Testicular Cancer Myths

Did you know you can get testicular cancer from riding a bicycle? Okay, that’s not really true, but it makes you wonder where some of these ridiculous testicular cancer myths come from. Is there some strange man just sitting around his house thinking of silly ways to contract harmful diseases? Maybe there’s some mad doctor making up absurd claims to play mind games with gullible people. Wherever these myths come from, it signifies the importance of knowing what is true about testicular cancer and what is just plain made up.

One of the most popular myths that has been around for years is that having surgery will cause testicular cancer to spread. While this myth may have originated from back in the days when patients only saw their doctor and had surgery when the cancer was already in an advanced stage, in reality we now know that surgery is performed as a means of stopping the cancer from spreading.

There is an underlying problem with the diagnosis of testicular cancer, however. To diagnose many cancers, a biopsy is performed on the subject to confirm that cancer is present. Performing a biopsy on someone with testicular cancer, however, may actually cause the cancer to spread. This is why any patient suspected of having testicular cancer will undergo an orchiectomy, which is the procedure used to remove a testicle. This procedure will virtually eliminate any chance of the cancer spreading.

Another myth that has come up about testicular cancer is that anyone having an undescended testicle will eventually get testicular cancer. While males with cryptorchidism, which is the technical term used for men who are born with one or both testicles that have failed to descend into the scrotum, may have a higher chance of getting testicular cancer, by no means is there any guarantee that this will happen. Since the chances of getting testicular cancer are quite small to begin with, the chances of getting testicular cancer even for someone who has cryptorchidism is only around 2 percent.

Yet another popular testicular cancer myth that may seem like common sense is that this cancer becomes more likely the older someone gets. In reality, however, this is far from the truth. While most cancers will become more prevalent the older someone gets, testicular cancer is known as more of a younger man’s disease, primarily affecting men between the ages of 15 and 40. While the disease can occur at any age, it has mostly effected men who are in their mid-twenties. Keep in mind, though, that testicular cancer is one of the most easily cured and treatable cancers.

The myth that testicular cancer will put an end to your sex life is not true, but in essence could be considered what some would call a half-truth. While the removal of one testicle really won’t have much of an effect on a man’s sex life, the removal of both testicles could have a greater impact. Sterility is part of dealing with the removal of both testicles, and as such may cause some men to lose their interest in sex. As a means of increasing their sex drive, hormonal injections could present a solution, but keep in mind that the fertility of the patient cannot be recovered.

In the past, there were studies that showed a small increase in testicular cancer for patients that had undergone having a vasectomy. These studies were done decades ago and hold no merit according to studies that have been done in more recent times. Claims of a vasectomy being a factor in contracting testicular cancer are much like the claim that riding a bike will cause testicular cancer; it just simply isn’t true.

Myths are mostly derived out of confusion about a topic, but the solution to separating truth from myth is easy. Ask your doctor. They will be able to separate the myth from the truth and give you the peace of mind to know what the facts really are. That is unless it happens to be that mad doctor that’s suspected of starting some of these myths.