Self-exams key to stopping Testicular Cancer

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some 8,000 American men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer this year.  It is rare, but studies show the number of cases are rising, mostly striking men ages 15 to 35. The survival rate is high if you catch it early.

Dad and husband Richard Saenz with lots to live for detected something wrong and wanted a doctor’s opinion.

“They don’t usually ask you hey I want to check for this or check for that. So I made a specific point to let the doctors know hey I’m feeling a little bit of discomfort here,” he explained.

An ultrasound confirmed what the manual exam found, a cancerous lump.

“You have stage one cancer you have to have surgery tomorrow morning. What’s your schedule like tomorrow so it was pretty much bam, bam, bam,” he added.

Testicular cancer may be genetic, it may be because the testicle did not descend into the scrotum during the baby or toddler years. And someone missed that.

“It’s not very common, it’s rare,” explained Urology Austin Oncologist Dr. Carl Bischoff, “But it is the most common in that age group,  because you don’t normally get cancer in that age group.”

The problem is doctors don’t always examine for it. Neither do young men, not the way mature women check themselves for breast cancer.

“Guys tend to put things off for awhile,” Bischoff sais. “It’s like how long has this been here, oh two weeks. It’s been probably six months. So denial is big with guys.”

Men should check themselves once a month, it’s easy to spot. The Testicular Cancer Society has a guide for a self check on their website.

When caught, the testicle must be removed. But you can lead a normal, fully functioning, fully productive life.

“I’m glad we caught it when we did. I’m glad I listened to the signs my body was telling me,” Richard said. “A lot of guys would not do that. It’s just normal.”

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