As men, we don’t talk about health enough. When we do, it might largely be due to the prompting of a significant other or loved one.
We want to change that. Together, the Vermont Department of Health and the UVM Cancer Center will present the first-ever Men’s Health and Cancer Conference. This half-day event will be dedicated to education around cancer prevention, screening, survivorship, and overall health for men—although women are encouraged to attend as well.
Our priority is to focus on improving health outcomes for men when it comes to cancer. My colleagues and I hope to spark conversation and to educate men and women about how our health affects our risk for cancer as well how cancer affects our risk for other health-related issues. We will offer sessions on nutrition and exercise, colorectal cancer screening options, and breakout sessions on lung cancer, genetic risk, and survivorship. Learn more and register by clicking here.
I will offer a session titled “Prostate and Testicular Cancer Primer: A Guide to Prevention, Survival, and Empowerment.”
April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month—a great opportunity to build awareness for this rare cancer that mostly affects young men. It is largely a very survivable disease today, and early detection is incredibly important.
Here are some quick facts about testicular cancer:
- Testicular cancer is rare, but is the most common cancer in men ages 15-34.
- White men are 4x more likely than black men to have testicular cancer.
- There is no known link between testicular cancer and injury to the testicles, sporting strains, hot baths, or wearing tight clothes.
- There is no standard screening for testicular cancer; it is usually found by a patient themselves by chance or during self-exam, or is found by a doctor in a routine physical exam.
- The number of new cases has doubled in the last 40 years, according the National Cancer Institutes, BUT the number of deaths has decreased greatly due to better treatments. It can usually be cured, even in the late stages of the disease.
- The five-year relative survival rate for men with localized testicular cancer is 99 percent.
- Risk factors include having an undescended testicle, or abnormal testicle, and having a family history of testicular cancer.
Men should talk to their physician if they have risk factors. If they find a lump or bump in their testicles, they should tell their doctor immediately and get it checked out. If localized, the treatment for testicular cancer is surgery, and, if caught early, no further treatment will be necessary. Men can lead a perfectly normal life with the removal of one testicle. If caught later, treatment may involve chemotherapy and/or radiation, or additional surgery.
If you are interested in learning more about men’s health and cancer, I invite you to join us the inaugural Men’s Health and Cancer Conference. Let’s get the conversation started.
Scott D. Perrapato, DO, FACOS, is a urologist and urologic oncologist at the UVM Medical Center and an associate professor at the Larner College of Medicine at UVM.