Testicular cancer can happen to any man at any time in his life. Every year, over 9,500 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer, and every 1 in 250 men will experience it in their lifetime. While the average-age man diagnosed with testicular cancer is 33, it can happen to teenagers as well. That means this is a widespread disease that everyone should be aware of.
Even though reports of testicular cancer have risen over the last 40 years, the death rate has been on the decline since 1990. Both of these statistics are due to early detection and intervention, which makes awareness of the disease imperative to men’s health across the world. Since April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, now is a great time to take action and learn how you can promote awareness in your family and community.
What is Testicular Cancer?
Testicular cancer is a cancer that occurs in one testicle and can eventually spread to other parts of the body. While it is less prevalent than other forms of cancer, it is the most common cancer in men ages 15-35.
Researchers are still unsure of the direct cause, however, something inside the testicle causes the healthy cells to become altered and develop uncontrollably. Risk factors include cryptorchidism (undescended testicle), abnormal testicle development (Klinefelter Syndrome), family history, race (Caucasian), and age (15-35). Fortunately, testicular cancer is highly treatable, with a mortality rate of 1:5000.
April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month
The Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation has named April the official month for testicular cancer awareness. Starting with Testicular Cancer Awareness week on April 1 each year, the month is kicked off with fundraisers, events, and social media posts to raise funds and awareness for this treatable form of cancer. The goal of Testicular Cancer Awareness Month is to put an end to the stigma and taboo that goes along with talking about testicular health.
Leaders and ambassadors of the foundation work to have testicular health classes taught in middle school, high school, and on college campuses. They hope to create an environment where young men can feel free to talk about their bodies without feeling embarrassed.
How You Can Raise Awareness
There are many ways to get involved with Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. From raising funds to educating others, here are a few ways you can spread the word this April.
Donating is a great way to get involved in testicular cancer awareness. Donations made to the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation as well as the Testicular Cancer Foundation go towards education, as well as supporting families and individuals affected by testicular cancer. You can even choose to donate to the Testicular Cancer Foundation while making everyday purchases by making it your non-profit of choice on Amazon.
Spreading the word about testicular cancer is what the month of April is all about. Don’t be afraid to speak to the men in your life about the importance of self-checks and annual screenings. Raise awareness in your neighborhood, office, or community by hanging a poster in a gym locker room, hosting an educational class, or simply wearing a testicular cancer awareness t-shirt. Any gesture, big or small, could save a life.
Volunteering is a vital part of Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, and there are plenty of ways to volunteer this April. From volunteering your time at a testicular cancer event, to passing out brochures around town, there is a volunteer opportunity perfect for your schedule. If there isn’t a testicular cancer event planned near your city, consider starting one with the help of a local hospital or non-profit.
Taking the time to raise funds for testicular cancer is a great way to help those in need this month. Fundraising can involve a collection jar at your office, hosting a party, or even having a bake sale. Fundraising opportunities are endless and always helpful. Get creative and discover a fundraising opportunity perfect for your community.
Start Performing Routine Self-Checks
If you are a man, the most important thing you can do this April is start a habit of performing monthly self-checks. These self-exams allow you to familiarize yourself with how your testicles should feel, so if there is ever an abnormality, you can quickly seek medical attention. Since testicular cancer is usually only located in one testicle, a simple comparison of your testicles can be very helpful. It is natural for one to be slightly larger than the other, so mainly focus on any changes from the previous month.
Every boy who has hit puberty should start incorporating these exams into their monthly routines, and this month is the perfect time to learn the steps. Self-checks are easy, quick and could save your life.
Don’t Forget to Visit Your Urologist
Because early intervention is key to successfully treating testicular cancer, be sure to visit your urologist for annual checkups. If you discover an abnormality during a routine self-check, schedule an appointment with your urologist for further testing. At Advanced Urology, we will perform a physical exam, testicular ultrasound and serum tumor marker test before diagnosing the condition. There are also numerous blood tests and scans we will conduct before deciding any treatment plans. Book an appointment with one of our experts today.