The number of new cancer cases in Queensland are among the highest in the world.  Nearly 60% of new cancers as well as cancer deaths will be among men.  It is possible that one third of cancers can be prevented, a further third can be detected early with the remaining third able to receive effective palliative care.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer remains the major cause of death from cancer for men in Queensland.

The leading risk factor for lung cancer is tobacco smoking, causing an estimated 81% of cancer in Queensland. It is now well known that there is no safe level of smoking and that exposure to passive smoking is also harmful to health, particularly of children.

There are many benefits to quitting smoking, from improved health to saving money. But what you may not know is:

  • 3 months after quitting, your lung function and circulation improves
  • 1 year after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is halved compared to continuing smokers
  • 10 years after quitting, the chances of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a continuing smoker, and will further decrease. Risk of cancers of the bladder, kidney and pancreas also decrease
  • 15 years after quitting, the risk of heart disease and risk of death is about the same as for those who have never smoked.

Find out more about smoking and how to quit.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for Queensland men.

The risk of getting prostate cancer increases as you get older, however there are ways of checking the health of your prostate. Talk to your doctor for options, particularly if you’re over 40.

For more information on prostate cancer visit Cancer Council Queensland.

Bowel cancer

Bowel cancer is a common cancer diagnosed in Queensland men. The good news is that bowel cancer is one of the most preventable cancers and if detected early, can be successfully treated.

Changes in your regular bowel habits, bleeding from your rectum (back passage) or blood in the toilet, unexplained tiredness and abdominal pain are some early warning signs that indicate something needs investigation. Anyone who experiences these symptoms is encouraged to talk to their doctor.

There is also a National Bowel Cancer Screening Program that by 2020 will invite all eligible Australians aged 50–74 years to do a bowel cancer screening kit every two years. In 2019 you will be invited to take part in the program if you turn 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74 years old. You simply do a test in the privacy of your own home, and then send off the samples in the mail.

One of the best ways of reducing your risk of developing bowel cancer is to stay healthy. Being physically active, keeping a healthy body weight, limiting alcohol intake, not smoking, and eating well with plenty of fruit, vegies, high-fibre food and not eating too much red meat can help reduce your risk.

For more information about bowel cancer please visit Cancer Council Queensland.

Melanoma (skin cancer)

Queensland has the highest rate of melanoma in Australia, with Australia and New Zealand having the highest rates in the world. In 2010 the male death rate from melanoma was double that of women and the number of new diagnoses was also higher.

Living in the sunshine state means Queenslanders want to get outside as much as possible, and of course there are those of us that spend a lot of time outdoors for work. Unfortunately our great climate and outdoor lifestyle does increase the risk of developing skin cancer as exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation adds up over time. We know that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure from the sun causes 95% of all cases of melanoma and 99% of non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia.

The great news is that the majority of cases of skin cancer are preventable. The best way to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer is to use the 5 recommended sun protection methods whenever you are outside.

Protect yourself in 5 ways from skin cancer

  1. Hat—Broad brimmed to shade your face, ears and neck
  2. Clothing—Cover up as much as possible. Dark colours and close weave fabrics are best
  3. Shade—Get in it when you can. Seek shade from trees and buildings or take shade with you
  4. Sunglasses—Wrap-around is best. Find a pair that meets Australian standard AS/NZS 1067:2003
  5. Sunscreen—Water resistant, broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher applied 20 minutes before going outside. Reapply every 2 hours.

Know your skin and check it regularly and if you notice a change in size, shape or colour to any spots or moles on your skin, have them checked by your doctor.

For more information visit our sun safety section or Cancer Council Queensland.

Testicular cancer

Testicular Cancer is a cancer more commonly diagnosed in young men (under 35).

There is no screening test or proven way to prevent testicular cancer. The causes of testicular cancer are unknown however men with a family history (having a brother or father who had testicular cancer), a personal history or who were born with an undescended testicle may have an increased risk of the disease. All testicular cancers can be treated.

A number of tests may be performed to investigate symptoms of testicular cancer to confirm a diagnosis.  Common tests include an examination, imaging (ultrasound, scan or MRI) and biopsy.  The most common symptoms of testicular cancer are:

  • a painless lump or swelling in either testicle
  • a change in how the testicle feels
  • an ache in the lower abdomen or groin
  • a sudden build-up of fluid in the scrotum
  • pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum.

If you notice changes or experience any of the above symptoms, talk to your doctor without delay.

For more information on testicular cancer please visit Cancer Council Queensland.

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