Testicular Cancer on Rise in U.S., Especially Among Hispanic Men
Study finds slow, steady increase, but experts say condition remains uncommon
For men affected, the outlook is generally good, experts agreed. "It has the highest survival rate of any solid tumor," Eggener said. The overall five-year survival rate, he noted, is 95 percent or higher.
Symptoms can include a painless lump on a testicle, an enlarged testicle or an achy feeling in the lower belly.
Few risk factors have been identified. One known risk factor is having an undescended testicle -- one that does not move down into the scrotum at birth. In the United States, those born with an undescended testicle commonly have corrective surgery, Eggener said.
Currently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a national panel of experts, does not recommend routine testicular self-exams. It concludes that screenings performed by health care providers or men ''are unlikely to provide meaningful health benefits because of the low incidence and high survival rate of testicular cancer, even when it is detected at symptomatic stages."
Nor does the cancer society recommend routine monthly self-exams, Lichtenfeld said. "Clearly the task force has looked at this very carefully and they recommend not doing testicular self-exam or any form of screening for testicular cancer.''
According to the cancer society, testicular exam should be part of a routine exam by a health care provider, Lichtenfeld said.
It's important for men to pay attention to any changes in their testicles, he said.
"If a man notices a lump or a change, he should go see his doctor," Lichtenfeld said. "We have had a significant improvement in the treatment of this cancer."