Most Common Cancers Among Men

June 19, 2024

Cancer doesn’t discriminate, but some cancers can affect more men than women. Here’s what to know about the most common cancers in men. 

It’s estimated that 1 in 3 women will develop cancer throughout their lifetime. For men, this ratio is 1 in 2. Experts aren’t sure why men tend to be more susceptible than women, but research has chalked it up to potential biological differences between the sexes. And while both sexes can be diagnosed with an array of cancers – even men can get breast cancer, for instance – there are some types that tend to affect men more than women, and vice versa. 

Here are some of the top cancers that are more commonly diagnosed in men – plus symptoms to look out for and ways to minimize your risk. 

Lung cancer

Lung cancer is the second-most common cancer in American men and the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. In fact, statistics show that each year, more people die from lung cancer than they do from prostate, colon, and breast cancer combined. 


Like many cancers, lung cancer is known to not present symptoms until advanced stages. Symptoms vary but can include:

  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • A lingering cough that can get worse
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • Pneumonia
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the chest or between the lungs

Reduce Your Risk

  • Quit smoking: Men who smoke are 23 times more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer versus non-smoking men. It’s also important to refrain from using tobacco products. 
  • Avoid secondhand smoke. 
  • Limit exposure to cancer-causing chemicals in the workplace or around the house. Such chemicals can include asbestos, chromium, arsenic, soot, tar, nickel, beryllium, and cadmium.  

Screening Recommendations

  • The American Cancer Society recommends that men 50 to 80 years old who smoke or used to smoke, and who have at least a 20 pack-year history of smoking (20 years of smoking one pack a day or 10 years of smoking 2 packs a day) get an annual low-dose CT lung scan.

Testicular cancer

Testicular cancer can happen at any age but is the most common cancer among men ‌aged between 15 to 35 yearsold. It’s most commonly found in caucasian males and if caught early, is one of the most curable cancers. Men with an undescended testicle, those diagnosed with HIV or AIDs or have a personal or family history are most at risk


  • The most common symptom is painless lump in one testicle
  • A swollen testicle
  • Fluid build-up in the scrotum
  • A heavy or achy sensation in the lower belly or scrotum
  • Pain or discomfort in the scrotum
  • A shrinking testicle

Reduce Your Risk

  • Refrain from using tobacco
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, minimizing red meat, refined grains, processed foods and sugar. 
  • Have no more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day.
  • Know your family history and tell your doctor if testicular cancer runs in your family
  • Keep up with annual physicals

Screening Guidelines

  • There is no standard test or routine screening recommended for testicular cancer.
  • Most testicular cancer is diagnosed in men performing self exams.

Skin cancer

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. It’s most commonly caused by exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, whether from a tanning bed or the sun. 

People with fair skin, many moles, or freckles, a family history of skin cancer, and a weaker immune system are more prone to developing skin cancer. Age also increases your risk, as most skin cancer cases are diagnosed in people 65 and up.


Potential signs of skin cancer may include:

  • A new or changing mole, spot, lump or bump
  • An existing mole that’s changed size, shape, or color
  • A bleeding sore that doesn’t heal
  • A rough or dry red patch of skin that feels crusty or bleeds
  • Itchiness, soreness or pain that’s new on the skin

Reduce Your Risk

  • Check your skin frequently and report any new or changing moles to your doctor
  • Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30 whenever out in the sun
  • Limit time outdoors during 10am to 4pm when the UV rays are the strongest
  • Avoid tanning beds
  • Wear sunglasses, clothing treated with UV protection and a hat

Screening Guidelines

  • The American Academy of Dermatology recommends people perform regular skin self-examinations to check for potential signs of skin cancer. Their suggestion is to test with the ABCDE rule:some text
    • A: A mole has mole asymmetry
    • B: Spots have irregular or poorly defined borders
    • C: The spot has varying colors, like shades of brown or black, tan, white, red or blue
    • D: Melanomas are typically greater than 6mm
    • E: The skin spot is evolving in size, shape or color. 
  • If you notice anything irregular with your skin, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist 

Prostate cancer

Next to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the cancer most diagnosed in U.S. men. And after lung cancer, it’s the second most common cause of cancer death in American men. Prostate cancer is more common in Black men than in other ethnicities. 


Most men with prostate cancer have no symptoms. Other people may experience the following:

  • Difficulty when urinating
  • Frequent urination, especially in the evening hours
  • A weak flow or interrupted flow of urine
  • Pain with ejaculation
  • Lingering hip, back, or pelvic pain
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Blood in semen or urine

Reduce Your Risk

Screening Guidelines

  • Follow your doctor’s recommendations on screening. The two main types of screening are the Prostate Specific Antigen blood test (PSA) or a digital rectal exam.
  • Testing is currently recommended for men age 40 at high risk and those age 50 at average risk.
  • Screening is not recommended for men over 70.

Colorectal cancer

Colon cancer used to be something associated with older men but in recent years, it’s been on the rise. And doctors are warning it’s affecting people as young as 20. In 2023, for instance, 20% of those diagnosed were under the age of 55, double the rate of those diagnosed under 55 in 1995.


Experts warn that many people with colon cancer don’t show initial symptoms. When symptoms appear, they can include:

  • Feeling like the bowel doesn’t empty completely when going to teh bathroom
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Tiredness or feeling weak
  • Lingering discomfort in the abdomen, including gas, pain and cramps
  • Changes in bowels – looser stools or constipation 

Reduce Your Risk

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases the risk of colorectal cancer in women and men – and per studies, especially men
  • Eat a diet filled with fruits and vegetables and whole grains
  • Limit red and processed meat, as well as processed foods
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Quit smoking

Screening Guidelines

  • There are various tests available for colon cancer, including stool tests, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, which involves a thin, flexible lighted tube in the rectum and lower third of the colon; a colonoscopy, which involves a tube going into the rectum and entire colon, and a CT scan.
  • Current guidelines recommend that men begin screening at age 45 and then, based on their individual results and risk factor, follow their doctor’s recommendations for follow-up testing

Only 14% of cancer is detected through standard cancer screenings 

Catching cancer early is the best way to make sure it’s treated swiftly and that patients receive the most effective care. While some cancers, like colon cancer, have recommended screenings that begin at certain ages, such as a colonoscopy at 45, cancer can affect people of all ages. And the majority of cancers have no screening recommendations at all.  

Currently, only four types of cancers have routine screenings and only 14% of cancers are detected from these screenings. That means a staggering 86% of cancer is either not caught by a screening or has no designated screening test at all.

Prenuvo’s whole-body MRI empowers patients to be proactive with their health and provides them with a full look at what is going on inside their body. This enables people to catch certain conditions even before symptoms appear – and while diseases like cancer, are more treatable than in advanced stages. A one-hour Prenuvo scan can detect over 500 conditions, including common cancerous tumors at stage 1, aneurysms, fatty liver disease, spine degeneration, and more. All of this is performed without radiation and is done without contrast and dyes. 

Find out more about what Prenuvo tests for and the comprehensive health report we provide patients with here.

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