When is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month? What is the Testicular Cancer Awareness Month color? What month is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month? These are all important questions. April is International Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s time to get down to your skivvies and get yourself tested. In this article, we’ll cover the basic information you need to know about testicular cancer month—from testicular cancer information, why testicular cancer awareness is important, testicular cancer symptoms, and tips for self-examination. Testicular cancer affects many men from around the globe, and hopefully, by the end of this piece, you will have a better understanding of why International Testicular Cancer Awareness month is so important to get the word out.
Importance of Testicular Cancer Awareness
Testicular cancer awareness is incredibly important. One in 300 men is at risk of getting testicular cancer. One in 5,000 men who get testicular cancer will not live through it.
Unfortunately, one of the main reasons there is such a need for testicular cancer awareness is the fact that many men tend to ignore medical symptoms, especially if it might have anything to do with their sexual organs. Many of them believe there is some stigma connected to any disease or virus that occur around the testicles; that it might make them less than a man. So, they may just ignore it, which is the worst thing they can do.
Testicular cancer is treatable, and with early treatment, the survival rate is high. But, like any cancer, if ignored and left untreated, testicular cancer can spread to other parts of the body and different organ systems. That’s why getting the word out about testing and treatment is so important. It can help end any issues that a man might have regarding cancer, just because it happens to take place in their private area.
It’s also important to know that you’re not alone. Many men get diagnosed, treated, and survive testicular cancer every year. Celebrities like cyclist Lance Armstrong, hockey player Phil Kessel, and Black Eyed Peas member Taboo are among the many men who have been diagnosed, treated and survived testicular cancer due to early detection. The survival rate is an estimated 98% if testicular cancer is detected early.
Hopefully, men will pay attention to International Testicular Cancer Month and start to be more aware of the issue, as well as become familiar with all of the symptoms and risk factors that are involved. Because the more familiar they are with the symptoms, the quicker it is to get tested, and hopefully, catch the disease before it does any significant damage.
Testicular Cancer Symptoms and Risk Factors
One of the best ways of detecting testicular cancer early, is to know and recognize the possible symptoms. The quicker you realize that something may be wrong, the quicker you can get to a doctor for a proper diagnosis so that treatment can begin right away. Testicular cancer has an approximate survival rate of 95% with detection, and that can go up to 98% with early detection. With that in mind, recognizing the symptoms is paramount.
Testicular cancer can include three of the following symptoms:
1. A lump
One of the most obvious possible symptoms of testicular cancer is a lump in the testicle area. Please note that while this is a sign of testicular cancer, it may not be testicular cancer, as there are numerous other causes of testicular lumps. Regardless, you should get any lump in or near your testicles checked out.
2. Testicular pain
Another symptom of testicular cancer is that your testicles may hurt. The pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp pain.
Your testicles may feel swollen and heavy.
You should be aware of the following testicular cancer risk factors:
- Testicular cancer tends to hit men between the ages of 20 and 40.
- If you’ve had a close relative with testicular cancer, then you are at risk.
- Having or have had an undescended testicle can also raise your chances or getting testicular cancer.
- Those men who are HIV-positive must also be on the look out for testicular cancer symptoms as HIV increases your risk for that.
- Caucasian men are more prone to getting testicular cancer than other races, but that doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t get yourself checked out if you have any of the symptoms we mentioned above.
Looking for or finding a lump can be a bit of a worrisome experience, but there are a couple of tips if you are doing a self-examination.
Self Examination Tips for Testicular Cancer
Now we come down to one of the most important parts of keeping active on your watch for testicular cancer symptoms—the self-examination. Many men might find this embarrassing as you kind of have to rummage around your junk for five minutes, but those five minutes might save your life.
To that end, here are six tips to make the self-examination easier.
1. Have a shower
Have a hot shower or a warm bath. It will help relax the testicle and make it simpler to notice any changes, lumps, or growths.
2. Make sure to examine both testicles
Just because one testicle checks out, doesn’t mean the other one is in the clear.
3. Don’t worry about them not being the same
Don’t worry if your testicles aren’t symmetrical, or if they are slightly different shapes. That is common. Significant differences, however, should be noted.
4. Gentle pressure
Use gentle finger pressure to check, enough so you can feel any differences, but not so much that it’s causing pain or irritation.
5. Use a mirror
While examining, use a mirror. It might help you to spot any differences that you haven’t caught by feel.
6. Locate the vas deferens
Also known as a spermatic cord (it should be smooth and firm), it is found at the top of the epididymis. Use both hands and place the index and middle fingers under the testicle with the thumbs placed on top. Roll the testicle between the thumbs and fingers looking and feeling for changes. Look for lumps located on the sides of the testicles, but very rarely, they can be found on top of or under the testicle.
If you do find something, don’t panic. Most lumps turn out to be non-cancerous. But no matter what, if you do find something, see a doctor for a professional diagnosis.
If You Find Something, Seek Medical Attention!
Testicular cancer has a high survival rate. And a very high survival rate if you get treated. Finding a lump shouldn’t feel embarrassing or too worrisome. You’ve taken the first step in diagnosis and treatment. The quicker you get treatment, the faster you can beat the cancer. And that’s why it’s so important that there is awareness of testicular cancer and International Testicular Cancer Month. It helps get the word out and eliminates any stigmas men might have regarding the disease. Examine yourself, have a doctor examine you, and get any worry about embarrassment out of your head.
“Testicular Cancer Awareness Month,” Testicular Cancer Society; http://www.testicularcancersociety.org/tc_awareness.html
“Symptoms of Testicular Cancer,” NHS Choices, June 30, 2016; http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cancer-of-the-testicle/Pages/symptoms.aspx
Gladwell, H., “Testicular Cancer: Self Examination Tips,” Steady Health; http://www.steadyhealth.com/articles/testicular-cancer-self-examination-tips?show_all=1
“Testicular Cancer Awareness Month,” Verita Life, March 28, 2017; http://veritalife.com/testicular-cancer-awareness-month/