“Daddy, can you carry me?” said my 3-year old daughter as I was trying to get her out the car. She wanted her daddy to do it, not me. This made me curious, although I heard before from my psychology professor that daughters of her age would prefer their dad over their mom. I feel jealous in a way, to think she’s with me all day, but more than jealousy, I feel envy. I feel envious of their bond, and it made me wonder what I could have become if I had a dad.
Cancer has the capacity to strike you down and drag you to the depths of incapacitation. And more often than not, this disease would take every ounce of self-esteem from your system.
But the way a person carries the disease, whether in a negative or positive way, will be reflected in how they cope. Being aware of what could happen once you are diagnosed with testicular cancer will be able to prepare you for the worst.
Treatments for cancer, in general, have a huge impact on a person’s physical, mental, social, emotional, financial status. But with sufficient knowledge and understanding on how to cope with various treatment modalities, a person can still live life to the fullest despite his condition.
Men of any age can experience testicular cancer. While this type of cancer is not commonly known, its diagnosis consists of ultrasound, blood tests, and clinical examinations. In this page, you’ll be able to find out more facts on why testicular cancer occurs and what its symptoms are.
Just because it was able to withstand the test of time or it has gone viral in some random post, doesn’t mean that you have to believe it.
In the sea of information scattered around the internet these days, how sure are you that what you’re reading is an actual fact? Is it the kind of fact about testicular cancer that is a backed up by scientific research and studies with clinical trials and laboratory experiments? Or is it that misleading, untruthful information disguised as a fact to scare people?
The internet is composed of facts and fallacies circulating within its system 24/7. Myths, on the other hand, can or cannot be tagged as a fact unless proven otherwise by science. But some myths are usually fabricated and most of the time, exaggerated, to get more attention, likes, and views.
If a person is not vigilant about fact-checking, he would easily consider that a lump can instantly mean death. With myths that are false, it always comes down to some morbid, unrealistic outcome.
To get you up-to-date, here are some of the common myths that you might or might not know.
Myth #1: “I’ll only have it when I’m old.”
Sorry to burst your bubble but, no. As soon as you go into your teenage years, you become qualified and susceptible to having the big C. Though, it is accurate that older men tend to acquire other types of cancers. Testicular cancer, on the other hand, can affect men within 15 to 40 years old.
Myth #2: “There goes my sex life.”
Thinking that your sex drive will diminish or suffer once you’ve undergone surgery or treatment is a mistake and outrageous. Men who have had testicular cancer can still get satisfied and have an orgasm even if both their testicles have been removed. Replacement of testosterone is possible and can make you feel normal.
Myth #3: “I’ve injured by balls, I’m going to have cancer.”
That’s totally not the case. Contrary to what most men’s belief, direct trauma to the nuts does not, in any way, cause cancer. More so, vigorous activities that cause friction are not considered as risk factors for having testicular cancer. In fact, this is quite the opposite. Regular activities and exercise can actually lower men’s risk for testicular cancer.
Myth #4: “Testicular cancer is very common, I might have it.”
No, it is not; and no, you might probably not. The probability of having it is one out of 260 people, which makes testicular cancer extremely rare. Cancer affecting that colon, lungs, and prostate are even more common than that cancer affecting the testicles. And every year, there are more or less 8,000 who are diagnosed will the illness.
Myth #5: “I can no longer be treated.”
Cheer up, because you can. According to medical experts, testicular cancer, as compared to other cancers, can easily be treated; especially with early detection. However, even in its later stages, testicular cancer can still be resolved and the rate of becoming cancer-free can be promising.
If the cancer is localized, which means affecting just one area or testicle, the chance for full recovery from the disease is around 99%. If cancer cells have escalated to nearby tissues and lymph nodes, there is a 96% chance of recovery. Finally, if cancer cells have advanced to adjacent organs, there’s still a 75% chance of recovery. These numbers are quite impressive and are reassuring.
Breaking the myths
Do not believe everything you see or read without basis most especially if it is related to your health and is as disconcerting as cancer. Being well-informed is a huge advantage when it comes to testicular cancer; however, being misinformed is dangerous. Check your data and if in doubt, you can always consult a medical professional.
Not to be inappropriate and intrusive but…have you touched yourself lately?
Hold that thought.
Before you think that I’m overstepping some boundaries, hear me out first.
If you’re assuming that I am talking about something nasty, I’m not. And it’s not what I meant. This is more of touching your manly parts and checking if there’s something that’s not supposed to be there – like lumps or bumps.
Aren’t you a tad bit curious if your testicles are showing signs of a foreboding disease known to many as testicular cancer? Aren’t you concerned that if you denied yourself of this necessary precaution, you and your family will be affected devastatingly in the long run?
This is not a laughing matter and it’s not something to be ashamed about. Touching your balls constantly to familiarize yourself with how it’s normally like will make it easier for you to spot if there’s an anomaly through a thorough examination.
Medically speaking, you will be the first person to diagnose if you might be a potential candidate for cancer. Though the presence of lumps and bumps around your scrotum are not immediately signs of having cancer; some abnormalities are there for other medical reasons.
Nonetheless, if you’ve noticed that there are some growth going on down there that are not supposed to be there and weren’t there before, it is advisable to have it checked by a urologist. Early prevention is definitely better than long-term cure. Preventive measures, like testicular self-examination, is one of the most effective ways to detect of testicular cancer.
Not to put so much anxiety on you but according to recent statistics, in 2017, there are more than 8,800 current cases of diagnosed testicular cancer and about 400 deaths in the United States alone. More so, the occurrence can happen in as early as 20 years old. Surely, those numbers should’ve made you a little concerned.
Now, we get to that moment you’ve been waiting for – the testicular self-examination.
You have to keep in mind that this is not done just once in a lifetime. Once you’ve reached the age of 20, you have to perform this examination regularly, like weekly or even twice a month.
Also, it is advisable that this is performed when you shower. Doctors find that warm showers can cause your scrotum to relax and will make the self-exam easier because if there are thepresence of abnormalities, it would be more palpable.
If you’ve never done testicular self-examination before, here’s how:
Assuming you’re inside your shower and dousing yourself with warm water. The first thing that you’ll do is to hold your penis and direct it in a way that it reveals your scrotum.
Separately examine your testicles. Take one testicle with both hands and with the use of your thumbs and fingers, roll it gently between your fingers, going down smoothly.
As you thoroughly do this, spot any rounded masses or nodules, hard lumps, or odd changes in the consistency, shape, and size of your testicle.
Repeat process on the other testicle.
Before you worry
Now that you’ve done the checking, you might have noticed that your scrotum is uneven; meaning, the other testicle is a bit larger compared to the other one and it hangs lower too. Don’t panic, this is normal. Blood vessels, tubes, and tissues are also part of a normal testicle.
However, if you feel that there’s something unusual, it’s recommended to schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can. If your suspicions are seconded by the doctor, you will have to undergo a series of tests for verification.
Do not second guess and more importantly do not ignore this. Testicular cancer can be defeated with early diagnosis. So, have the courage to do it, take the first step and touch those balls!