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Self-examine for testicular cancer, early detection is key

Testicular cancer affects mostly younger men, can often be effectively treated and may be detected early if men self-examine carefully, according to a urologist.

Dr Johan Mouton from The Urology Hospital Pretoria says the treatment of testicular cancer is one of the “big success stories in modern medicine”.

“Previously, if you were diagnosed with testicular cancer there was a good chance you would not survive. Now, it can often be successfully treated through chemotherapy and surgery. It has a high probability of being cured if diagnosed early, as noted by the American Cancer Society,” he said.

He added that the National Cancer Institute in the US says 95 percent of patients record a five year’s disease-free survival rate while the Cancer Association of SA notes: “If testicular cancer is detected early, life returns to normal.”

Testicular cancer is an abnormal growth or tumour in one or both testes and symptoms include a lump, testicular pain and or discomfort in the groin or scrotum. Mouton suggests that men follow the steps set out by the Cancer Association of SA for self-examination which should be done at least once a month after a bath or shower.

Meanwhile, a recent a study suggests smoking cigarettes and marijuana in particular increases the risk of contracting testicular cancer, while other risk factors include a family or personal history of the condition, men who’ve had undescended testis at birth, infertility, obesity, and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Dr Mouton says younger men are more susceptible largely due to genetics and because cancer cells become active in the testicles after puberty. He says some men feel embarrassed to discuss the condition which could be detrimental to their health.

“If you’re concerned about the condition, make an appointment with a urologist at the Urology Hospital. We’ll conduct an examination and we’ll identify the best course of action,” said Dr Mouton.


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Urologists are highly trained specialist surgeons who use both medication and surgery as part of a comprehensive approach to care for men and women and children with urological problems. 


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