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Increase your awareness of testicular cancer

Testicular cancer affects men of all ages from all walks of life. According to the American Cancer Society, the rate of testicular cancer has been increasing over the past several decades, but many men are unaware of the signs and risk factors for this disease. April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, which hospitals around the country embrace as an opportunity to educate the community about this form of cancer. Here are some of the facts you need to know about testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer disproportionately affects young men.

Although testicular cancer only accounts for one percent of cancers in men overall, it is the most common kind of cancer among men between the ages of 15 and 35. Fortunately, testicular cancer is very treatable, despite the fact that most testicular tumors are metastatic, especially when the disease is diagnosed early. Roughly one in 250 men will get testicular cancer, but only one in 5,000 will die from the disease.

Many risk factors are unknown.

Testicular cancer is most common in Caucasian men. Men who have a history of testicular cancer in their families also have a higher risk of developing the disease, as do men with undescended or abnormally shaped testicles. Unlike many other forms of cancer, there are no obvious connections between testicular cancer and lifestyle choices. Men who get testicular cancer often do not have any clear risk factors for the disease.

Knowing the signs and doing self-exams could be life-saving.

The most frequent first indicator of testicular cancer is a painless lump on the testicles. Other signs include changes in the size of a testicle, a sense of heaviness or a collection of fluid in the scrotum and a dull ache in the lower back or groin. Some men also notice breast tissue enlargement or tenderness. Since catching cancer early is important, men should perform monthly self-exams, preferably in the bath or shower, when warm water relaxes the scrotum. If you notice any changes, see your physician.

The Los Robles Hospital Cancer Center in Thousand Oaks provides advanced cancer treatment through a team of compassionate specialists. Find a cancer specialist or get a referral to any physician throughout our hospital network by calling (877) 888-5746.

Categories: Testicular Cancer, Male, Cancer

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