Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., and is expected to be the number one killer in 16 years. Men are more likely to die of cancer than women, but scientific advancements like antibiotics, vaccines, and chemotherapy have decreased how often people die of cancer. Prostate cancer is the leading cancer for males, but there are other cancers men should protect themselves against as well.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the number one cancer risk for men, and the number two cancer killer (after lung cancer). About one man in seven will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. Prostate cancer begins when the cells in the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably. Almost all prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas, which develop from the gland cells (the cells that make the prostate fluid that is added to the semen). While some cancer risk factors, like race, family history, and age can't be controlled, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking can help.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women (not including skin cancer). About one in 14 men will develop lung cancer in his lifetime, and this includes both smokers and nonsmokers. For smokers the risk is much higher; non-smokers they face a lesser risk. Lung cancer is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood, according to LungCancer.org, a program of CancerCare. The best way to prevent lung cancer is to not smoke and to avoid secondhand smoke.

Colorectal Cancer

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men. Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colon cancer is about one in 21 for men. Colon cancer and rectal cancer often occur together and are called colorectal cancer. It is not necessarily the same as rectal cancer, but they often occur together in what is called colorectal cancer. Rectal cancer originates in the rectum, which is the last several inches of the large intestine, closest to the anus. Colon cancer cells do not die in a normal way, but continue to grow and divide. Cancer screenings, exercising regularly, not smoking, and not having more than two alcoholic drinks a day will help reduce the risk.

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men, and accounts for about five percent of all new cancers in the US. Typically, bladder cancers in older people with about 9 out of 10 people with this cancer are over the age of 55. The average age at the time of diagnosis is 73. Overall, the chance men will develop this cancer during their life is about 1 in 26.

The cancerous cells can spread through the lining into the muscular wall of the bladder, while invasive bladder cancer may spread to lymph nodes, other organs in the pelvis (causing problems with kidney and bowel function), or other organs in the body, such as the liver and lungs.

Melanoma Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, and melanoma accounts for only about one percent of skin cancers, but causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths. The risk of melanoma increases as people age, with the average age of people when it is diagnosed is 63, but it is not uncommon even those under 30. It’s one of the most common cancers in young adults, especially young women. Men, between the ages 15 to 39 are 55 percent more likely to die of melanoma than women in the same age group, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Skin cancers arise from the skin, and are due to the development of abnormal cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Avoiding long exposure to the sun and sunburns, and protecting the skin with sunscreen re the best ways to avoid this risk. This is highly recommended for men who have a light complexion and a lot of freckles.

Understanding the most common cancers in men and knowing the ways to reduce risk will help prevent cancer deaths.