When I published Balls Up exactly one month ago today, I pledged 10% of the first three months’ profits to Orchid, a UK-based male-specific cancer charity. That figure currently stands at a little over £200 ($310US). There’s still two months to go, and I’m hoping to give a whole lot more before the end!
Testicular Cancer: Some Facts
Testicular cancer is extremely rare, affecting only 1% of men (an average of 2,300 men are diagnosed in the UK each year). Despite this, and because it disproportionately affects young men (15-49), it is the third biggest killer of young adult males, following accidents and suicide.
Even so, it is not often a killer. In the UK, ten-year survival rates are over 98%. The biggest factor which affects survival is early diagnosis.
The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a pea-sized lump appearing on a testicle. However, only 4% of lumps are cancerous. Other symptoms include:
- A dull ache or sharp pain in the testicles or scrotum, which may come and go
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum (hydrocele)
- A general feeling of being unwell
The most important thing any of us can do to reduce the number of unnecessary deaths from this cancer is raise awareness of the symptoms. Speak to your children, partners, and friends, and the next time you see a pair of balls, give ’em a grope. You might just save a life.