If caught in time, testicular cancer is one of the most easily-treated cancers around. Yet only 3% of men take the matter in hand and check themselves on a regular basis.
What is it?
- Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer to affect young men.
- It's a cancer of the sperm-forming cells.
- In the UK, just under 1500 new cases are diagnosed each year.
- Cases have doubled over the last 20 years.
- Men aged 19-44 are at greatest risk.
Signs and symptoms
- a swelling, or a pea-sized lump in one of the testes.
- a dull ache in the scrotal area.
- stomach or backache can also be a symptom, which can suggest that the cancer is spreading
How to do a testicular self-examination. (Produced by Videojug.com)
Check for it
- Once a month, after a bath or shower, stand up and cup your cods in the palm of your hands, leaving your fingers and thumbs free to feel around.
- Get familiar with the size and weight of your testicles, and feel for any changes. Be aware that it's natural for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other, or to hang at different levels.
- You should feel a soft tube at the top and back of each bollock. This is called the epididymis, where the sperm is stored and ripens. What you need to look out for is any odd lumps, bumps or hardening on the surface of your nuts.
- Don't freak out if you do find anything, just get it checked out with a doctor. There's absolutely no need to be embarrassed or ashamed. They've seen it all before. It's their job.
Treating testicular cancer
- If your doctor thinks it might be cancerous, you will be referred to a hospital for a painless, non-invasive ultrasound investigation.
- If cancer is diagnosed, a simple operation will be undertaken to remove the affected testicle. In some cases, depending on whether the cancer has spread, chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment may be necessary.
- Treatment for testicular cancer should not affect your sex life, or ability to father children.
- It is very rare for testicular cancer to affect both bollocks. One testicle can produce enough healthy sperm to make up for the loss of the other.
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