Testicular Cancer- Detection and Treatment
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Testicular Cancer- Detection and Treatment

Why should I do testicular self exams When should I do testicular self exams

This is a topic that has been under exposed for many years. It is a leading cause of treatable cancers in men, yet fail to be treated for lack of education and fear. Cancer in any form is a devastating diagnosis, but with testicular cancer, it can be deadly. Many men fail to perform self exams on their testicles and scrotum for several reasons. One reason may be that most men feel uncomfortable examining themselves. In my occupation, many clients have stated that it just makes them feel weird " checking the boys out ". Other clients have stated it is very difficult or too time consuming, it is simple, and takes only a few moments. A question that must be asked is " What is more important, feeling awkward for a couple of moments, or saving your life ? " This is a topic that must be confronted head on.

According to the American Cancer Society, " Typically, testicular cancer develops in one or both testicles in young men, but it can occur in older men as well. It is a highly treatable and usually curable type of cancer " .In 2010 there were around 8,500 new cases of testicular cancer diagnosed, of those 350 men died. also according to the American Cancer Society the risk of dying from testicular cancer is about 1 in 5000. In the United States there are over 170,000 men who have been successfully treated and cured of this cancer. If detected early, your chances of beating this cancer is very high.

So what are some signs and symptoms of Testicular Cancer. In the early stages a male may experience one or more of the following:

  • Notice a lump on one side or both sides of the scrotum
  • Notice swelling of the scrotum
  • May have a dull ache in the scrotum that sometimes radiates ( travels ) to the lower abdomen
  • May have unusual discharge, or foul smelling discharge from the urethra
  • Have a sensation of heaviness within the scrotum
  • Often there is no pain

In some of the later stages, some other symptoms that may be suffered include:

  • Swelling of the breasts
  • Breast tenderness
  • Discoloration of the scrotum ranging from a dusky color to dark coloring resembling a bruise.
  • Irregular shaped or chronic sores on the scrotum
  • SOB ( Shortness Of Breath )
  • Chest Pain
  • Hemoptosis ( spitting of blood, or bloody sputum ), that can not be explained by trauma or other injury
  • Chronic unexplained cough

If any of these symptoms occur consult with your physician immediately. Of course there is the possibility that these symptoms are benign ( harmless ), but it of vital importance to be examined by a physician. The physician will do some simple blood tests, checking CBC ( Complete Blood Count ), HCG ( Human Chorionic Gonadotropin ), PSA ( Prostate specific Antigen ), and a few others. These are of themselves not diagnostic, but do provide markers for further clinical follow up. The physician may order a CT of the male genitalia and lower abdomen, this will show any masses or lumps. If they are seen the next step is to do a simple procedure called a biopsy. A very tiny needle is inserted into the mass, and a small amount of tissue is taken for microscopic examination. It is the microscopic exam that is diagnostic. Taken with the results of the Radiologic and laboratory exams and tests, will provide an answer.

So when and how do I perform this self exam? The best time is once a month, preferably while in the shower, as this is when the testicles and scrotum are the warmest, and will lower considerably. Carefully and gently feel around the scrotum avoiding the testicles, feeling for any lumps, or any hardened areas, have you noticed the lumps before?, looking, do you see anything that looks unusual, such as a bulging area on the scrotum? any unusual discolorations? any pain or physical discomfort with this?. Next very gently, feel around and along the testicles, feeling for any unusual shapes or bumps. You should feel a large number of very slight ridges, this is normal. Any pain noted. Your physician can go into more detail and how exactly to be systematic. This was included to give a general idea of how its performed.

The importance of monthly testicular self exams and self breast exams can not be stressed enough. The amount of male cancer deaths can be cut drastically if we listen to our bodies and pay attention.

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Comments (3)

Nice article.Detection is ok;what about treatment?

Thanks John, very informative article. Are you going to do a follow up about seeking treatment?

Ranked #4 in Men's Health

Part 2 of this article, the treatment portion is being researched and outlined. it will be released in the next day or two. Thanks for the feedback. I realized once I had submitted it, that I had forgotten the treatment portion...My apologies

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