Testicular Cancer Awareness month

April is Testicular Cancer Awareness month. In the United Kingdom, testicular cancer is mostly diagnosed in university aged men. It’s the most common cancer amongst males aged between 15 and 35.

Every year almost 2,500 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer in the UK, but it is 98% curable if detected early, that’s why charity organisations like the Oddballs Foundation, Orchard and The Testicular Cancer Network, use the month to raise awareness, reduce embarrassment & ultimately aim to save lives.

What is Testicular Cancer?

Testicular cancer occurs when normal, healthy cells, which are carefully regulated by the body, begin to reproduce uncontrollably within an area of the body such as the testicles. Unlike many cancers, there are few known strong risk factors for testicular cancer. While most of these cancers occur in unsuspecting individuals, some risk factors can be traced in a minority of cases. These include:

  • A brother or father affected by testicular cancer.
  • A previous history of testicular cancer.
  • Caucasian men have a higher risk of testicular cancer than men from other ethnic groups.
  • Men born with an undescended testicle.
  • There is some evidence to suggest that men who are taller than average have a slightly increased risk of developing testicular cancer.
  • Twins have an increased risk of testicular cancer, especially if identical. But as testicular cancer is rare the risk remains low.

Signs and Symptoms of Testicular Cancer?

  • A small pea sized lump can be felt in around 90% of cases and in over 80% of cases this will be painless
  • Dragging sensation, ache or pain (more common in non-cancerous conditions)
  • Recent history of trauma, leading to examination and discovery of a lump
  • Swelling or tenderness. This is rare but may be caused by hormones which are produced by some types of testicular cancer. Similar symptoms can be caused simply by body changes during puberty (growing pains)
  • Back pain caused by enlarged lymph nodes in the back

Check Yourself:

For men over the age of 14, a monthly self-exam of the testicles is an effective way of becoming familiar with this area of the body which enables the detection of testicular cancer at an early – and very curable – stage. Why do you need to do it monthly? Because the point of the self exam is not to find something wrong today. The point is to learn what everything feels like when things are normal, and to check back every month to make sure that nothing has changed. If something HAS changed, you will know it and you can do something about it, and if you find a lump in your testicle contact your GP straight away.

The OddBalls Guide to Checking Yourself!

 

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