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Testicular Cancer Awareness: What You Should Know
April 3, 2018
Testicular Cancer - malignant cells that form in the tissues of one or both testicles.
1 in 20,000 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer each year. While this cancer is rarer than most, it should still be a top concern for all men. If this type of cancer were to go undetected, it could spread quickly to other parts of the body, and educating yourself on the disease, its risk factors and the warning signs will help keep you in charge of your own health.
What are the risk factors?
Although most causes of testicular cancers are unknown, there are several risk factors that could put one man at more risk of developing testicular cancer than another. Most commonly those include:
The most commonly diagnosed are young men who are aged 15-34 years old.
Having an undescended testicle or abnormal growth of the testicles increases your risk.
You may be more at risk if you have a brother or father who has had testicular cancer before.
The most commonly affected demographic is white males.
Those who have had cancer in one testicle, are at a higher risk of developing cancer in the other testicle at a later date.
What are the most common symptoms?
Because there are multiple forms of testicular cancer and each patient has different experiences with the disease, symptoms can vary widely between each man. The most commonly reported symptoms to keep a watchful eye out for include:
- Pain in the testicle, groin or abdomen
- Changes in size or shape
- Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
What can I do to prevent testicular cancer?
While there are no scientifically proven ways of preventing testicular cancer, the most important thing you can do is educate yourself on the signs and symptoms.
Testicular Cancer is 99% curable if detected in the early stage* of its progression. By conducting a monthly self-exam, you will be at the forefront of your testicular health by looking out for any changes, lumps or pain in the area. “If you notice anything out of the ordinary, do not wait to see if it changes or goes away,” says Dr. Todd Vandenberg, Urologist in Columbia, SC. “Contact your primary care doctor or a urologist for an appointment as soon as possible. Many patients do not experience pain with a testicular cancer diagnosis, so it is important not to wait for the pain to occur before deciding to get checked out.”
“When caught early, treatment is a simple process,” says Dr. Vandenberg, “but again, the secret is catching it early.”
One thing all men can do to reduce the overall impact of testicular cancer is to talk about it. Advocating for men to be more proactive about conditions they may otherwise hesitate to speak openly about can increase awareness and action. By talking openly about these health issues with others, we can reduce statistics by detecting concerns early on.
Determined to help spread this message, underwear brand Tommy John has joined the cause by speaking out about the importance of early detection and risk factors of testicular cancer. During the month of April, which is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, a portion of their proceeds from limited edition prints for the cause will be donated to the fight against testicular cancer. Their hope is to make men feel comfortable and confident enough to talk about their own bodies without embarrassment. By doing so in a manner that is fun and provocative, Tommy John hopes to break the silence around the subject.
“It’s great to see a men’s clothing company actively educating the public about this issue,” says Dr. Vandenberg. “If this helps men to detect abnormalities early on, Tommy John may truly help save some lives and reduce the impact of testicular cancer.”