Two thirds of British men aged 18-34 don’t know their testicular cancer risk

Wednesday 03rd April 2019 11:39 EDT

Over two thirds (69%) of men in the UK aged between 18-34 don’t know that they are in the age group most at risk of getting testicular cancer, according to new research from leading global men’s health charity, the Movember Foundation.Testicular cancer, which is caused when cells begin to reproduce uncontrollably within the male reproductive organs, is the most common cancer in men under 45. Although the reasons are unclear, statistics clearly show that you are five times more likely to be diagnosed with testicular cancer if you are non-Asian, and mainly white. Black and Asian men aren't affected as notably- but the numbers are not at a staggering low either.

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men with around 2,200 cases in the UK every year. The charity is now urging men in the at-risk age group to carry out regular self-checks as early diagnosis is key to successful treatment.

Incidence rates are projected to rise by 12% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 10 cases per 100,000 males by 2035.

The Movember Foundation’s Global Director of Testicular Cancer Sam Gledhill said: “The fact that so many men are unaware that they are in the highest-risk age group is very worrying. There’s a widespread assumption that it’s a disease that predominantly affects older men but that’s just not the case. Testicular cancer strikes early so checking regularly and knowing what to look for is crucial.”

However, the poll of 1,093 British men conducted by YouGov, also found that 42% of men in the at-risk age group (aged 18-34) didn’t know or are unsure how to perform a testicular self-examination.

Sam Gledhill said, “If you’re a guy in your 20s or 30s, you should definitely be getting to know your testicles a little better. What they look like, what they feel like and what’s normal for you down there.

“The shower is a great place to start because the warmth relaxes the scrotum, making the exam easier.”

Testicular cancer will often present as a lump or pain in the testicle, an increase in size or a change in the way a testicle feels – although these symptoms can be vague or may not be the same for everyone. 

Those most at risk are men who had undescended testes at birth, or those with a relative who has diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Although survival rates are high (over 95 per cent), up to one in 20 cases are fatal. The Movember Foundation has pledged to halve the numbers of men dying from testicular cancer by 2030.

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