It is very easy to know when you have the flu or a sore throat. Testicular cancer is a much more dangerous illness, but is not as easy to detect in the beginning. It is hard to understand that although more than two thirds of men are afraid of getting cancer, only a quarter go for preventative medical checkups. Read below about when to go see a urologist and why there’s nothing to be afraid of.

The first signs of cancer usually include an enlarged testicle, which might not even hurt, as well as a painless “hardness” in the area. You should not underestimate the importance of a self-check, which you can easily do by yourself at home. If you find something suspicious or you feel pain in the testicles, the groin or the lower abdomen, you should definitely go to a doctor.

You’ll be done in a hour

You many not feel comfortable at the urologist’s office, but keep in mind that they are used to their job. The doctor will use ultrasound to discretely examine the scrotum and testicles, which will only take a couple of minutes. After that, the doctor will take your blood to determine the level of specific hormones, and also conduct an X-ray of your lungs. Altogether, the exam shouldn’t take more than an hour. It may happen that your unpleasant suspicion is confirmed. In that case, you’ll be taken to surgery almost immediately. The affected testicle will be removed for histological analysis over the next week. You’ll also undergo a CT examination where the hormone levels in your blood are checked. In approximately a week’s time you’ll know what the next steps are. Sometimes it’s sufficient to go for regular checkups, and in the worse cases chemotherapy may be necessary.

The good news is that most of these things have a happy ending, even in cases where the treatment began fairly late. Of course, the earlier the illness is detected, the greater the chance of a cure. That is why you should join the 26% of Czech men who undergo at least one of the preventive oncological exams of the prostate, colon, testicles or skin often enough.

Text: Zuzana Košutová / Ilustrační foto: express.co.uk