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Men’s health: common male cancers signs and symptoms

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Men’s health issues should always be at the forefront of our minds, from mental health to male cancers. That’s why we’ve put together a short guide on everything you need to know about the three most common male cancers and their signs and symptoms.

The earlier any type of cancer is diagnosed, the better the chances are that your treatment will be successful. Part of this is understanding the symptoms and when you should see your GP for a possible early diagnosis.

Prostate cancer

The prostate gland is found below the bladder. Symptoms of prostate cancer include problems such as:

  • having difficulties urinating
  • having sudden urges to urinate and urinating more often than normal, especially at night

If you’re experiencing symptoms like this, which aren’t normal for you, see your GP. And, if it is another underlying condition causing these symptoms, your GP can offer treatments that may provide relief.

Testicular cancer

You may have a higher-than-usual risk of developing testicular cancer if you have an undescended testicle, if you have a family history of it, or if you have a related medical condition such as an inguinal hernia or HIV. You should look out for:

The most most common sign of testicular cancer is a lump or swelling that’s the size of a pea or larger in part of one testicle.

Other symptoms include:

  • Discomfort or pain in a testicle or in the scrotum
  • The scrotum feeling heavy

If you find a lump, or notice something different about one of your testicles that isn’t normal for you, see your GP.

Checking for testicular cancer

According to Cancer Research UK, it’s a good idea to look at and feel your testicles every now and then. But you shouldn’t worry about doing it regularly in a set way at a set time.

Try checking yourself after a warm bath or shower, when the scrotal skin is relaxed. Pay attention to the size and weight of your testicles, as well as any lumps or swelling.

See your GP if you have:

  • An unusual lump or swelling in part of one testicle
  • A sharp pain in the testicle or scrotum
  • A heavy scrotum
  • An increase in the firmness or feel
  • An unusual difference between one testicle and the other

Your symptoms are unlikely to be cancer, but it’s important to get them checked out.

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Penile cancer

Cancer of the penis is rare in the UK, but some men have a higher risk of developing it than others. These include those with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) called HPV and those with a weakened immune system. According to the NHS, chemicals in cigarette smoke can also cause penile cancer.

The main symptoms of penile cancer

These include: 

  • A growth or sore on the penis that doesn’t heal within four weeks
  • A rash or a change in the colour of the penis or foreskin
  • leeding from the penis or from under the foreskin and a foul-smelling discharge

Any of these signs could be a symptom of something else, including an STI. It’s best to see your GP if you notice any of the symptoms of if you’re worried.

Our services

We have a range of healthcare services that can help you keep your health in check, like type 2 diabetes screenings, you can find our full list of health services here.


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