread, and are easier to treat. With colon cancer, some screening tests can even help prevent cancer from developing in the first place.

Colorectal cancer

  • Regular screening should start at age 45 for anyone at average risk, and possibly earlier if there is a family history of colon or rectal cancer or colon problems that raise the risk for cancer.
  • Anyone in good health and with a life expectancy of more than 10 years should continue regular colorectal cancer screening through the age of 75.
  • Screening between the ages of 76 to 85 should be based on personal factors, health, and prior screening history.
  • There are several different tests that screen for colorectal cancer. The most important thing is to get screened, no matter which test you choose.
  • Some tests can help prevent colorectal cancer by finding growths called polyps, which can then be removed before they turn into cancer. Other tests help to find colorectal cancer earlier, when treatments are more likely to be successful.
  • Talk to your doctor about when you should start screening and which tests might be right for you. Talk to your insurer about coverage for screening tests.

Prostate cancer

  • Starting at age 50, men at average risk should talk to their doctor about the pros and cons of prostate cancer testing, and 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 depending on level of risk.

Lung cancer

  • Anyone aged 55 to 74 years and in fairly good health who currently smokes or has quit smoking in the past 15 years may be at higher risk for lung cancer.
  • Yearly lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan (LDCT) is recommended for certain people at higher risk for lung cancer.
  • It's important to talk to a health care provider about your risk for lung cancer, and the possible benefits, limits, and harms of getting tested for early lung cancer.
  • Screening does not make it OK to keep using tobacco. If you or the men in your life smoke, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 for help quitting.

Skin cancer

  • Everyone should be aware of all moles and spots on their skin, and report any changes to a doctor right away. Some doctors and other health care professionals include skin exams as part of routine health check-ups.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master's-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.


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