Cancer of the testicles accounts for only about 1 percent of all cancers in men. It is, though, the most common type of cancer in males aged 20 to 35, but can occur in other age groups. It strikes thousands of males a year. Often only one testicle is affected. If, like me, you like the comfort of watching TV with a warm scrot in hand (preferably your own!) then read the advise below and get some benefit from this otherwise unsociable habit.
The cause of testicular cancer is not known. However, there are known risk factors, such as:
In the early stages, testicular cancer may have no symptoms. When there are symptoms, they include:
Testicular cancer is almost always curable if it is found and treated early. The testicle is surgically removed. (SN - I don't know if I count removal as a cure, but at least you'll live)
Other modalities can further treat the disease:
The American Academy of Family Physicians Subcommittee for Male Patients recommends the teaching of testicular self-examination (TSE) between the ages of 13 and 18. (SN - That's one job I wont be applying for I think!) The testicles are located behind the penis and contained within the scrotum. (SN - In most cases!) They should be about the same size and feel smooth, rubbery and egg-shaped. The left one sometimes hangs lower than the right.
|Do you have severe testicular pain?
|Can any lumps, enlargement, swelling or change in
consistency be felt in the scrotum?
|Is there any sense of heaviness or pain?
|Is there an enlargement of the breasts and nipples or a
sudden feeling of puffiness in the scrotum?
No to all of the above, break out the beers your nuts are in good order.
Self-examination of the testicles is best performed when the scrotum is relaxed, after a warm bath or shower. This will also allow the testicles to drop down.
How to do TSE:
(SN - In the name of all that's holy who drew these pictures!)
Examine each testicle gently with both hands. The index and middle fingers
should be placed underneath the testicle while the thumbs are placed on the top.
Roll the testicle gently between the thumbs and fingers. One testicle may be
larger than the other. This is normal.
The epididymis is a cord-like structure on the top and back of the testicle that stores and transports the sperm. Do not confuse the epididymis with an abnormal lump.
Feel for any abnormal lumps (about the size of a pea) on the front or the side of the testicle. These lumps are usually painless.
If you do find a lump, you should contact your doctor right away. The lump may be due to an infection, and a doctor can decide the proper treatment. If the lump is not an infection, it is likely to be cancer. Remember, though, that testicular cancer is highly curable, especially when detected and treated early. Testicular cancer almost always occurs in only one testicle, and the other testicle is all that is needed for full sexual function.
Routine testicular self-exams are important, but they cannot substitute for a doctor's examination. Your doctor should examine your testicles when you have a physical exam. You can also ask your doctor to teach you the correct way to do TSE. Continue to perform testicular self-exam monthly, or as recommended by your doctor.
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This page last edited by it's creator :01 October, 2001
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