As a society, we are seemingly more aware of some types of cancers than others. Though virtually everyone knows about the pink ribbon for breast cancer, many of us are not aware of the other, less common types of cancers. Testis and penile cancer are less common types of cancers, but we still need to develop an awareness of these cancers in order to catch them at the earliest possible stage. In conjunction with Cancer Awareness Month, here is some information that all men should know about testis and penile cancer:

Testis Cancer Statistics

According to the American Cancer Society, about 8,430 new cases of testicular or testis cancer will be diagnosed, and about 380 men will die of this disease. Though this is one of the less common cancers, about 1 in every 263 men will develop testis cancer. Though this cancer can occur in males of any age, the average age of men diagnosed with testis cancer is about 33 years old.

Warning Signs for Testis Cancer

In many cases testis cancer can be diagnosed at an early stage, which gives a man the best chance for a successful treatment and cure. The warning signs for testis cancer are a lump on the testicle, or a swollen testicle. Men should perform a self exam, preferably after a bath or shower because that is when the skin is most relaxed. Along with regular self exams, men should schedule a routine physical examination with their doctors that includes cancer-related checkups.

Penile Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Another of the less common cancers is penile cancer. In many cases, penile cancer can be detected early because most (but not all) penile cancers start in the skin. Signs of penile cancer include lesions or abnormalities of the penis, such as warts, blisters, sores, and ulcers. Though these symptoms are often signs of something other than penile cancer, any man finding a lesion or abnormality should get it checked by a doctor immediately.

Unfortunately, many men neglect going to the doctor when they discover an abnormality on their penis. They may be embarrassed to discuss the issue with a doctor, or they may just “wait and see” if the problem goes away on its own. When this is the case, an abnormality that does prove to be cancer is then not diagnosed until a later stage. Later diagnoses are more likely to involve more invasive and complex treatment, and may require removing all or part of the penis. It is much better to get an early diagnosis, so men should err on the side of caution and see a doctor right away when they find any questionable abnormality.

Knowing the warning signs for all types of cancers can help with early detection, leading to a better prognosis. If you have any questions about testis cancer or penile cancer, contact your urologist today to schedule an appointment.