Health News Articles

Cancer and Genetics: What Men Need to Know

Jan 11, 2014
Male Genetic CancerMany forms of cancer tend to run in families. For both women and men, knowing when to seek genetic testing may lead to earlier intervention in, or even prevention of, a cancer diagnosis.

Genetics Make Men More Vulnerable to Cancer
Studies show that men are far more likely to die from all forms of cancer than women.

“Although we may not understand exactly why men have a harder time surviving cancer, the message is clear: While early detection and prompt treatment are extremely important for both sexes, it is absolutely essential for men,” says David B. Sokol, MD, board certified in medical oncology, hematology, and internal medicine, and a member of the Medical Staff of University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer over the course of his lifetime. But when caught early, the disease is highly treatable. The American Urologic Association (AUA) now suggests that men between the ages of 55 and 69 get screened annually, unless other factors suggest a higher risk. Knowing your family history and any other risk factors will help you to know when or if screening is right for you.

Men should also pay attention to any unexplainable physical changes they may be experiencing, recommends Dr. Sokol, from a decline in energy or a shift in appetite to new aches and pains. Listening to your body and sharing even small changes and concerns with your physician will help him or her develop a clearer understanding of your medical condition and determine whether screening tests or follow-up treatment is warranted.

For assistance finding an oncologist affiliated with Princeton HealthCare System, call 1.888.PHCS4YOU (1.888.742.7496) or visit www.princetonhcs.org.