It's Testicular Cancer Awareness Month!
Yes, There is a Whole Month Devoted To Testicles
Cancer is a rather sensitive subject for most people as most of us know someone who has or has had cancer. It can be brutal and watching a love one suffers is of the worst things a human can experience. This is why awareness is key, and yes, this is why we have a whole month dedicated to balls. Happy Testicular Cancer Month.
Testicles love to give false alarms. There are all kinds of cysts, growths, and enlarged blood vessels that look and feel fatal but are actually completely survivable and virtually harmless. If you find any abnormality in your testicles, of course, you should consult with your doctor or urologist, however, understand that burning balls don’t mean cancer.
We honor Testicular Cancer Month to start important conversations about testicular cancer because it is one of the most survivable strains of cancer especially with early detection. Not to mention, it is most prominent in men ages 18-40 years old. However, if you catch testicular cancer in stage 1, you have a 99% survival rate. So, now your question is how do I know I have testicle cancer?
The simple answer is self-examination. From puberty women are taught to massage on their breasts monthly looking for lumps and abnormalities so as to catch breast cancer early. You use this same method to check your testicles for abnormalities.
It is suggested that you soap up your testicles in the shower to make them smooth enough to massage with your fingers. You will then use one or both hands to massage your testicles. Not only should you be doing this to learn what your testicles normally feel like so you can catch an abnormality quickly, but also because you could, in fact catch an abnormality. It is recommended you self-examine your testicles once a month. This way, if you develop an abnormality, you will be able to catch it within 30 days, get the treatment you need and continue being an active participant in life.
If during examination you find a lump or bump, you will go to the doctor who will physically and sometimes ultrasonically examine the testicles for malignancy. Then they will remove the tumor and testicle, replace it with an artificial testicle (upon request) and you’ll continue being an active participant in life.
And of course, the question you’ve been waiting on: what about sex? According to cancerresearchuk.com, “Most men with testicular cancer have surgery to remove the affected testicle. Having one testicle removed shouldn't affect your long term: ability to father children (fertility), sexual performance, [and] sex drive (libido). No worries there!
The important thing to remember here is that testicular cancer is only 99% survivavable if it is caught early. It can’t be taught early if testicle owner’s aren’t taught to self-examine. Let this month be a reminder and a symbol of you taking care of your reproductive health. There are plenty of people who want you around for a long time so just massage your balls and save your life.
By Autumn Morris
Certified Sex Educator
CEO and Founder of Speaking of Sex
If you like what you’ve read here, check out other blogs and podcasts from Autumn!
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