Article furnished by Dr. Jay Kulkin -- Movember continues... and this time we're talkin' testicles.
While prostate cancer is more common in older men, testicular cancer is most common in males between 15 and 35 years of age.
The good news is testicular cancer only accounts for about 1% of all cancers in men, and should you be faced with this diagnosis the prognosis with treatment is excellent.
The testes make and store sperm, they also produce the hormone testosterone. They are the 2 male sex organs located below the penis in a sack called the scrotum. They also tend to be one of the more sensitive areas on the male body.
What causes testicular cancer?
Like most cancers, experts don't really know what causes testicular cancer, and most men who get testicular cancer have no risk factors at all.
That being said there are a few scenarios that may increase your risk.
1. Having an undescended testicle or cryptochidism. This is when, as an infant, a testicle does not drop down into the scrotum from the belly.
2. Family history
3. Genetic disorders such as Klinefelter's syndrome. Normally males have one X and one Y chromosome. Male with Klinefelter's syndrome have at least 2 X chromosomes and in really rare cases they can have 3 or 4.
How is testicular cancer diagnosed?
Most men find testicular cancer themselves during a self-examination. It is recommended that you do a self exam once a month. It's best to perform them in a warm shower so that the skin on the scrotum is relaxed. Examine one testicle at a time feeling for any lumps and bumps along the front or sides. Lumps can be very small. If you notice any swelling or feel any lumps be sure to contact your doctor. Lumps and swelling are not always signs of cancer, but they should be checked out by your doctor as soon as possible.
Testicular cancer is almost always curable, the key is to catch it and treat it early.
Dr. Jay Kulkin, Founder of WIFH in Atlanta, is an internationally recognized laser expert and teaches doctors from from within the U.S. and around the world about laser techniques. He is a Board Certified Gynecologist and is often quoted in the media and featured on a number of TV networks including CNN, Headline News and local Atlanta networks on laser issues. He has been practicing in Atlanta since 1983 and is a Fellow (the highest distinction achievable) of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery and is the former Executive Director of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Women's Health Program, which he was instrumental in creating. Dr. Kulkin is committed to bringing the latest advances in laser research to his patients.