Case study highlights importance of early detection of testicular cancer

May 09, 2002

A case study in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlights how young men put their lives at risk by hiding large testicular lumps. HD de Boer and colleagues from UMC St Radboud, Nijmegen, Netherlands, describe a case in which a young man was in a motor-vehicle accident. He was examined by his family doctor who noted only minor injuries. Unexpectedly, the man died 4 days later of a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung), which was thought to be associated with the impact of the accident. A post-mortem examination revealed that the fatal pulmonary embolism was a result of cancer that had spread from a testicular tumour, which had probably been present (but undetected by the man and his family doctor) for months.

HD de Boer comments: "Early recognition of testicular carcinoma is essential as it has been shown that a treatment delay of more than 3 months is correlated with a significantly decreased 5-year survival rate. Delay in diagnosis may depend on several factors including patient's lack of knowledge, embarrassment, ignorance, or fear of cancer and of emasculation. It is important to encourage testicular self-examination and to emphasise the need for prompt medical advice in the event of change in a previously normal testicle."

In an accompanying Commentary (p 1632), Jeremy Steel from St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK, concludes: "...examination of the external genitalia is an essential part of the abdominal system examination and should be taught to medical students at the beginning of their training. Some men with large testicular lumps continue to evade the medical profession despite all efforts. The 17-year-old man in the Case report may have contributed to his own death by not seeking medical advice earlier...Medical professionals and the general population, especially men, need to be educated to recognise that testicular lumps are a medical emergency."
Contact: Dr HD de Boer, Department of Anaesthesiology, UMC St Radboud, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, Netherlands; T) +31 24 361 4406; F) +31 24 354 0462; E)

Professor Jeremy PC Steele, Department of Medical Oncology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, West Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE, UK; T) F) E)


Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to