Early detection can cure testicular cancer
While most cancers affect those in middle age and older, testicular cancer affects men aged primarily between 17 and 35 and if detected early, can be successfully treated.
Although no specific SA stats are available, testicular cancer affects about one in 263 men in the US, mostly in early adulthood when most sperm is produced.
In SA, Dr Lance Coetzee of The Urology Hospital, Pretoria — who treats an average two cases of testicular cancer a month — says up to 98% of men diagnosed with testicular cancer are cured due to modern medical advances.
“We seldom lose patients to testicular cancer today. It is curable but early treatment is crucial,” said Coetzee.
Just as women need to check their breasts for lumps, so too should men self-examine their testicles at least monthly, he said, adding: “If men feel a lump or swelling that wasn’t there before, they need to have it checked by a medical professional. Keep in mind that lumps may not always be cancerous, but it is best to get it checked.”
Coetzee says basic treatment involves removing the primary tumour through the patient’s groin. However, if the cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, chemotherapy and sometimes surgical removal is advised.
Symptoms of testicular cancer:
- • Painless swelling or lump in one or both testicles
- • Pain or heaviness in a testicle
- • Lower abdomen, back or groin ache