No-one likes to talk about cancer issues, but sadly they are part of daily life.
Below is some information about the more common cancers that affect men, and what we can do to reduce the risks.
Cornwall - well known for its beaches, relaxed lifestyle and sunshine! Lots of us like to soak up the sun, leaving us feeling and looking healthy......
but did you know that skin cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK , with over 80,000 new cases reported per year?
Incidence of skin cancer in younger people is rapidly rising - we've all heard the stories about people in self-tanning booths getting badly burnt. These are the extreme "newsworthy stories" and the fact is, we're all at risk of developing skin cancer from over-exposure to the sun.
Skin Cancer is divided into two types: "malignant melanoma" (which is the rare, and more serious type) and "non-melanoma skin cancer" (which covers the more common and less dangerous basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell sarcinoma)
Malignant melanoma can be life-threatening and can spread to other parts of the body, Non malignant melanoma skin cancers are not usually fatal, but need to be treated as soon as possible, as they can grow and disfigure. Watch out for abnormal skin lesions, especially sores that seem to take time to heal, moles that change size and colour or become itchy. If in doubt, see your GP! its always better to be safe than sorry.
Speaking of safe......How can you protect yourself from the sun?
- Sunscreen does not offer complete protection from the sun.
- Reduce sun exposure between 11am and 3pm.
- Seek shade e.g. outdoor umbrellas or covered porches.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing to cover your arms and legs.
- Wear closely woven, dark coloured material.
- Wear a wide brimmed hat.
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses.
- Apply a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15 or higher with UVA and UVB protection.
- Apply sunscreens at least 20 minutes before you go out. Re-apply every 2 hours.
- Don't forget a SPF 15 lip balm.
- Cloudy days are no exception ! Up to 80% of the sun's rays can penetrate light clouds, mist and fog.
- Watch out for reflected light from sand, snow, concrete and water - up to 85% of the sun's harmful UVB rays can bounce back at you !
- Keep babies under 1 year out of direct sunlight.
- Remember don't forget your ears, nose, neck and any bald spots.
Prostate Cancer is the most common in men in Britain, with around 32,000 diagnosed and 10,000 men dying per year. It tends to affect older men, but not exclusively. The risk increases if there is a history of diagnosis in your family, or if you're from a Black African or Afro-Carribean heritage.
The prostate gland sits underneath your bladder is the shape and size of a peanut, and surrounds the urethra (the tube that you wee and cum through) which is why if something is wrong around there, men oftice notice it first when they have problems going for a pee or ejaculating. Our prostate gland also secretes some of the fluid that makes up semen.
Symptoms of prostate cancer
the following may be a sign of a prostate problem, but it is also worth noting men with early stages of prostate cancer can also show no symptoms at all. The symptoms below can also be caused by non-cancerous health issues too, so its best to get a GP to check you out:
- Weeing more often, especially during the night
- Difficulty starting to wee, or dribbling more once you feel you've finished
- Feeling like your bladder hasnt emptied properly
What can i do to reduce the risks?
Obesity is linked to prostate cancer, eating less animal fats and more fruit and veg are known to help, as is maintaining a generally healthy lifestyle