Soon after Raphael Baptiste, the leading male character in my latest release, If I Were Your Woman, meets the love of his life, he’s diagnosed with testicular cancer. Needless to say, this news prompts a series of challenges and conflicts for the couple. So with the release of this new book, I’ve decided to take off my author hat this week and put on the one that I’ve worn for the past twenty-five years. Over the next five days, my profession as a public health educator comes to the forefront and my blog posts will focus on testicular cancer in five key areas:
(1) what is testicular cancer
(2) the symptoms and detection of testicular cancer
(3) how is testicular cancer diagnosed
(4) the treatment of testicular cancer and
(5) the prevention and screening treatments for testicular cancer.
What is testicular cancer?
•Testicular cancer is a disease in which cells become malignant (cancerous) in one or both testicles
The testicles are a pair of male sex glands, which produce and store sperm and is the main source of the male hormone, testosterone.
95% of testicular cancers are classified as either seminomas, or nonseminomas tumors. The difference between these two germ-cell tumors is how they spread (metastasize) and the way in which they respond to treatment. The remaining five percent of testicular cancers are classified as lymphomas or other non-germ-cell tumors. These uncommon types of testicular cancer have a tendency to appear later in life.
•Testicular cancer accounts for only one percent of all cancers in men in the United States. Annually, 8000 men are diagnosed, and approximately 390 die from the disease. The occurrence of testicular cancer is seen in men between the ages of 20 and 39, and is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 34. Testicular cancer is most commonly found in White men of Scandinavian descent. However, the rate of this disease has double in White men in the past 40 years and has recently begun to increase in African-American men, although the incidence between the racial occurrences remains unknown.
The key to fighting and being victorious over a disease is having a better understanding of the battle you’re up against. Listed below are a few reference links to explore:
If you suspect you or your partner have testicular cancer, make an appointment with your health care provider immediately.