Men and Cancer

In 2020, cancer was the second leading cause of death in men, and one in two men will develop cancer during their lifetimes.

Some of the cancers that most often affect men are prostate, colorectal, lung, and skin cancers. Knowing about these cancers and what you can do to help prevent them or find them early may help save your life. The Division of Cancer Prevention and Control encourages regular, on-time screenings so cancers can be found early when they are small, haven't spread, and might be easier to treat.


Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, except for skin cancers. The chance of

African American Father & Son Walking the Beach

getting prostate cancer goes up as a man gets older, and most prostate cancers are found in men over the age of 65. Men with a family history of prostate cancer, African-Americans, men exposed to cancer-causing chemicals, and veterans exposed to Agent Orange are at higher risk.

Approximately 30,000 men in the U.S. die each year from prostate cancer. An average of 5,110 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in S.C. in 2022 and an estimated 880 will die

Prostate cancer screening consists of a blood test and a quick physical exam. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if now is the right time to check your prostate.  Learn more about prostate cancer.


Testicular cancer is rare and is most frequently diagnosed in men ages 20 to 34. It is usually found by men themselves by chance or during self-exam, according to the National Cancer Institute. Sometimes the cancer is found by a doctor during a routine physical exam.

Most testicular cancers can be cured, even if diagnosed at an advanced stage.


Male with Arms Folded Wearing a Blue T-shirt

Colorectal cancer is the third-most commonly occurring cancer in men. Regular screening is one of the most powerful weapons against colorectal cancer because it can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they become cancer.

The State Health Plan covers the cost for both diagnostic and routine colorectal screenings based on age ranges recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force. The State Health Plan also covers some early detection take-at-home tests for eligible members. Talk to your healthcare provider about which screening option is best for you.


Not all lung cancers can be prevented, but there are things you can do that might help lower your risk. If you don’t smoke, don’t start, and avoid breathing in other people’s smoke.

If you do smoke, consider stopping. Members of the State Health Plan have a free option to help, the Quit For Life® program. Sign up to quit now.


Repeated and unprotected skin exposure to ultraviolet rays from sunlight, as well as from man-made sources such as tanning beds, are the leading causes of skin cancer.

A type of skin cancer called melanoma is less common than some other types of skin cancer but is more dangerous because it is more likely to grow and spread.


Breast cancer is a men’s health issue, too! More than 2,650 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Talk to your healthcare provider if you notice any changes in your breast or underarm that concern you.