Testicles commonly referred to as “balls” are the part of the male reproductive system that is responsible for the production of sperm. Men worldwide really cherish their testicles as to most of them it defines what it is to be a man. But do men really know how to take good care of their testicles? Or do men know what diseases directly affect testicles?
Possible answers you may be thinking of for taking good care would include bathing regularly, shaving pubic hair and avoiding contact with excessive force in the groin area, while for illnesses, “macoucou” (hernia) and some sexually transmitted diseases would come to mind, but, did testicular cancer come to mind?
There is a saying that cancer has no limit and respects no one, and that may be true as cancer can affect any part of the human body including testicles. As the Grenada Cancer Society continues to raise awareness of cancer and cancer-related illnesses we are today highlighting TESTICULAR CANCER (cancer of the “balls”), its causes, symptoms, treatment, preventative measures and some advice about this disease:
What is testicular cancer: To put it simply, it is when cells in the testicles begin to grow out of control.
What causes testicular cancer: The exact causes are unknown, but there are some associated risk factors for developing testicular cancer which includes age, family history, race and HIV/AIDS to name a few.
Signs and Symptoms of testicular cancer: These include a painless lump or swelling in either or both testicles, lower back pain, a sudden buildup of fluid in the scrotum and a dull ache in the groin area.
Treatment: Options include surgery to remove the cancer cells, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and ongoing monitoring.
Preventative measures: Good personal hygiene, regularly screening (doctor visit, annual checkup) and monitoring any changes in the appearance or feeling in the testicles.
Men are often reluctant to be examined by doctors and overcoming this “taboo” is difficult, and this often leads to testicular cancer developing to later stages before it is discovered and treated. To counter this taboo, men can perform a Testicular self-exam.
The best time for you to examine your testicles is during or after a bath or shower when the skin of the scrotum is relaxed.
Hold your penis out of the way and examine each testicle separately.
Hold your testicle between your thumbs and fingers with both hands and roll it gently between your fingers.
Look and feel for any hard lumps or nodules (smooth rounded masses) or any change in the size, shape, or consistency of your testicles.
It is important to note that testicular cancer is almost always curable if found early, and it is usually curable even when at a later stage.