By: Dr. Thomas Incledon
Testicular cancer is one of those topics that men shy away from talking about. Not only are men typically more private about their health and often do not regularly go to the doctor, but testicular cancer is also a particularly sensitive subject given the body parts involved. However, those very parts are the two reasons men (and everyone who has a man in their life they love) should take this topic very seriously and learn more about it.
First of all, testicular cancer is cancer of the testes or testicles. The testicles are located in the scrotum, which is a loose bag of skin under the penis. Testicles are important to male anatomy because they produce male hormones and sperm. Men have two testicles and usually the cancer only affects one.
Testicular cancer is considered to be a rare cancer with less than 20,000 cases diagnosed in the U.S. per year. Unlike with other cancers, testicular cancer more commonly affects young men; those in the 15- to 35-year-old age range are more likely to develop testicular cancer.
The good news is that testicular cancer is very treatable, with an average 73%-99% success rate. As with other types of cancer, patients can expect a more positive outcome if they take action once they suspect they may have cancer. If a man feels a lump or has pain in his testicles, he should see a doctor immediately for an examination. Typically, testicular cancer found in Stage 1 can be totally eradicated and a man can continue to live a totally normal and healthy life.
Spreading the word about testicular cancer is important because it removes the stigma men often feel is associated with the disease. Famous men who have beat testicular cancer include Tom Green, NFL player Josh Bidwell, and Lance Armstrong. By sharing their stories, they open up dialogue for others to discuss and ask questions. They also bring attention to the rare cancer, which can help others in finding their own cancer early, leading to a positive long-term prognosis.
This emotional component of speaking about testicular cancer is really important. “I often hear male patients say, ‘I didn’t tell anyone I had cancer because I didn’t want to cause them stress,'” says Dr. Tom Incledon, Founder & CEO of Causenta. “In my experience, friends and family want to be part of the solution and help. I tell patients not to prevent people from help them.” A strong support system can also help patients grow and connect as people; creating stronger relationships can help beat cancer because it gives a stronger purpose to the fight.
There is also a practical element of sharing the news of a testicular cancer diagnosis. “When people are overwhelmed, they can’t think as clearly and receiving a cancer diagnosis is extremely overwhelming,” says Incledon. “If patients can share the stress with people who care, they often make better decisions along the journey.”
If you are interested in learning more about testicular cancer and treatment options with Causenta, contact us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation today.