Did you know that one male is diagnosed with testicular cancer every hour?
April is Testicular Awareness Month, and throughout the month, organizations like ours are working in partnership with the Testicular Cancer Foundation (TCF) to bring attention to a disease that is rarely discussed.
Just the Facts, Man
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in males aged 15-34. Yet, many males still do not know the warning signs or wait too long to get their symptoms checked.
Early detection is key for a disease like testicular cancer, because when caught early, it has a survival rate of 99%, providing a promising future of good health.
Check, Check: Testing 1, 2, 3
The first question for many is “what can I do about it?”
Self-checks, ideally performed monthly, are the most effective method of early detection. They take less than 60 seconds and can be performed amidst daily routines such as taking a shower.
In a recent interview with TCF, the importance of self-checks was reiterated. “A simple self-exam can save time, money, unnecessary treatment and ultimately save a life.”
Although it’s extremely important to monitor our own health in many regards, self-checks are often forgotten. And, in many instances (too many!), it’s difficult to get men to actually go to the doctor when they are experiencing symptoms.
But again, for any symptoms related to testicular cancer, early detection is key.
Here are some steps to monitor your health and perform a self-check.
1) Check one testicle at a time.
2) Hold the testicle between your thumb and fingers of both hands and roll it gently between your fingers.
3) If you notice any of these symptoms, see a urologist right away:
- Changes in size, shape, or consistency.
- Hard lumps.
- Smooth or rounded bumps.
Nip It In the… Balls
The good news is that early detection combined with optimistic prognosis in many cases allows for a positive outlook.
“Luckily, almost all men with testicular cancer can be cured, so most men can be reassured their prognosis is excellent,” explains Dr. Michael Herman, the director of urologic oncology at South Nassau Communities Hospital. “It is also very reassuring that most men do not have any long-term problems with sexual or reproductive health, so it’s important to talk about those things starting with the first visit.”
To all the men in our lives, make sure to adopt a regular self-check. You, your loved ones and your body will thank you for it.