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Men's Health Week: Testicular Cancer

Each day during Men’s Health Week, we’re posting articles to raise awareness of common health issues for men. Today: Testicular Cancer.

Testicular cancer is unusual compared to other types of cancers because it tends to affect younger men who are 20 to 55 years of age. As a result, although relatively uncommon overall, testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer to affect young men (20 to 35 years of age). The main symptoms are a lump or a swelling in the testicle, but it is important to note that most testicular lumps are NOT cancer.

Some facts: Men with a brother or father who has had testicular cancer have a slightly higher risk of getting it. If an undescended testicle is not corrected by age 11, a man’s risk of testicular cancer is increased. In the UK, it is more common in white men than in men of other ethnic groups. Finding cancers early means they are easier to treat and have a better chance of a complete cure.

Over 95% of men with early-stage testicular cancer will be completely cured. Even cases of advanced testicular cancer, where cancer has spread outside the testicles to nearby tissue, have an 80% chance of being cured. Compared to other cancers, deaths from testicular cancer are rare. For example, in 2008, 60 deaths were caused by testicular cancer in England and Wales. Treatment for testicular cancer includes the surgical removal of the affected testicle (which should not affect fertility or the ability to have sex), chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Knowing how your testicles feel helps you know if there is a change. If you notice a change that is not normal for you, talk it over with your GP. You do not need to check your testicles daily or even weekly. It is enough to do it from time to time. Click here for information on checking your testicles and what to look for.

The Men’s Health Forum are working hard to push for more action from the government, health professionals and all of us. Why are men more affected, and what can we do about it? We need the data. We need the research. We need action. Currently, the Men’s Health Forum is the only UK charity doing this, and they need your support, click here for their fund-raising page.

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