Testicular cancer accounts for only 1 percent of all cancers in men in the United States. About 8,090 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer, and about 390 men die of this disease each year. Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 35. The testicular cancer rate has more than doubled ain the past 40 years.
The following information is brought to you by the Testicular Cancer Resource Center. The TCRC is a volunteer effort by former TC patients who's sole goal is to help others in their fight against this disease.
WE HAVEN'T TALKED ABOUT IT...
Greetings--This letter concerns a subject most men have never talked about, but we certainly should have: TESTICULAR CANCER. It is the MOST COMMON cancer among men aged 15 to 35. While it is extremely treatable, the treatment is MUCH easier if it is detected early, and detection is EASY: you just perform a simple self exam every month. Yeah, it's embarrassing to talk about this, but guys have actually died simply because they were too embarrassed to get medical attention for something wrong "down there"...
Below you'll find detailed information on the monthly self exam. But before you read this, you should know that the point of the self exam is not to actually find cancer. It's so you can becomefamiliar with the way your testicles feel and you'll be able to know if anything ever feels different "down there" - this different feeling then deserves a trip to the doctor, preferably a urologist. Also note that most guys with TC symptoms often do not have TC, but some other urological problem that still needs treating. There is a lot of information about TC available on the internet - a good starting point is the Testicular Cancer Resource Center at http://tcrc.acor.org/
Please read the detailed instructions below.
========== The Testicular Self-Examination ==========
You might think of the self exam in terms which may sound familiar:
STOP, DROP, and ROLL:
STOP -- Stop for a few moments in the shower once a month.
DROP -- Drop your hands to your testicles, placing your indexand middle fingers under the testicles with your thumbs on top.
ROLL -- Roll your testicle gently between your thumb and fingers.
The self exam for TC is best performed after a warm bath or shower. [Heat relaxes the scrotum, making it easier to spot anything abnormal] Try to follow these steps EVERY MONTH:
1 - Stand in front of a mirror. Check for any swelling on the scrotum skin.
2 - Examine each testicle with both hands. Place the index and middle fingers under the testicle with the thumbs placed on top. Roll the testicle gently between the thumbs and fingers -- you shouldn't feel any pain when doing the exam. Don't be alarmed if one testicle seems slightly larger than the other, that's normal.
The testicle should feel smooth and have an egg-like appearance with the
exception being where the epididymis attaches. This is the soft, tube-like
structure behind the testicle that collects and carries sperm - you need to be
familiar with this structure so you won't mistake it for a suspicious lump.
Cancerous lumps usually are found on the sides of the testicle but can also show
up on the front as well.
3 - If you find a lump, see a doctor, preferably a urologist, right away. The abnormality may not be cancer, it may just be an infection. But if it is TC, the chances are great it can spread if not stopped by treatment. Waiting and hoping will not fix anything - urologic or TC. When in doubt, get it checked out - if only for peace of mind!
Other signs of TC to keep in mind are:- Any enlargement of a testicle;- A significant loss of size in one of the testicles;- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum;- A dull ache in the lower abdomen or in the groin;- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum;- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum;- Blood in the urine;- Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts.
*** Remember, only a physician can make a positive diagnosis ***