Men Over 60 Years of Age Urged to Stay Proactive with Cancer Screenings 

February 19, 2024

Cancer in men over 60 is relatively common, as the risk of developing cancer increases with age. The types of cancer that affect men over 60 vary, but some of the most common include prostate cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and skin cancer. 

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among older men, with the risk increasing significantly after the age of 50. Having regular screenings, such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests and digital rectal exams (DREs), are important for early detection. To confirm the diagnosis a core needle biopsy will be needed. If prostate cancer is not detected early, it can spread from the prostate to other parts of the body and in some cases the bones. Some symptoms to watch for are blood in the urine, trouble urinating, weight loss, and bone discomfort. 

Lung cancer is another significant concern for men over 60, particularly if they have a history of smoking or exposure to environmental toxins. Early detection can be challenging because symptoms may not appear until the cancer has already advanced, making smoking cessation and regular health check-ups crucial. In many cases, a physician will confirm lung cancer with a chest x-ray and if needed a biopsy could be performed. 

Colorectal cancer is also more common in older individuals, with risk factors including a family history of the disease, a diet high in processed foods and red meat, and an inactive lifestyle. Weight loss, chest pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath are a few symptoms to watch for with colorectal cancer. Screening methods such as colonoscopies can help detect precancerous polyps or early-stage cancer. 

Skin cancer, including melanoma and non-melanoma types like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, is more likely to occur in individuals with a history of sun exposure or tanning bed use. A mole that changes in size and color can be a warning sign to have a screening. Regular skin checks and sun protection measures are essential for prevention and early detection. If a dermatologist believes a spot on your skin is suspicious to potentially be skin cancer, a skin biopsy will be performed to confirm. 

It’s important for men over 60 years of age to maintain regular check-ups with their healthcare providers and to discuss any concerning symptoms or risk factors for all types of cancer. Early detection can significantly improve treatment outcomes and overall quality of life. Additionally, adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, and avoiding tobacco and excessive sun exposure can help reduce the risk of developing any of these cancer types. 

Recent research developments and advances in the field of cancer treatment and care for older men have progressed significantly. There are personalized medicine approaches, targeted therapies, and emerging treatment modalities. BTC of New Bedford is now enrolling men aged 60 and older for cancer screening. Get in touch with our clinic to see if you qualify.!/study/298