Testicular Cancer – why’s it matter?
Did you know…? If you’re a chap aged 25-49, then of all the cancers, you are most likely to get testicular cancer. 2,300 Men were diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2013 – that’s more than 6 every single day. Around half of all diagnoses are for gentleman under 35, and have doubled in the last 50 years. Suddenly it all seems more real, right?
The Movember foundation want to raise the profile of Men’s Health, and help you realise that testicular cancer is a highly treatable disease that doesn’t have to end in sadness.
How do I know if I have testicular cancer?
The tell-tale sign is a lump on your testicle, but there are other symptoms of testicular cancer that you can look out for too.
- A dull ache or a sharp pain which can come and go;
- Differences between testicles;
- A sense that the scrotum is getting heavier;
- Changes in texture or firmness.
Unlike prostate cancer, which creeps up on you, you can actively seek out testicular cancer with a few very simple self-checks.
How to check your testicles
The important thing here is to make time to become familiar with your dangly bits, yes there’s plenty of guides out there on how to check your balls, but it all boils down to one thing. Get to know the size, shape and texture of your balls, check them regularly and you’ll notice any changes if they do occur.
The best way to do is this is actually in the shower, since it’s best done when warm. Just to roll your testicles between your thumb and forefinger, feeling for lumps or swelling; healthy testicles feel smooth and firm, one will be slightly larger and often the left testicle hangs a little lower.
What to do if you find a lump or swelling, or notice a change
The first thing to say is that not every lump is going to be testicular cancer; swollen blood vessels and benign cysts can cause lumps in your scrotum. Testicular cancer lumps will actually be on the testicle, but if you’re in any doubt at all, get yourself to your GP.
You can expect your GP to examine your scrotum, and may also be sent for ultrasound and blood tests. A biopsy is highly unlikely as the risk to healthy testicles is too high.
I’m not going to go in to treatment, since this is about awareness raising, but if you want to know about treatment, then try the NHS choices website.
More information also at Cancer Research.