Ok, how many of you guys out there know that April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month? Unfortunately, most guys, not even many health care providers know that April is the month dedicated to making sure adolescent boys and men know about this potentially lethal problem.
- You probably can’t prevent it but you can check yourself for it.
2. If caught early it is highly (99 percent) treatable. If caught late it is almost 99 percent lethal. Which sounds better to you?
3. White males are four to five times more likely to have testicular cancer than Black men and three times more likely than Asian-Americans.
4. It is most common in men in their late 20s and early 30s with an average age of 33 years old as being the most common. But it can occur at any age and has been seen in boys as young as 15 years old.
5. This is the most common of the cancers for men between 20-40 years of age and occurs in 1 in 250 males
6. The first warning sign is usually a lump or irregularity in one or both testicles.
7. It doesn’t just stay in your testicles. Testicular cancer can spread to many other parts of the body, including lungs and the lymph nodes of the chest, pelvis, and the base of the neck. More advanced stages may have spread to the liver and bones. Testicular cancer rarely spreads to the brain but it can.
8. The best way to protect yourself from testicular cancer is to check both of your testicles at least every month. Feel around the Get It Checked by a health care provider.
- How To Check Your Testicles. You must check both testicles. Using your thumb and finger of both hands hold one testicle gently and roll it between your fingers.
- What You Are Feeling For. Normally testicles should be smooth, regular in size and not painful. If you notice any lumps, tender or painful spots or irregular shapes developing or a change in the overall feel of either testicle these are warning signs.
- What To Do If You Feel Any Warning Signs. This is the simplest part…. Get It Checked. Not next month. Not next week but right away. Call your doctor or health care provider, simply tell them that you felt a problem with your testicles and you would like to have it checked. Remember the most important thing is early treatment.
Dr. Salvatore Giorgianni is the senior science adviser to the Men’s Health Network.
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