Chris Hughes’ brother discusses his testicular cancer diagnosis
If detected early, 98 percent of testicular cancer is curable, meaning men are able to survive 10 years or more. However, to receive treatment, you need to know when to see a doctor. The Robin Cancer Trust provided these statistics on testicular cancer while informing men how to check their testicles. Every month men are advised by the charity to feel their testicles after a hot shower or bath.
The key is to check each testicle, one at a time, using both hands by “firmly, but gently, rolling the testicle between the thumb and fingers”.
Feel for any lumps, tender spots, hardness, swelling or a feeling of heaviness.
Do note the sperm cord, known as the epididymis, can be “rather tender” to touch.
If you’re concerned about anything you feel in that area, then do book an appointment with your GP.
When the GP discusses your concerns with you, they may perform a transillumination.
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Cancer Research UK explained a transillumination is when the doctor shines “a strong light through your testicle”.
Light will shine through harmless, fluid-filled cysts called hydrocoele.
However, if there is a cancerous mass, the light will not shine through the solid lump.
Although the condition isn’t usually painful, the first symptom for some men may be a sharp pain in the testicle or scrotum.
This early indication of the disease happens in around one in five men.
If cancer spreads form the testicles to the lymph glands at the back of the tummy, additional symptoms can occur.
For example, a dull ache could permeate in the lower tummy, or a backache might be felt.
Although less common, testicular cancer can spread into the pelvic lymph glands.
Lumps felt around the collarbone or in the neck may be indicative of testicular cancer that has spread to lymph glands in other parts of the body.
If the cancer spreads to the lungs then a person may experience breathlessness or a cough.
What are the testicles?
They’re two small oval-shaped organs which hang below the penis in the scrotum.
Most testicular cancers start in the sperm-producing cells, known as germ cells.
“Men who are taller than average have an increased risk of testicular cancer,” stated Cancer Research UK.
The average height of a man in the UK is 5ft 9in according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
In the UK, white men have a higher risk of testicular cancer than other ethnic groups.
Another risk factor for the disease is having a family history of testicular disease.
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