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What You Need to Know About Testicular Cancer - Urology / Oncology

The good news is the numbers are fairly low. “It’s actually a rather rare cancer. About 8,500 cases a year occur, and sadly 400 people a year die. Although it’s the most common cancer in that age group between 15-40, it’s still not very common,” explained Dr. Barry Blitz, a urologist on the medical staff of Lee Health. Testicular cancer is typically quick to find and optimistic to treat. “The thing that’s been really amazing about testicular cancer is how it was gone from a very dangerous disease many years ago, to one that’s still dangerous, but it’s cured more than 95 percent of the time,” he said. He encourages patients to do regular self-exams and talk to their doctor if they notice any changes. “Self-exam starts after puberty and should really go on after age 40. If they are starting to notice a swelling of the testicle, a firmness, a tenderness, a vague irregularity, or if ever there is a change in the findings of someone’s testicles, they should be seen,” said Dr. Blitz. Studies show white men with a family history are at a higher risk for developing testicular cancer. But if it’s caught early, doctors say the cure rate is also high. “Most of the time, surgery alone to remove the testicle is good enough. But there are treatments that require radiation, surgery, and more aggressive forms of chemotherapy as well,” Dr. Blitz said. Making it important not to ignore any new symptoms. “It’s not unusual for someone to think it’s a normal change with age. Until you actually get it evaluated you don’t know what it might be. We usually use ultrasounds, not even cat scans, for the initial evaluations. If it shows that there is a solid mass in the testicle then what we’ll do is we will draw some lab work, and go to the operating room and remove just that one testicle,” he explained. Being in tune with your body and talking to your doctor is important to lower your risk for testicular cancer. View More Health Matters video segments at Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit