• Michael Misialek, MD

How Many Men Will be Diagnosed With Cancer in Their Lifetime?

November is Movember. The Movember Foundation is a global charity focused on men’s health and raising awareness of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity. All month men’s health is celebrated. Did you know a pathologist is a crucial member of the care team taking care of men?

Consider these facts:

One in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in his lifetime.

One in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.

Men are 24% less likely to go to a doctor than women.

Men die at a higher rate than women for all the top diseases.

They live on average 5 years less than women.

As a pathologist, I see disease on a daily basis. Much of it can be avoided through routine health care maintenance. Let’s look at the top 5 health issues for men and see how you have another doctor caring for you, the pathologist.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US for men and women. Pathologists oversee the laboratory which is vital for providing lab results for tests that help in monitoring atherosclerosis and diagnosing heart attacks.


Almost 800,000 people suffer a stroke each year. Laboratory tests are crucial in helping to rapidly diagnose and monitor treatment of stroke. Providing results for a patient’s blood count and coagulation status within minutes is vital. With stroke, seconds matter in being able to diagnose, treat and help recover brain tissue. Most hospitals have a detailed protocol for assessing the stroke patient and making sure they get the lifesaving treatment that can break up the offending clot.


More than 1 out of 5 Americans suffer from depression, with most not seeking treatment. The laboratory plays a major role in helping patients receive the correct diagnosis. Many diseases can mimic depression and it is important to rule these out. Also, the lab is important for monitoring the effectiveness of drug treatment, allowing your doctor to follow drug levels.

Prostate Cancer

More than 200,000 men will develop prostate cancer this year, making it the #1 cancer after skin cancer. Almost 30,000 men will die of prostate cancer, second only to lung cancer. Pathologists are important in the screening, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. It is not just a disease of older men. Young men can suffer from prostate cancer also.

Lung Cancer

More than 200,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year in the US. The diagnosis of lung cancer is made possible through the work of pathologists. Treatment depends upon the pathologist’s examination of tumor tissue and discovery of unique genetic signature, allowing for the selection of targeted therapy. This personalized approach to care, termed precision medicine, has revolutionized cancer care.

What can you do to help avoid these problems?

1- Make sure you get a good night sleep (6-8 hours). 2- Exercise 1 hour a day. 3- Keep well hydrated. Drink 4-6 glasses of water each day. 4- Follow a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables. 5- Stop smoking and limit alcohol consumption.

6- Make an appointment with your doctor for a check up.

You need to know the other doctor taking care of you. Ask your doctor about your pathologist. Make sure you are getting the right tests at the right time. We want you to be healthy. Take control of your health.

Article originally appeared in part on Talking About Men’s Health.

#pathology #cancer #menshealth

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