Testicular Cancer Awareness Month was established to promote the importance of learning and recognizing the early signs of this condition, which affects men of all ages and is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in men between the ages of 15 and 34. When detected early, testicular cancer is one of the most treatable and curable forms of cancer, and the best way to do so is by performing a monthly self-exam.
Many men prefer to perform a self-exam for testicular cancer during a warm shower because the steam tends to relax the scrotum, making it easy to manipulate. Here are the steps:
- Move the penis to one side and examine one testicle at a time.
- Hold the testicle between the thumbs and fingers of both hands and gently roll it from side to side.
- Take note of any smooth, rounded or hard lumps, and any changes in the size, shape or consistency of the testicle (keep in mind that it can be normal for one testicle to be larger and lower than the other, and that if that is the case for you, it should not be a cause for alarm).
- Promptly report any unusual changes to a urologist (a physician who specializes in treating conditions affecting the male urinary tract and reproductive organs).
The cause of testicular cancer, which can develop in one or both testicles, remains unclear. One known risk factor is a condition called cryptorchidism, in which one or both testicles are undescended (did not move into the scrotum during development). While most of these cancers develop in the germ cells that produce sperm, cancer can also form in the stroma (tissue that produces hormones). Both types of tumors are usually highly responsive to treatment.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we take a unique approach to testicular cancer treatment. The multispecialty testicular cancer treatment team in our Urologic Oncology Program develops an individualized treatment plan for every patient, taking into account unique factors such as the stage and cell type of a tumor, as well as a patient’s age, health condition and preferences. This helps us to provide the best possible outcome and quality of life for every patient we treat.
If you’d like to learn more about the signs and treatment of testicular cancer, call 1-888-MOFFITT or complete a new patient registration form online. No referrals are required.