Ken777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7843 posts, RR: 8 Posted (7 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2548 times:
This post isn't a response to the thread on the size of the male member - it's a response to the second young man we know receiving a diagnosis of testicular cancer.
This is something that guys generally don't worry about - never thought of it when I was a young man. But Thursday this 30 year old went into surgery to have a cancerous testicle removed. The first friend didn't make it - waited too long to see a doctor.
So this threat is to bring this type of cancer to your attention - if you didn't keep an eye out already. Turns out that it is pretty simple to watch out for - check once a month while having a shower. Or if you have a significant other in the shower with you then have them check.
The good news is that there is a very high cure rate if you find it early and go see a doctor.
Symptoms may also include one or more of the following:
a lump in one testis which may or may not be painful
sharp pain or a dull ache in the lower abdomen or scrotum
a feeling often described as "heaviness" in the scrotum
breast enlargement (gynecomastia) from hormonal effects of β-hCG
low back pain (lumbago) tumor spread to the lymph nodes along the back
It is not very common for testicular cancer to spread to other organs, apart from the lungs. However, if it has, the following symptoms may be present:
shortness of breath (dyspnea), cough or coughing up blood (hemoptysis) from metastatic spread to the lungs
a lump in the neck due to metastases to the lymph nodes
planeguy727 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1156 posts, RR: 1 Reply 1, posted (7 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2420 times:
As a public health person I once led a campaign to increase knowledge of this issue with men enrolled in college.
Image was a baseball bat with two baseballs (one on either side near the base of the bat).
Headline: We know you've grabbed your bat, but have you checked your balls?
% of men doing TSE increased by more than 20%
Problem is that men tend to have "Guys Disease." Symptoms: Won't see a doctor until it's too late, nothing bad can happen to them, uncontrolled desire to stop at Home Depot, etc. If we could get men to realize that self-care is not a weakness then we'd move this topic along much faster.
Dreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8369 posts, RR: 24 Reply 3, posted (7 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2365 times:
Quoting comorin (Reply 2): May I also add to the discussion that older men should also check for Prostate Cancer.
You know, it's now been nearly a decade since I was supposed to start getting prostate exams (they say you should start at 40, and I still have not bucked up and volunteered for "the finger". I'm still a virgin. The hole remains "one-way-only". Considering that I am a smoker, I suppose I'm begging for a nasty surprise one of these days.
seb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 10705 posts, RR: 16 Reply 4, posted (7 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2356 times:
All the money being poured into breast cancer research but prostate and testicular cancer research flies largely under the radar. Don't get me wrong: there should be no cancer. Women need to get mammograms. Even men can get breast cancer. I just wish, for like one month, breast cancer charities would help the men out. Run ads asking for donations for prostate or testicular cancer research. Save the melons and save the grapes, I say!
Airstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2144 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (7 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2326 times:
Quoting seb146 (Reply 4): I just wish, for like one month, breast cancer charities would help the men out.
I was a a-shopping at a Safeway, back when I lived in California, and they had this thing where the cashier prompts you to make a donation - usually for breast cancer research (certainly in October), and one time they asked if I wanted to donate to the fight against the prostate cancer.
(Letting the doctor check for it is charity enough, I told her...)
daviation From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 497 posts, RR: 2 Reply 6, posted (7 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2174 times:
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3): I still have not bucked up and volunteered for "the finger"
What are you waiting for? I discovered the very beginning of prostate cancer twelve years ago, and was completely cured. I go to the urologist every six months now.
The finger exam is absolutely nothing - no pain at all. I'm squeamish about self-examining my nuts so I simply ask the doctor to do it for me. My urologist happens to be a woman, so it seems awkward at first glance. But in the scheme of life's humiliations, this is no big deal.
I don't know why people are afraid of the colonoscopy either. There is no pain, and it's just the prior day preparation that's a little bizarre.
Get it done. You can save your life.
(PS, not to scare you, but the cystoscopy exam is on the other end of the spectrum. That's where they thread a tube with a camera up your member. I've had it done twice. It is horrific. Hopefully, no one will need this exam.)
AeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20322 posts, RR: 64 Reply 7, posted (7 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2159 times:
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3): I still have not bucked up and volunteered for "the finger". I'm still a virgin.
Quoting Airstud (Reply 5): I was a a-shopping at a Safeway ... one time they asked if I wanted to donate to the fight against the prostate cancer.
I always give extra when Safeway collects for men's health issues. If people were less afraid to talk about it, or take "the finger", perhaps more lives could be saved. During my last physical I was surprised my doctor didn't do one. He simply had my PSA level checked.
That's a great promotion - wished it was done regularly at a national level. Truth is between the 5 cancers my wife & I have had the whole issue of testicular cancer slipped my mind - until this week.
Quoting comorin (Reply 2): May I also add to the discussion that older men should also check for Prostate Cancer. However the PSA test controversy is very confusing.
PSA is somewhat unique in that even a low number can indicate cancer - or no cancer at all. Norman Schwarzkopf, a rather famous General, got his PSA done and it showed 0.9, which is pretty low. The Doc, however, decided to do the ultrasound/biopsy anyway and found cancer.
For most guys that 0.9 is simply a number and the change over time is more important when the PSA is a low number. For someone who has been treated for prostate cancer anything over 0.0 is cause for concern as it indicates that the cancer has returned. I'm at year 8 post op & radiation and still have the PSA checked.
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3): You know, it's now been nearly a decade since I was supposed to start getting prostate exams (they say you should start at 40
Get a PSA if nothing else. With a low number you can pass the magic finger. If, over 6 months or a year, the PSA increases then go to a Urologist for a really experienced finger.
Don't worry about it - just pay attention when you soap them down during a shower. You'll notice if something is different.
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 3): Considering that I am a smoker, I suppose I'm begging for a nasty surprise one of these days
I used to smoke and paid for that sin with kidney cancer this year (smoking and being overweight are the two prominent causes of kidney cancer.) Kidney cancer has a high cure rate (if discovered, which is generally by accident) but the kidney gets really angry (read pain) if part is cut away. Best recommendation is to quit and loose weight.
I think I'm still in shock from the cystoscopy. And it was several years ago! But seriously, I said that if I ever have to have one again, I'll just pass on it and die instead. Then I found out that you can demand to be knocked out for the procedure. The insurance company might not pay for it because it's such a quick procedure, but I'd rather pay and not suffer through another cystoscopy.
As I said earlier, the finger exam (Dr. Goldfinger) and the colonoscopy are absolutely nothing. No pain and worth every penny.
AR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 5481 posts, RR: 26 Reply 10, posted (7 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2102 times:
I had a lump in my right testicle when I was 14 (don´t ask how I discovered it) I was stupid and embarrassed and didn´t tell anyone. The thing grew and grew until it was half the size of the other testicles and started to be painful. Then I went to the doctor. It was removed surgically and it was benign, so I was very lucky. I´ve read that testicular cancer is the #1 cancer in teenagers and young men.
Given my experience, information campaigns among these age group are absoulutely necessary. I wish there were more.
DocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 17900 posts, RR: 57 Reply 11, posted (7 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2101 times:
Quoting planeguy727 (Reply 1): If we could get men to realize that self-care is not a weakness
Ya. So good luck with that. Let me know how that's goin' for ya.
A problem is that TSE has actually shown to lead to no measurable decrease in morbidity, mortality, or even stage at detection. It seems like a good idea, but it actually increases the number of unnecessary office visits and diagnostic procedures while doing nothing to decrease morbidity or mortality from testicular cancer. In other words, it winds up causing more harm than good. In all likelihood, men are going to notice a lump in time even if they aren't "looking for it."
For this reason, TSE is no longer recommended by the AUA (American Urological Association). I have to say that when I first found out about this, I was tempted to reject the finding. But the more I read, the more I became convinced. This was reassuring to me in a way, because it confirms to me that I am actually open-minded to changing even deeply-held beliefs in the face of contrary evidence.
A similar phenomenon has been observed in breast cancer. It's been difficult for a lot of people to accept because these self-examinations were also surrogates for something else. They made it OK to talk about touching your breasts and touching your testicles. And I think that for those who are interested in the psychosocial implications of self-exams, it will be difficult to give up recommending these.
Ken777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7843 posts, RR: 8 Reply 12, posted (7 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1845 times:
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 11): In all likelihood, men are going to notice a lump in time even if they aren't "looking for it."
This appears to be the case with this friend. Unfortunately he waited 5 months before seeing a doctor, and then it took some real pain developing before he acted. Today he got the work that the cancer has spread to the lungs & liver.
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 11): They made it OK to talk about touching your breasts and touching your testicles.
I was probably grabbing them in the womb. Not that big a deal for me touching them - but was far different in my youth when some sweet young thing did.
Don't pay that much attention to them these days, but would notice a change in the shower if one became enlarged.
Revelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11387 posts, RR: 24 Reply 13, posted (7 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1824 times:
Quoting planeguy727 (Reply 1):
Problem is that men tend to have "Guys Disease." Symptoms: Won't see a doctor until it's too late, nothing bad can happen to them, uncontrolled desire to stop at Home Depot, etc.
Easy answer: Train their sexual partners to do the exam, tell the dudes it's part of foreplay!
L1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1619 posts, RR: 9 Reply 15, posted (7 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1780 times:
I've had prostate biopsies three times over the past 15 years due to high PSA, once as high as 13. They found nothing. The finger exam also showed nothing. So I consider the PSA highly unreliable. The biopsy is one of the most uncomfortable procedures I've ever experienced. It feels like a staple gun going off inside you. The first two times, they took eight tissue samples, and the most recent time they took six. I hope I never have to have it done again. Just the thought of it makes me dread going to the urologist.
Ken777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7843 posts, RR: 8 Reply 16, posted (7 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1734 times:
Quoting L1011 (Reply 15):
I've had prostate biopsies three times over the past 15 years due to high PSA, once as high as 13.
Been there, done that. My tumor was on the apex, the bottom tip. That means the doc can't feel it with his finger and it doesn't show up with an ultrasound. That leaves you with the need for a lot of luck in hitting a few bad cells.
My biopsy history started with 4 in the office over 6 or 7 years - 6 plugs each. Then the doc told me that it's possible to have a 30+ plug biopsy in the hospital under a general anesthetic. Had two of those, then back to the office for a 6 plug effort and FINALLY a hit on the 3rd hospital shot. Total of 120 plugs over the years, but we caught the SOB. The path report showed bad cells all through both sides so I was just very lucky that we actually hit something.
My advice is don't give up - and talk to your doc about the 30 + plug biopsy under a general. You sleep through it and when you wake up in recovery they'll even give you morphine if it hurts a bit. Take the morphine.
daviation From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 497 posts, RR: 2 Reply 18, posted (7 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 1603 times:
I feel like I've been jinxed by participating in this thread. I had a little trouble a few weeks ago with some blood, so I scheduled an appointment for today. My regular urologist is out with a broken arm & shoulder. Her colleague examined all the interesting parts, finger and urine tests were negative....but now he wants to schedule a non-contrast CAT scan and a flexible cystoscopy. I said fine for the CAT scan. I told him I'd rather die than have another cystoscopy. He said we could do it in the hospital under sedation. I said that's the only way I would even consider it. But I doubt the insurance company will pay, and frankly I think he's totally overreacting. It's only a little blood in the semen, and it happens once every few years then goes away spontaneously. Probably a burst capillary or something. I'm very bummed about the idea of going through all these tests when it's probably nothing. He said he just wants to rule out any other possibilities.
Ken777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7843 posts, RR: 8 Reply 19, posted (7 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 1561 times:
Might go for the flexible cystoscopy after the scan if it is a concern. The scope under a general might also allow for a prostate biopsy while you're sleeping. The first time I had a hospital biopsy I asked the doc to pull some plugs via the urethra and so he did a scope while he was there.
You can also ask or meds, like Versed. Versed is so good that it is almost worth having a thin tube stuck up your Old Boy in order to get the drug.