10 Important Men's Health Questions to Ask

What are my chances of developing prostate or testicular cancer?

In addition to their greater susceptibility to cancer in general, men also have to worry about types of cancer that women don't. These include prostate, testicular and penile cancer. The first two are much more common, while penile cancer is so rare that there were fewer than 1,500 cases diagnosed in the United States in 2010 [source: National Cancer Institute].

Prostate cancer becomes more of a concern as you get older; the average age at diagnosis jumps from less than 1 percent to 8.9 percent when you reach age 45 [source: National Cancer Institute]. Symptoms include difficulty urinating or painful urination as well as painful ejaculation. Aside from a digital rectal exam, prostate cancer can also be detected through a blood test for PSA (prostate-specific antigen). This screening test is controversial because its effectiveness has recently come into question; ask your doctor if you should be screened.

According to the Testicular Cancer Resource Center, men between the ages of 15 and 35 are the most vulnerable to testicular cancer. Early detection means a self-exam. If you find what you think is a lump in your testicles, don't hesitate to discuss it with your doctor. Some men mistake the epididymis (the tube at the back of the testes that carries sperm) for an abnormal lump. Ask your doctor to examine you and how often you should perform a self-exam.

Related Articles


  • American Cancer Society. "Breast Cancer in Men." ACS. 2011. (Feb. 9, 2011)http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/BreastCancerinMen/DetailedGuide/index
  • American Cancer Society. "Heredity and Cancer." ACS. 2011. (Feb. 10, 2011)http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/GeneticsandCancer/heredity-and-cancer
  • American Cancer Society. "Prostate Cancer: Early Detection." ACS. 2011. (Feb. 10, 2011)http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/ProstateCancer/index
  • American Diabetes Association. "Genetics of Diabetes." ADA. 2010. (Feb. 10, 2011)http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/genetics-of-diabetes.html
  • American Heart Association. "Risk Factors and Coronary Heart Disease." AHA. 2011. (Feb. 10, 2011)http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4726
  • Bank, Doug. "The Testicular Cancer Primer." Testicular Cancer Resource Center. Jan. 17, 2007. (Feb. 17, 2011)http://tcrc.acor.org/tcprimer.html
  • Cohen, Jaime. "Men Likely to Put Off the Doctor." ABCnews.go.com. June 7, 2010. (Feb. 17, 2011)http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=116898&page=1
  • Davison, Mike. "8 Questions Men Are Afraid to Ask Their Doctors." AskMen.com. 2009. (Feb. 6, 2011)http://www.askmen.com/sports/health_60/76_mens_health.html
  • Fauci, Anthony S., et al. "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine." 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
  • MayoClinic Staff. "Belly fat in men." Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Nov. 5, 2010. (Feb. 9, 2011)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/belly-fat/MC00054
  • MayoClinic Staff. "Male infertility." Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. June 10, 2010. (Feb. 9, 2011)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/male-infertility/DS01038
  • MayoClinic Staff. "Men's Health: Preventing the Top 7 Threats." Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Feb 5, 2011. (Feb. 7, 2011)http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/mens-health/MC00013/METHOD=print
  • MayoClinic Staff. "Male menopause: Myth or reality?" Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. July 25, 2009. (Feb. 7, 2011)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/male-menopause/MC00058
  • MedicineNet. "Male Menopause." MedicineNet. 2011. (Feb. 9, 2011)http://www.medicinenet.com/male_menopause/article.htm
  • Men's Health. "Joint Pain Remedies." Rodale. 2011. (Feb. 9, 2011)http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/joint-pain-remedies
  • Men's Health Forum. "Men's greater cancer risk: inexplicable." MHF. April 14, 2010. (Feb. 17, 2011)http://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/cancer/20201-mens-greater-cancer-risk-inexplicable
  • National Cancer Institute. "What You Need to Know About Cancers of the Colon and Rectum." U.S. National Institutes of Health. 2010. (Feb. 9, 2011)http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/colon-and-rectal
  • National Cancer Institute. "Penile Cancer." U.S. National Institutes of Health. 2010. (Feb. 17, 2011)http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/penile
  • National Cancer Institute. "What You Need to Know About Prostate Cancer." U.S. National Institutes of Health. 2010. (Feb. 9, 2011)http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/prostate
  • National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. "Diarrhea." National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. 2010. (Feb. 9, 2011)http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diarrhea/
  • National Institute of Mental Health. "Men and Depression." Sept. 17. 2010. (Feb. 11, 2011)http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/men-and-depression/index.shtml


Stand by Me: Having Childhood Friends Reaps Health Benefits for Men

Stand by Me: Having Childhood Friends Reaps Health Benefits for Men

HowStuffWorks looks at a study linking time spent with childhood friends with improved outcomes in men's health.

More to Explore