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Testicular Cancer Awareness

Written by Courteney

Posted on April 16, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Testicular cancer can affect males of any age, but most commonly strikes those between 15 and 34. The American Cancer Society projects 8,720 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2016, resulting in approximately 380 cancer or surgery related deaths. However, most cases of testicular cancer are curable. The key to a positive outcome is early detection and treatment. The survival rate for testicular cancer is very high as many cases are caught and treated before the cancer spreads to surrounding areas.

Types Of Testicular Cancer

There are different types of testicular cancer based on the type of malignant cells. The most common type is germ cell testicular cancer. Approximately 95% of testicular cancer sufferers develop this type. The two main subtypes of germ cell testicular cancer are seminomas and non-seminomas, both of which respond well to chemotherapy.

Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

  • A bump or bulge in either testicle
  • Testicular enlargement or swelling
  • Low back pain
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • Groin pain

Risk Factors

Testicular cancer is a relatively uncommon affliction, affecting an estimated 1 in 263 men so having these risk factors does not mean you will likely develop the condition, some men have several of these and never get TC, while others don’t have any risk factors and still get the disease. Some of the risk factors for testicular cancer include:

  • Family history of testicular cancer
  • Ethnicity: white males are more likely to get the disease
  • Cryptorchidism, an undescended testicle, puts men at higher risk
  • HIV: males who have the HIV virus or AIDS are at increased risk
  • Age: testicular cancer mainly affects young to middle aged men

Prevention

As with most diseases, there are no sure-fire ways to prevent testicular cancer but there are some measures you can take that may help decrease your odds. The Canadian Cancer Society suggests reducing long term exposure to pesticides as they have been loosely linked to testicular cancer, “More research into the role of pesticide exposure in testicular cancer is needed. However, you should try to avoid or reduce long-term exposure and follow safety rules when working with chemicals such as pesticides.” Avoiding or quitting smoking may help lower your risk as well. Lastly, as men who still have an undescended testicle are at much higher risk of contracting testicular cancer, they should get an orchiopexy (surgical removal of an undescended testicle) to greatly decrease their odds of developing TC.

Detection

The foremost defensive measure all males should take against testicular cancer is to perform a routine self-examination which will help you detect any differences in the area that may be problematic. If you perform this examination weekly, you will certainly catch anything at the onset. If you detect any anomalies when performing a self-exam, be sure to contact your primary care physician right away. Often testicular symptoms can be attributed to less threatening conditions, but your doctor will perform the necessary tests to determine if cancer is present. Early detection almost always ensures a positive and treatable outcome.

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