Testicular cancer awareness

It’s Movember, men’s health awareness month. As you may know, Movember is the leading charity changing the face of men’s health, raising awareness and funds for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, as well as, mental health and suicide prevention.

In this article, we bring your attention to testicular cancer. Because we want to bring you the most accurate and professional information, this article is based on an interview with a general practitioner, Dr. Philipp Bannwart.

What is testicular cancer?
Testicular cancer occurs when cancerous (malignant) cells develop in the tissues of a testicle. It is also possible for cancerous cells to develop in both testicles, however, that is quite rare.

What are the risk groups?
Testicular cancer typically has two spikes: in young males 16-22 years of age and in men aged 60 and up. However, it can occur at any age.
Some of the main risk factors include an undescended testicle, having a family history of testicular cancer, as well as previous case of testicular cancer.

What are the symptoms of testicular cancer?
Some of the symptoms may include:

  • swelling or a sudden gathering of fluid in the scrotum
  • feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • a lump or swelling in either testicle
  • pain or discomfort in the scrotum or a testicle

Testicular cancer is usually diagnosed after the man notices a lump or other change in a testicle. In fact, similarly to breast self-checks for women, men can also feel for tumors or masses in the testicles. If anything feels out of the ordinary, one is strongly encouraged to seek medical advice. Dr. Bannwart also emphasized the fact that there is not always a tenderness to cancer. Contrary to popular belief, cancer doesn’t always hurt, therefore, if something doesn’t feel right, don’t wait before seeking professional help. If an abnormality is suspected, an ultrasound is then carried out, this is a painless medical test that allows doctors to see any abnormalities in the testicle.

Can testicular cancer be cured?

The good news is that when testicular cancer is detected and treated early, it is highly curable.

Dr. Bannwart pointed out the importance for all healthy men to do their routine check-up at the age of 50 and not postpone it. The routine check includes a physical exam, blood work, as well as blood pressure checks. Side note: high blood pressure is known as the silent killer and is often missed due to the lack of visible symptoms. Please be mindful and do not underestimate the importance of these check-ups, as they can absolutely make a difference in a men’s life.

What is the treatment for testicular cancer?

The treatment for all cases of testicular cancer is to surgically remove the affected testicle. This procedure may then be followed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy, depending on the severity and stage.

What is the one thing doctors wish their patients knew or emphasized?

Be aware of your body. Be a good friend to your body. We have learned so much about nutrition over the last decade, we learned a lot about inflammation, which is often the driving force of cancers. The greater the awareness of one’s body and the practice of treating his body as a temple, the better.

It is crucial to emphasize that this too should not be taken to the extreme. Nowadays, many young people seek to be medicated and are sometimes quite obsessive in regard to their well-being. There has to be a natural awareness and trust that your body is incredibly intelligent and will most definitely give you signs when something is not well.

On this note, we encourage you to listen to your body, care for it as a holy temple, nurture it and trust that it will support you in return.

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