Houston, TX – For the month of April, Spring Branch Community Health Center (SBCHC) is working to promote awareness around the most common cancer in males 15-35 years old: testicular cancer. The only risk factors linked to testicular cancer are family and personal medical history, and abnormal development of the testicles. There is some evidence that men who have AIDS have an increased risk of testicular cancer.
Testicular cancer is highly treatable, and usually curable – especially when caught early. Most of the time a lump or swelling in the testicle is the first symptom, though pain or discomfort in the groin, back or abdomen may be an indicator.
“Self-exams are the most effective method of early detection,” explains Dr. Rachna Bharti, the Chief Medical Officer at SBCHC. “Look and feel for any hard lumps or masses, or any change in the size or shape of your testicles and report any abnormalities to your doctor immediately.”
The 5-year survival rate for men diagnosed with early-stage testicular cancer is over 90 percent, though research indicates other factors including ethnicity and income may play a role. A study published in November 2015 by the Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology found that the survival rate was worse for African Americans and Latinos in comparison to Caucasians and for those living in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods.
Since none of the known risk factors can be prevented, the best ways for a man to take care of his health are awareness of risks and symptoms, early detection, and prompt treatment. Treatments can include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
For information on SBCHC clinic locations and hours visit www.sbchc.net or call (713) 462-6565 to make an appointment.