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Join Atrium Health Navicent in Observing Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

Testicular cancer is the leading cancer in men ages 15 to 44

In observance of Testicular Cancer Awareness Month this April, Atrium Health Navicent encourages men to learn the risk factors of testicular cancer and to receive regular screenings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the testicles, it is called testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer is the leading cancer in men ages 15 to 44, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation (TCAF).

One of every 250 males will develop testicular cancer at some point during their lifetime, according to the ACS. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 33. Although the disease mostly affects men between the ages of 20-34, about 6 percent of cases occur in children and teens, and about 8 percent occur in men over the age of 55.

“Screening for testicular cancer is an important part of men’s regular visits with a primary care provider. When detected and treated early, chances of successful treatment are much higher,” said Dr. Charles B. Shiver, an internal medicine physician at Atrium Health Navicent Primary Care Internal Medicine Baldwin. “Even if you’re relatively young and healthy, be sure to stay current on visits with your physician so you receive this vital screening.”

Doctors have found a few risk factors that make someone more likely to develop testicular cancer. Men at a higher risk:

• Have an undescended testicle —This means that one or both testicles fail to move from the abdomen into the scrotum before birth.

• Have a family history of testicular cancer

• Have an HIV infection

• Have a carcinoma in situ of the testicle

• Have had testicular cancer before — About 3 percent of men who have been cured of cancer in one testicle will at some point develop cancer in the other testicle.

Sometimes, men with testicular cancer don’t have any known risk factors. That’s why doctors at Atrium Health Navicent urge regular doctor’s visits and routine screenings to detect testicular cancer early. Because testicular cancer can usually be treated successfully, a man’s lifetime risk of dying from it is very low, only about 1 in 5,000. If detected early, testicular cancer is over 95 percent curable, according to TCAF.

A routine screening includes a physical exam which involves a physician feeling the testicles to detect any sign of swelling or tenderness and the size and location of any lump. The doctor will also examine the abdomen to feel for enlarged lymph nodes, which are a sign that the cancer has spread. If a mass or nodule is present, the doctor may order an ultrasound image of the testicle to help decide if it is likely to be cancer. Certain blood tests may be performed, as they are often helpful in diagnosing testicular tumors. If a suspicious growth is found, a surgeon will need to remove the diseased testicle, and send it to a laboratory to determine if cancer cells are present.

For help finding a doctor, visit www.NavicentHealth.org and click “Find a Doctor.”

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visitwww.NavicentHealth.org