Published on April 13, 2023
It’s time for us to talk about testicular cancer, and to young men ages 20 to 39, this information is especially important for you.
I’m Dr. Debra Miller, an oncologist married to Congressman Richard McCormick of Georgia’s 6th district. I’m also a member of the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program. April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, so I’m taking this opportunity to highlight a disease that just isn’t getting enough attention.
Although testicular cancer occurs less frequently than other types of cancer, rates have been rising in the United States for several decades. Fortunately, that rate has slowed down in recent years. Though you can be diagnosed at any age, testicular cancer is more commonly seen in young men, with incidence highest among those ages 20 to 39. It usually presents as a painless lump or swelling in the testicle. The good news–it is highly curable. Even if found at later stages, treatment is often successful and curable. So it’s important to pay attention to this part of your body in early adulthood and beyond.
Don’t avoid the conversation because it makes you feel uncomfortable. Make sure your primary care physician examines your testicles as part of your routine physical exam. You can also do self-checks regularly so you can learn what is normal for you. If you notice any changes, talk to your health care provider. It’s also important to learn your family history of the disease because that can increase your risk as well as certain genetic conditions and a history of undescended testes.
To learn more about cancer prevention and early detection, visit preventcancer.org.
Listen to more Voices for Cancer Prevention on the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s YouTube channel.