Men’s Health Month

Dr. David Samadi’s Proactive Guide to Reducing the Top 5 Cancers in Men for Men’s Health Month

By Dr. David Samadi 

Throughout my medical career, I have unfortunately been the bearer of bad news telling men, “Your test results have come back. You have prostate cancer.” Those words are difficult to deliver but even more devastating to the patient receiving the news. But I want men to know that taking proactive steps helps them never to hear those words. 

That’s why June, celebrated as Men’s Health Month, is an ideal time to raise awareness of issues impacting men’s health and wellness. It’s a month dedicated to educating and reminding men to take charge of their health by practicing good health habits and seeking early detection and treatment of any cancer they may face.  

Men’s risk for cancer

Cancer risk in men is real. Men have a nearly 40% chance of developing cancer in their lifetimes, according to some studies. As concerning as that risk statistic sounds, it should not necessarily scare you. Various factors, including age, lifestyle habits, family history of cancer, and environmental exposure, influence individual risk.

Even then, the combination of factors might not apply to you. However, men indeed have a more significant disadvantage of being diagnosed with cancer when compared to women. From 2013 to 2017, the cancer mortality rate has been higher among men than women (189.5 per 100,000 men and 135.7 per 100,000 women).  

Keep in mind, though, that cancer is individualistic. There can be two men sharing the same age, race, socio-economic status, and comparative lifestyles and still have different experiences. 

It’s always best to talk to your doctor about your risk for cancer. Have them review your current lifestyle habits that could increase your risk. From there, develop a plan to help lower this risk. 

5 Most common cancer in men and steps to reduce risk

Men can reduce their cancer risk with healthy lifestyle practices and regular screenings. Here’s a look at the five most common cancers diagnosed in men living in the U.S. and the important steps they can take to reduce their risk:

1. Skin cancer 

Skin cancer is very common in men. The most serious type is melanoma. It starts in the cells that make melanin, the color in the skin. By age 65, men are twice as likely as women to get melanoma, and by age 80, they are three times more likely. Men should inform their doctor about any changes in the size, shape, or color of a mole or freckle, sores that do not heal, or any new mole or lump under the skin. If melanoma is found and treated early, almost everyone can be cured.

Proactive steps reducing risk of skin cancer (melanoma):

  • Practice sun safety by avoiding midday sun, between 11 am and 4 pm.  
  • When outdoors, wear hats with a wide brim, sunglasses, long sleeves, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher

 2. Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, after skin cancer. Even though the vast majority of men will not die from this disease, prostate cancer screening is still important. 

Screening for prostate cancer requires two things – a digital rectal exam and a blood test for prostate-specific antigen, or PSA. Men who choose to skip annual physicals are putting themselves at risk of being diagnosed at a later, less treatable stage. Most prostate cancers tend to be slow-growing; however, some can be aggressive, making regular screenings for the disease imperative for finding and fighting it as early as possible. The risk factors for prostate cancer include:

  • Getting older, especially after age fifty.
  • African American ethnicity 
  • A family history (father, brother, or son) of prostate cancer 
  • Having a family history of breast or ovarian cancers
  • Eating a lot of high-fat foods and being obese.
  • Smoking
  • Physically inactive 

Proactive steps reducing risk of prostate cancer:

  • Reach and maintain a healthy body weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Make sure to consume at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Reduce intake of fatty, processed meats such as bacon, sausage, bologna, etc.
  • Don’t smoke

3. Lung cancer 

Lung cancer is the number one leading cancer killer of men in the U.S. with one in fifteen men who develop this disease. There are several reasons why men develop lung cancer at higher rates than women.  Men often work certain occupations that increase their risk such as metal workers, painters, plumbers and pipe fitters, welders, and construction workers. Other causes might be exposure to radiation, radon, urban air pollution, and second hand smoke. But the number one reason for men getting diagnosed with lung cancer is smoking. Close to 90 percent of lung cancers in men are related to lighting up. While there is life-extending treatments for lung cancer, it remains a deadly disease and difficult to treat. 

Proactive steps reducing risk of lung cancer:

  • Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke
  • Avoid radon
  • Make sure to consume at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Avoid carcinogens at work – protect yourself from exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Exercise regularly

4. Colorectal cancer

The fourth most common cancer in the U.S. is colorectal cancer or cancer of the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer can be highly treatable when detected early through screening. However, it remains the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S., with over 28,450 men succumbing to colorectal cancer each year.

It’s recommended to start colorectal screening with a colonoscopy starting at age 50, unless you have a family history or are African American when it’s recommended to begin at age 45. 

Proactive steps reducing risk of colorectal cancer:

  • Limit consumption of red meat and alcohol
  • Avoid processed meats such as hot dogs, deli meats, bacon or sausage
  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Reach and maintain a healthy body weight

5. Bladder cancer

The incidence of bladder cancer is notably higher among men, with a diagnosis being four times more likely compared to women. The likelihood of developing this cancer during a lifetime is approximately 1 in 27 for men and 1 in 89 for women. It’s important to note that the majority of people diagnosed with bladder cancer are typically over the age of 55, with the average age at diagnosis being 73.

There is no screening test for this disease, so it’s important to recognize possible symptoms of bladder cancer. These symptoms might include blood in urine, changes in urination such as frequency, pain, or urinary urgency, lower back pain, or pelvic pain. Men experiencing any of these changes should inform their doctor right away.

Proactive steps to reduce bladder cancer:

  • Choose cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, turnips, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage each day
  • Drink plenty of water daily
  • Take precautions when working with chemicals 
  • Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and nuts and be sure to include rich souces of omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, sardines, tuna, and halibut while reducing red, fatty cuts of meat


Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911. 


Dr. David Samadi | Robotic Prostate Surgeon

About is a resource created by Dr. David Samadi in order to raise awareness and get more men to receive prostate cancer treatment. The information is strictly general and you should always discuss with your doctor issues concerning your health.


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