The Truth About Testicular Cancer
Fact Vs. Fiction
Cancers are often associated with fear, misinformation and myths. Testicular cancer, impacting a particularly sensitive area for men, is no exception. DMG Urologists help separate the truth from fiction for the 10 most common testicular cancer “facts.”
1. Testicular Cancer is common
FALSE! Testicular cancer accounts for only about 1% of cancer in males, and will develop in about 1 out of every 250 men, which is relatively low when compared to prostate cancer which affects 1 out of every 7 men.
2. Testicular cancer only happens in older men
FALSE! 50% of testicular cancers are found in patients between the ages of 20 to 34, although it can occur in infants, teens and elderly males.
3. Having an undescended testicle increases your risk
TRUE! An undescended testicle (when one or both testicles fail to move from the abdomen into the scrotum before birth) occurs in about 3% of male births. Individuals with an undescended testicle are more likely to develop testicular cancer than those with normally descended testicles. A surgical procedure may be required to bring the testicle into the scrotum and may reduce the risk of testicular cancer when performed while the child is young.
4. Individuals who have had testicular cancer may develop cancer in the opposite testicle
TRUE! Approximately 3-4% of males who have been treated for testicular cancer develop testicular cancer in the other testicle. Because of this, it is important to keep up with routine wellness and self-exams after treatment.
5. Injury to your groin increases your risk
FALSE! Although this is a common misconception, there is no conclusive evidence that links injury or trauma in the groin or testicle with testicular cancer.
6. Carrying your cell phone in your pocket can increase your risk
FALSE! As with injuries, there is no research to support that carrying your cell phone in your pocket will increase your risk of developing testicular cancer.
7. Testicular cancer can be cured
TRUE! Testicular cancer has one of the highest treatment success rates, holding steady at around a 95% cure rate. Testicular cancer is often caught early, but even if the cancer has progressed, testicular cancer is highly curable. The most common treatment method is surgery to remove the tumor and/or the affected testicle.
8. Treatment for testicular cancer will impact your fertility
FALSE! It is possible to have normal fertility with one testicle. If chemotherapy is required, there is about a 20-30% risk of infertility following treatment. If fertility is a concern, banking sperm before starting treatment is always an option.
9. Testicular cancer is more common in Caucasian males
TRUE! Caucasian men are four to five times more likely to develop testicular cancer than African American or Asian American men.
10. A painful lump in the testicle is the primary symptom of testicular cancer
FALSE! The most common symptom associated with testicular cancer IS a lump or swelling in the testicle, but it may not cause significant pain. More often, men may notice a feeling of heaviness or aching in the lower abdomen or scrotum rather than in the testicle itself.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as a lump, swelling or discomfort in your abdomen, scrotum or testicle, you can make an appointment with a DMG Urologist by calling 630-790-1221 or online at https://www.dupagemedicalgroup.com/services/urology.