June is Men's Health Month. It's an opportunity to recognize the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer.
The disease is not common. Just 1 in 250 men will develop testicular cancer at some point in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. Most of those cases are in young and middle-aged men. And usually, the cancer is highly treatable.
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Testicular cancer is a relatively rare disease that occurs predominantly in young men, with a second peak later in life.
"So think, sort of mid to late teens to early 30s," says Dr. Bradley Leibovich, a Mayo Clinic urologic oncologist.
It's most often diagnosed when a man feels a lump or swelling.
"We like men to do monthly testicular self-examinations. Because if you find that testicular cancer early, the amount of treatment people need to get that cure is significantly less," says Dr. Leibovich.
Treatment is often only surgery to remove the cancerous testicle, with observation. But, in advanced cases, it can include chemotherapy, radiation or more complex additional surgeries.
"We want to really make sure men understand that the vast majority of people with testicular cancer will be cured and that we're going to cure them without compromising their quality of life in any way," says Dr. Leibovich.
The biggest hurdle to getting that cure is fear and not seeking medical help as soon as you notice something wrong.
"The fear of what's going to happen to me and the denial — and as long as we can really permeate to all men, that concept that the vast majority of testicular cancers are cured, I think it'll help us get people in earlier," says Dr. Leibovich.