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Testicular Cancer

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Hey Tutti Awesome!

Hope you had an amazing week so far, and you're healthy and in good spirits. This week's newsletter is about testicular cancer because it's the awareness month for this health issue. While it's not very common, it's essential to know about it because early detection saves lives.

So, what exactly is testicular cancer, you might ask? Well, we'll dive into that and more. We'll cover the signs and symptoms, how to do a self-check, and much more. Did you know that testicular cancer is not a common cancer, but it's the second most common cancer in young men (aged 20 to 39), excluding non-melanoma skin cancer?

The most common type of testicular cancers are germ cell tumors, with two main types: seminoma and non-seminoma. Seminoma typically occurs in men aged between 25 and 45 years and tends to develop more slowly than non-seminoma cancers. On the other hand, non-seminomas are more common in younger men, usually in their late teens or early 20s.

But, what exactly is testicular cancer?

Well, it's a type of cancer that develops in the testicles, which are part of the male reproductive system. While it may sound scary, the good news is that testicular cancer is highly treatable, especially when detected early.

So, what are the signs and symptoms to look out for?

Testicular cancer may not always present obvious symptoms, but when they do occur, it's essential to pay attention. The most common symptom is a painless swelling or a lump in a testicle, or a noticeable change in size or shape.

Other, less common symptoms may include:

  • Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum

  • Sensation of unevenness in the testicle

  • Pain or ache in the lower abdomen, the testicle, or scrotum

  • Back pain

  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breast tissue (due to hormones created by cancer cells)

Early detection is key when it comes to testicular cancer because, when found early, it's one of the most curable cancers. This is why self-checking is so important.

Causes of Testicular Cancer

While the exact cause of testicular cancer is not always clear, several factors may increase the risk of developing this condition:

  1. Undescended Testicle: Being born with an undescended testicle, where one or both testicles fail to move from the abdomen into the scrotum before birth, can increase the risk of testicular cancer, especially if the condition is not corrected early in life.

  2. Family History: Having a family history of testicular cancer, particularly if a father or brother has had the disease, may elevate the risk for an individual.

  3. Personal History: If an individual has previously had cancer in one testicle, they are at a higher risk of developing cancer in the other testicle.

  4. Infertility: Some studies suggest a potential link between infertility and an increased risk of testicular cancer.

  5. HIV and AIDS: Individuals with HIV or AIDS may have a higher risk of developing testicular cancer.

  6. Physical Features: Certain physical features, such as being born with hypospadias, a condition where the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis, may elevate the risk of testicular cancer.

  7. Cannabis Use: Regular cannabis use has been associated with an increased risk of testicular cancer, although the evidence is not conclusive.

  8. Intersex Variations: People with certain intersex variations, such as partial androgen insensitivity syndrome, may have a higher risk of developing testicular cancer.

There is no known link between testicular cancer and injury to the testicles, sporting strains, hot baths or wearing tight clothes.

Diagnosis of Testicular Cancer

If you notice any changes in your testicles, it's important to seek medical attention promptly. Here's how testicular cancer is typically diagnosed:

  1. Physical Examination: Your general practitioner (GP) will conduct a thorough examination of your testicles, checking for any lumps, swelling, or abnormalities.

  2. Ultrasound: If a mass or abnormality is detected during the physical examination, your doctor may recommend an ultrasound scan of the scrotum. This imaging test can help confirm the presence of a mass and provide additional information about its size and characteristics.

  3. Blood Tests: Blood tests may be performed to measure certain tumor markers associated with testicular cancer, including alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), beta human chorionic gonadotrophin (beta-hCG), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Elevated levels of these markers can indicate the presence of testicular cancer.

  4. Surgical Biopsy: Unlike many other types of cancer, testicular cancer is typically diagnosed through surgical removal of the affected testicle. Due to the risk of spreading cancer cells, a biopsy (removing a small piece of tissue) is not usually performed. Instead, if cancer is strongly suspected based on clinical findings and imaging tests, the entire affected testicle is surgically removed for further examination.

Now, let's talk about prevention and early detection.

While there's no surefire way to prevent testicular cancer, there are steps you can take to lower your risk. Performing regular self-exams to check for any abnormalities is crucial. If you notice anything unusual, don't hesitate to consult with your healthcare provider right away.

How to Perform a Testicular Self-Examination

Regular self-checks can help you become familiar with the normal size, shape, and texture of your testicles and detect any changes that may indicate a potential issue. Here's how to perform a testicular self-examination:

Healthy Treat after your self-check!

Now that you've taken an important step for your health, it's time to treat yourself! Indulge in a delicious and nutritious snack with our Greek Yogurt Parfait recipe, lovingly crafted by our talented Frutti Chef, Xin. It's the perfect way to reward yourself for taking care of your well-being!

TFW Fam, you rock!

A huge shoutout to our incredible Tutti Fam for their fantastic efforts last Thursday in raising awareness for esophageal cancer! Your passion, support, and active involvement are simply awesome and are making a real difference in spreading the word about this vital health issue.

Together, we're not just raising awareness but also spreading hope and empowering others to take charge of their health. Keep shining bright, Tutti Fam!

As we continue our journey of spreading awareness this month and beyond, we encourage you to join us in supporting each other and advocating for early detection and prevention. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against cancer and create a healthier, happier future for all.

Thank you for being part of our community and for your unwavering support. Until next time, stay bold, stay brave, stay beautiful & healthy!


Please note: The information provided in this newsletter is for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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