Testicular cancer affects thousands of people in the United States every year and kills hundreds of them. Being aware of the signs and symptoms of this cancer as well as leading a healthy lifestyle can help you to both prevent it and treat it as soon as possible. But what are some things you didn’t know about testicular cancer?
It Happens to the Young
You may be surprised to know that half of testicular cancer cases happen in males between the ages of 20 and 34. This is young! Doing routine self-examinations and being aware of the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer is important for all men, regardless of age. Not smoking, eating plenty of vegetables, and visiting your doctor regularly can keep young men healthy.
Taller Men May Be More Susceptible
Some studies have shown that taller men have a slightly higher risk of getting testicular cancer. The reason isn’t totally clear, but researchers suspect it has something to do with growth hormones, which may make an individual more susceptible to testicular cancer. Taller men shouldn’t fear, however. Genes and life factors such as diet, smoking, and exercise are far more likely to contribute to your risk of testicular cancer than your height!
Caucasian Men Are More at Risk
White males are nearly five times more likely to get testicular cancer than African-American males and three times more likely than Asian-American or American Indian males. While your race and family history are not things you can control, you can be more aware of your increased risk if you are Caucasian and take steps to prevent testicular cancer.
Having an Undescended Testicle Matters
In the womb, the testicles of a male fetus are developed in the abdomen and then “drop” down into the scrotum shortly before birth. For a small percentage of males, one or both of the testicles fail to descend. Having an undescended testicle is a risk factor for testicular cancer, as the cancer will usually develop in the underdeveloped testicle. Men who have a testicle trapped in the abdomen are more likely to get testicular cancer than men who have a testicle that descended early in their life, or at least descended most of the way.
Highest Cure Rate of All Cancers
The good news about testicular cancer is that it has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers, which is great. However, the success of your treatment can still be aided by early detection and you can even help prevent testicular cancer by having a healthy lifestyle. Be informed about your family history concerning testicular cancer and know the warning signs.
Testicular cancer is a cancer just like any other, despite its low prevalence and high cure rate. Consider these things you didn’t know before, and keep in mind that your genes have just as much to do with your risk for cancer as your lifestyle habits do.