Protecting the Family Jewels
Family Jewels, testicles, nuts, balls, or what ever else you call them, whether they are shaved smooth, waxed (ouch!), or look like a small Ewok, you need to protect these boys. Most testicular cancers occur in men between the ages of 15 and 40, and white men have a higher risk than men of other races. Some evidence has shown that men infected with HIV, especially those diagnosed with AIDS, are at a greater risk. A family history of testicular cancer also increases a man’s risks.
The best defense in protecting the family jewels is early protection. About 90% of testicular cancer cases start with a lump on a testicle that is often painless but can be uncomfortable. Men may also notice swelling or enlargement of the testicles, or have sensation of heaviness or aching in the lower abdomen or scrotum. Any of these signs or symptoms should be brought to a health provider’s attention right away.
Early detection – finding cancer early before it has spread – gives you the best chance to do something about it. Knowing about these cancers and how they can be prevented or found early can save your life.
Testicular cancer is diagnosed in about 8,000 men a year in the U.S. and 390 men a year die of testicular cancer. The rates of testicular cancer have more than doubled over the past 40 years and have now begun to increase in black men.
The cause of testicular cancer. is not known but they do respond very well to treatment. Most lumps in the scrotum are not testicular cancer but if you find a lump, swelling or detect any differences in your testicles when you do a self examination, you must see your doctor. Tests will be carried out by your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis.
Testicular cancer can be very successfully treated in 95% of cases. If you have any signs or symptoms of testicular cancer, I can not stress enough the importance of seeing a doctor. I have a friend (at the age of 18) that saw a program on testicular cancer and how to do a self exam/ he went home and did the exam while in the shower and noticed a lump. He went to the doctor and yes it turned out to be cancer. it was successfully treated and he is now cancer free and 28 years old. He credits seeing that program that he checked himself and caught it early.
The Doctor and Protecting Your Family Jewels
The main tests a doctor could run could include the following types:
a) Physical examination
b) Blood Test. This test will be looking for the serum blood markers,
beta HCG and alpha-fetoprotein that indicate the presence of cancer.
Up to 50% of early stage non-seminoma type testicular cancer do not
show these markers.
c)Ultrasound can show whether or not there are abnormalities in the
scrotum. High frequency waves called a sonogram can show the presence
of a testicular tumor even when it is very small and undetectable by
d) Biopsy of the Tumor. Because of the high risk of contamination and
spread of the cancer by doing a scrotal biopsy, the affected testicle
is almost always removed through an inguinal incision and the tissue
is examined. the sample will show the type of cancer. Seminoma (40%)
is the most common subtype. Non-seminoma subtype account for the rest
and include teratocarcinoma and embryonal cell carcinoma.
Further tests will be carried out by the doctor to check if cancer has
spread to other parts of the body. The doctor can then determine what
type of treatment is appropriate.
Regular testicular self examination, once a month, can alert you to changes in your testicles so it can save your life.
If you have a bath or shower first, your testicles will relax making it easier to identify any changes. Examine your testicles one at a time. You only need to use gentle pressure. Stand in front of a mirror. Look for any obvious changes from last month. It is quite normal for one testicle to hang lower than the other or for one to be bigger than the other.
Examine the epididymis first. It should feel soft and slightly tender to the touch. The epididymis stores sperm and sometimes it may be more sensitive than others. Find the spermatic cord which goes out from the top of the epididymis and behind the testicle. It should feel like a form, smooth tube.
Feel the testicle itself. It should be smooth with no lumps. Lumps or selling are most commonly found on the front or sides of the testicles. If you find a lump or swelling,painful or painless, have a feeling of heaviness in your groin, scrotum, or lower abdomen, then you should go see your doctor. It may be a sign of cancer or other disease that requires urgent medical attention.
Tips: Regular testicular self examination once a month, can alert you to changes in your testicles sot it can save your life. Choose the same day each month to do the exam.
If you have any questions or comments, please post here.
Til next time,
Daddy Knows Best!
Chris Reynolds is a 25 yr resident of Sin City.Besides being involved in the leather community, Emperor XI and Mr NGRA 2011, he has over 20 yrs experience as a Disease Investigation Intervention Specialist.
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