Male cancers are in the news as it is Prostate Cancer awareness week. Only guys get prostate cancer as only guys have a prostate gland. It's an amazing little thing tucked away behind your big boy's bits that secretes a fluid that makes sperm alkali and help them survive longer in your partners female bits which are acidic. It also makes them swim better. Clever things bodies eh?
Actually you don't need to worry too much about Prostate Cancer until you hit 50, although after that around 1 in 6 men suffer from it. But whilst we're thinking about big boy's bits and male cancers it really is worth thinking about Testicular Cancer which has rapidly become the most threatening of the cancers in young men aged 15-29, accounting for around 26% of all cancer diagnoses in this age range.
Unlike a lot of illness this is a condition that is increasingly common the better off you are. Highly developed Western Europe has a much higher incidence than deprived third world countries. Within Europe the UK is mid division of a league table headed by Scandinavia.
To be fair it’s something you’ll be unlikely and unlucky to get – only 1 or 2 guys in every 10,000 will suffer from the condition. These days it’s quite treatable and the mortality rate is going down – less people die from it every year.
The key, as in so many things you’ll read about here at Doctor Wellgood, is early diagnosis. Given the chance the smart guys of the medical world are able to be pretty impressive these days especially if you spot things early on. If you’re going to get ill you simply need to give them the biggest possible chance to get involved and get you better. That means getting to grips with a bit of self-diagnosis.
Here at DW we never want to be light-hearted about a serious subject but we do want to really make the point about early diagnosis. Catch testicular cancer early enough and the prognosis is excellent. It’s possible You may have to have the affected testicle removed, but the surgeons will be happy to insert a prosthetic one so you can look the part in your budgie-smugglers on the beach.
Losing one has no effect on your sex life, or your ability to have a family. The remaining testicle simply produces more sperm and the associated hormones to ensure there is no lack of lead in your pencil, or the desire to make the most of it.
So check your nuts out on a regular basis. It’s a really good habit to get into because you really need to have a grip of the situation until you’re well into your thirties. Anyway, what better excuse can you have when you get caught absentmindedly holding your own that to say it is for ‘medical research purposes!’
Talking strictly amongst the boys we all know we’re pretty hands-on with our nuts more often than not. You might be in bed, watching match of the day, or even talking to your Mum in your trackie-b’s in the kitchen, but the odds are that from time to time you’ll have a good grip on your nut cluster.
Self-diagnosis is really quite easy. Imagine each testicle as a hard-boiled egg – soft and smooth without a lump of blemish. Run your fingers around it, and if it feels like something you’d be happy to have in your lunch box, then happy days. If however you feel even the slightest bit of a lump you need to get down the Doctors at the earliest opportunity to have it checked as, if it does turn out to be cancer, you don’t want it to spread.
A good time to do this is after you’ve got out of the bath as the warm water will make your scrotum loose and your balls hang lower.