Hello My Friends
Welcome To The Vitality Project!
Testicular cancer is a disorder I chose to write about because, in my opinion, this potentially serious condition is not gaining enough awareness among men. Although prostate cancer has received a great deal of media attention and government support as a health promotion issue, testicular cancer has lagged behind.
Testicular cancer occurs in younger men but no age is immune to this type of cancer. The risk of developing this disease increases if you have a first degree relative who has or had testicular cancer, if you are Caucasian, had a history of an undescended testicle, or have diet which is high in nitrates.
The best way to evaluate your current risk is to regularly perform self-examination of the testicles. Self-examination is especially important if you have a positive family history of the disease. This can be accomplished the next time you have a shower or a bath by placing each testicle between your thumb and index finger and firmly running the fingers across each testicle. What you are feeling for are bumps or small irregularities which can be felt with your fingers. The testicle itself can also be enlarged in comparison to the other. The bumps may or may not be painful but the scrotum may feel enlarged, swollen and painful to outside pressure. Testicular cancer can also be accompanied by lower abdominal pain.
The reason I am mentioning this disorder is that testicular cancer has a cure rate approaching 90% which makes it a very treatable form of male-related cancer. The diagnosis of testicular cancer following blood work, ultrasound and physical examination usually implies the complete removal of the diseased testicle and more aggressive therapy including chemotherapy if required.
Another important issue I would like to mention is that the risk of developing testicular cancer in men is directly related to their level of physical activity. Men who are more physically active throughout their lives have a decreased chance of ever developing this disease. In my view, this idea is very important because I know that some younger men have a tendency to develop a lifestyle which is sedentary in nature. If this trend continues throughout their lives, the risk of developing this type of cancer may also increase. As will the development of other diseases!
This week, the awareness should shift to preventing testicular cancer by encouraging men, regardless of age to become a lot more active, consume a healthier, nutrient-dense diet, avoid the habitual use of cannabis and perform self-examination. If you find anything unusual or you are experiencing the symptoms of testicular cancer, contact your family physician for an appointment.
Dr. Kevin. J. McLaughlin
Clinical Director: The Vitality Project