Every year, cancer claims the lives of nearly 300,000
men in America. Men can reduce their risk for several common
Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke
men in the United States die from lung
cancer than any other kind of cancer, and
cigarette smoking causes most cases. Smoking also causes acute
myeloid leukemia and cancers of the esophagus, mouth, throat,
kidney, bladder, pancreas, and stomach.
Secondhand smoke increases nonsmokers' lung cancer risk by
20%–30%. Concentrations of many cancer-causing and toxic chemicals
are higher in secondhand smoke than in the smoke inhaled by
One of the most important things you can do to lower your risk
of cancer is to stop smoking if
you smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke.
Obesity, Overweight, and Lack of Physical Activity
For more than 30 years, excess weight, lack of physical
activity, and an unhealthy diet have been considered second only to
tobacco use as preventable causes of disease and death in the
United States. Since the 1960s, tobacco use has decreased by a
third while obesity rates have doubled.
In men, the following cancers are associated with obesity:
colorectal, esophageal, kidney, and pancreatic cancers, and
possibly prostate cancer. Adopting a lifestyle that includes healthy
eating and regular
physical activity can help lower your risk for these
Skin cancer is the most common
cancer in the United States. The two most common kinds of skin
cancer—basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas—are highly curable,
but they can be disfiguring since they often occur on the face and
head. Melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is often deadly.
About 65%–90% of melanomas are caused by exposure to ultraviolet
(UV) light—an invisible kind of radiation that comes from the sun,
tanning beds, and sunlamps. Overall, men have higher rates of
melanoma. But among young people, women get it more.
A few serious sunburns can increase your risk of skin cancer. To
protect your skin from the sun, seek shade or go indoors during
midday hours; wear long sleeves and long pants, a hat with a wide
brim, and sunglasses; and use sunscreen with a sun protective
factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Baseball caps and visors only provide
shade on the face, leaving the neck, ears, and scalp exposed. If
you're going to spend time outdoors, choose a hat with a wide brim
that goes all the way around your head.
tanning exposes users to UV rays, which damage the skin and can
lead to cancer. Tanning beds are particularly dangerous for young
people; those who begin tanning before age 35 have a 60% to 80%
higher risk of melanoma. Using tanning beds also increases the risk
of wrinkles and eye damage, and changes skin texture.
Types of Cancer
Prostate cancer is the second
most common cause of cancer death in men. All men are at risk for
prostate cancer, but older men, African-American men, and men with
a family history of prostate cancer have a higher risk.
CDC and other federal agencies follow the prostate cancer
screening recommendations set forth by the U.S. Preventive Services
Task Force, which
recommends against PSA-based screening for men who do not have
Understanding that men and their doctors may continue to screen
for prostate cancer, CDC continues to support informed decision
making, which occurs when a man—
- Understands the nature and risk of prostate cancer.
- Understands the risks of, benefits of, and alternatives to
- Participates in making the decision to be screened or not at a
level he wants.
- Makes a decision consistent with his preferences and
Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
The third leading cause of cancer deaths in American men is colorectal cancer. Screening tests
for colorectal cancer can find precancerous polyps so they can be
removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests also can find
colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best. Both men and
women should be tested for colorectal cancer regularly starting at
age 50, even if they don't have any symptoms.