Ask the Expert: Men's Health Month Screening
As Men’s Health Month comes to a close, Amanda Ivey, FNP-C at CaroMont Family Medicine – Lake Wylie and an advocate of preventative medicine, shares information regarding the risks of testicular cancer and the benefits of early detection.
Who is most at risk for testicular cancer?
Testicular cancer in males can occur at any age, including infants and elderly men. However, it is most prominent in Caucasian males between the ages of 15 and 35. Individuals who have a family history of testicular cancer, have HIV or whose testes did not descend from the abdomen to the scrotum before birth are at increased risk for developing testicular cancer. While there are only approximately 400 annual deaths from testicular cancer in the United States, there are approximately 9,300 diagnosed cases.
What is the best measure a person can take in the fight against testicular cancer?
One of the most effective tools in fighting testicular cancer is recognizing the signs and symptoms of the disease. Some of these include a painless lump, a swollen testicle, low back pain or a heaviness in the lower abdomen or scrotum. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is best to follow up with your primary care provider immediately.
How often should a person be checked for testicular cancer?
Even if an individual is not experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, a yearly physical examination performed by their health care provider is the best method to detect any potential health issues early. To date, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and The American Academy of Family Physicians do not recommend screening for testicular cancer in patients without symptoms. The American Cancer Society does recommend that individuals with high risk factors perform self-testicular exams monthly.
Amanda Ivey is currently welcoming new patients. Please call CaroMont Family Medicine – Lake Wylie at 803.631.2858 for more information.
American Cancer Society. (2018, May). Can Testicular Cancer Be Found Early?. In American Cancer Society. Retrieved 2018, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/testicular-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/detection.html
Baird, D. C., Meyers, G. J., Darnall, C. R., & Hu, J. S. (2018). Testicular Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment. American Family Physician, 97(4), 261-268.
Testicular Cancer Screening (2016). In U.S Preventative Services Task Force. Retrieved 2018, from https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/testicular-cancer-screening