Together We Can -- Newsletter of the Joan Karnell Cancer Center

Winter 2007

Creating a Healthy Life
Message From the Administrator
Top 5 Cancer Diagnoses
for Women
Top 5 Cancer Diagnoses for Men
Using Nutrition to Fight Cancer
Favorite Recipes
Recent Events
Featured Artwork
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Top Five Cancer Diagnoses for Men

The earlier the cancer is detected, the better the chance for cure. Please use this guide to help you and your loved ones to know your risk factors and to learn more about screenings that could help detect cancer in its earliest stages.


Risk factors:

  • Age: Men over 50 with most cases being in men over age 65
  • Family history: Having close family members (grandfather, father, brother) who have had prostate cancer
  • Race: African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than white males
  • High-fat diet
  • Obesity


  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA): Test should be given annually beginning at age 50
  • Digital rectal examination (DRE): Test should be given annually beginning at age 50 for men of average risk, age 45 or younger for men a high risk


Risk factors:

  • Smoking: Secondhand smoke can increase the risk of lung cancer
  • Genetics: Certain gene mutations and family history of lung cancer
  • Exposure to radon and asbestos


Lung cancer is difficult to detect because most symptoms do not appear until late stage. Screening (chest X-rays, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used for high-risk individuals to detect abnormal areas in the lung.

If you notice the following symptoms, call your doctor:

  • Coughing that does not go away
  • Chest pain, often made worse by deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Bloody or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that keep coming back
  • Wheezing


Risk factors:

  • Age: 90 percent of cases occur in people over 50
  • Genetic mutations: Certain genetic mutations can cause this cancer
  • Family history: If a family member (grandfather, father, brother) had colorectal cancer
  • Physical inactivity and obesity
  • Diet high in red or processed meat


Beginning at age 50, men who are at average risk for developing colorectal cancer should have one of the following:

  • Fecal occult blood test: Have a fecal occult blood test or fecal immunochemical test once a year and a flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
  • Double-contrast barium enema: You can choose to have a doublecontrast barium enema every 5 years instead of a fecal occult blood test
  • Colonoscopy: Every 10 years


Risk factors:

  • Smoking
  • Gender: Three times more common in men than women
  • Occupation: Working with dye, rubber, leather print or paint
  • Exposure to arsenic in drinking water.
  • Chronic bladder conditions


Screening is done only in people with high risk and those who have previously had urinary bladder cancer. It is often diagnosed by examining cells in the urine under a microscope and by inspecting the bladder with a cystoscope (a slender tube fitted with a lens and light that is inserted into the bladder through the uretha).


Risk factors:

  • Prior melanoma
  • Family history of melanoma
  • Large number of moles
  • Sun sensitivity: People with fair skin and people who are sensitive to the sun
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Diseases that suppress the immune system


  • Regular head to toe selfexaminations. Follow the ABCs. Look for asymmetry, border irregularity, color (uneven pigmentation) and a diameter greater than 6 millimeters. If you notice any changes or suspicious moles, call your doctor.
  • If you are considered high risk, consider having an annual clinical examination by a dermatologist.


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