Cancer Council Australia

Larger Text Smaller Text Save PDF Print

Get checked - men

A cancer prevention plan for men

Finding cancer early improves your chances of successful treatment and long-term survival.

Look for:

  • lumps, sores or ulcers that don't heal
  • unusual changes in your testicles - changes in shape, consistency or lumpiness
  • coughs that don't go away or show blood, a hoarseness that hangs around
  • weight loss that can't be explained
  • moles that have changed shape, size or colour, or bleed, or an inflamed skin sore that hasn't healed
  • blood in a bowel motion
  • persistent changes in toilet habits or
  • urinary problems or changes
  • These symptoms are often related to more common, less serious health problems. However, if you notice any unusual changes, or these symptoms persist, visit your doctor.

Prostate screening

The cause of prostate cancer is not known and there is no single, simple test to detect prostate cancer. Prostate cancer may be suspected if a blood test to check your prostate specific antigen (PSA) is above normal levels for your age.

If you have no symptoms and are thinking about having a PSA test, consider the risks and benefits. You need to balance the benefit of detecting a prostate cancer early against the risk that detection and treatment may not be necessary. Treatment may affect your lifestyle including sexual function, but may also save your life.

Make your own decision about whether to be tested after discussion with your doctor. Ensure you get good quality information to make an informed decision. Do you need the PSA test? Find more information here.

Changes in your testicles

Although testicular cancer is rare, it is one of the most common cancers in men aged between 15 and 45 years. It is also one of the most curable cancers if found early. The causes of this cancer are unclear, but men who have had an undescended testicle are at increased risk. Be aware of what is normal for you and if you see or feel any changes, see your doctor. Don't let embarrassment get in the way.

Ask about screening for bowel cancer

Early detection of bowel cancer greatly improves chances of successful treatment. Your risk of bowel cancer increases with age. If you are over 50, you should be tested for bowel cancer every two years.

The National Bowel Cancer Screening program uses the faecal occult blood test (FOBT) to detect hidden blood in bowel motions. People without symptoms aged 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74 are mailed a free kit and can do the test at home. From 2020, all Australians aged 50 to 74 will be offered the test free every two years.

Some people have known risk factors that put them at increased risk. If you do, your doctor will talk to you about regular surveillance.

Ways to reduce your cancer risk

  • Stop smoking - lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Australian men.
  • Be SunSmart - protect yourself in the sun and take care not to burn.
  • Stay in shape - aim for a healthy body weight
  • Move your body - be physically active for at least 30 minutes on most or all days.
  • Eat for health - choose a varied diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and limit your intake of red meat.
  • Limit alcohol - no more than two standard drinks a day (recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council) and try one or two alcohol-free days a week.

Remember, if you have any concerns or questions, please contact your doctor.

Where can I get reliable information?

Cancer Council 13 11 20
Information and support for you and your family for the cost of a local call anywhere in Australia.

Cancer Council Australia website
Early detection
Screening programs

Australian Prostate Cancer Collaboration

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program
Information Line 1800 118 868 


This page was last updated on: Friday, September 6, 2019

Web design Code and Visual