Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Testicular Self-Exam: Why There Is Nothing Wrong with a Regular Feel

This blog entry is a continuation of "The Importance of Testicular Self-Examination," posted December 1, 2014.

In summation, the cure rate for localized testicular cancer approaches 99% and drops to 75% for men with metastatic disease – often requiring chemotherapy and/or major surgery to achieve cure. The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against regular testicular self-exam (TSE), citing a "moderate or high certainty that the service has no net benefit or that the harms outweigh the benefits."[1] The USPSTF recommendation is based on the relatively low incidence of testicular cancer, the high cure rate, unknown performance statistics of examination (when performed by patient or physician) for diagnosis and uncertainty if TSE leads to finding earlier stage disease; and the risks and costs associated with a false-positive test.

Each of the shortcomings mentioned by the USPSTF are addressed here:


It is true that testicular cancer only affects 8,000 men per year and that the survival for all comers in approximately 95%.[2] Thankfully, only a few hundred men die per year of testicular cancer – however that means there are hundreds of thousands of survivors in the US and around the world. These young men have been exposed to chemotherapy, radiation treatments, major surgeries and repeated CT scans for surveillance. Most, if not all treatments, influence hormone function, fertility and general quality-of-life – translating into a huge impact on a young population with many life-years ahead of them! Therefore, while there are fewer testicular cancer patients than other diseases, these patients have longer to live and the consequences of treatment are just as important as other cancers!!


It has to be conceded that there is no evidence that TSE is effective for the diagnosis of testicular cancer or helps find men at an earlier stage of disease. However, lack of evidence does not mean that TSE is not effective – it means that no study has effectively investigated the role of TSE in an at-risk population. We do know that length of patient- and physician-related delay is directly related to the stage of cancer at diagnosis; the median delay for men with Stage I, II and III cancer was 75, 101 and 134 days respectively.[3] In addition, delay in diagnosis has been associated with higher rates of chemotherapy and lower survival rates.[4]


TSE is a painless, easy to perform self-examination technique. The risks of performing a TSE are undergoing an unnecessary office visit, ultrasound or surgery for a benign mass. Associated with a false-positive TSE can be anxiety-provoking and lead to other psychological stresses. Overcoming the risks of TSE requires education; both that an abnormality on TSE does not necessarily mean cancer and that when found early, the treatments are minor and the cure-rate high!


A recent study by Aberger and colleagues, from the University of Kansas Medical Center, investigated the costs associated with TSE in a theoretical model.[5] The most expensive treatment for testicular cancer is the combination of chemotherapy and surgery for an advanced testicular cancer, costing on average $50,000 per patient. Compared only to the immediate costs of an office-visit with a physician or a scrotal ultrasound, the treatment of one advanced stage testicular cancer is equal to:
  • 320 office visits for a benign, but worrisome TSE
  • 185 office visits with a scrotal ultrasound for a worrisome TSE
  • 81 office visits with scrotal ultrasound and tumor markers for a suspicious TSE
  • 6-7 office visists with scrotal ultrasound and tumor markers leading to a radical orchiectomy
  • 2-3 early-stage testicular cancers treated with active surveillance for five years
Given the nearly $48 million spent on the men with metastatic cancer in 2013, any improvement in early diagnosis and stage could dramatically improve costs for this disease. Importantly, this cost analysis does not consider the long-term sequelae of the treatment of testicular cancer including hormone replacement or fertility treatments which can be extremely expensive over a lifetime.



The USPSTF recommendations regarding TSE are based on very little existing evidence. From the perspective of the USPSTF, the potential for harms, outweighs the lack of demonstrable benefit for TSE. I would respectfully disagree, stating that while the cure rate of testicular cancer is wonderful, the burden of the disease is greatly underappreciated. Even if a free, painless self-examination leads to an unnecessary doctor's visit, saving one man from advanced disease is well worth the "risks and costs" of TSE.


This blog was written by Phillip M. Pierorazio, MD, Director of the Division of Testicular Cancer at the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins.


[1] U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Testicular Cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Reaffirmation Recommendation Statement. Ann Intern Med. 2011;154(7):483-486.

[2] SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Testis Cancer,

[3] Bosl, G. J., N. J. Vogelzang, A. Goldman, E. E. Fraley, P. H. Lange, S. H. Levitt, et al. 1981. Impact of delay in diagnosis on clinical stage of testicular cancer. Lancet 2:970–973.
[4] Moul JW, Paulson DF, Dodge RK, et al: Delay in diagnosis and survival in testicular cancer: impact of effective therapy and changes during 18 years. J Urol 1990; 143: pp. 520-523
[5] Aberger M, Wilson B, Holzbeierlein JM, Griebling TL, Nangia AK. Testicular self-examination and testicular cancer: a cost-utility analysis. Cancer Med. 2014 Aug 8. doi: 10.1002/cam4.318. [Epub ahead of print]


  1. Everyone here i think would have gotten a piece of their share from cancer, with some being able to survive and others dying even with the high efforts of oncologists. I had lungs cancer due to the fact that i was a hardcore smoker Due to the terrain in Alaska. I started to have symptoms in 2008 and i was diagnosed in April 2009. Several therapies of treatment were prescribed but none seemed to help me. I had just less than a year to live. Less than 6 months to go i read about Doctor Roland who is a herbal doctor that treats cancer. At first i doubted because my case was chronic and even if he could help it was already late. I had nothing to lose so i contacted him and he was very encouraging even in my condition and i placed an order for the herbal medicine which i used for 3 months. Even before i was done using it i felt strong and after it all i went for diagnosis and i tested negative. This is a permanent cure because it's been three years from my supposed death and i am still very strong and alive. Do not give up soon on yourself just reach him on ( i am positive that if i can be cured you too can. I pray for all cancer patients worldwide.

  2. Get rid of Cold Sores, unexpected Outbreak and Herpes Virus? then you don't have to keep waiting for treatment when the is a herbal medicine that cure this virus. I was searching online for Herbal Cure for Herpes Virus when I saw a testimony online about Dr. Akintunde and how he cured a lady of HSV1 with his.
    natural herbal medicine and tested Negative and in less than a month she was cured of this virus. So it took me time to believe that this was true, because my family Doctor tried all his best to get rid of this virus in my body system but yet no cure and I suffered from outbreak and Cold Sores always. I had to contact Dr. Akintunde after I have access his website and i had faith in God that I was going to be fine and free of this virus one day. Finally I contacted Dr. Akintunde on his WhatsApp number that I saw on the testimony post online, and after our conversation the Doctor only promise me that I was going to be cured and free of this virus after taking his natural herbal medicine because I was tired of my situation with this virus it was so distracting to my life and whole family. Later Dr. Akintunde send some Herbal medicine to me through UPS courier service, with instructions on how to used this medicine, to my biggest surprise first week of taking my herbal medication I saw great improvement and I still think that it's a dream but this is real, I now test Negative of this virus today and my blood pressure well regulated now, my family doctor after my test was extremely surprise to see my test result change to HSV1 Negative and no more symptoms, cold sores, sores throat and outbreak again. I wish to tell everyone about this, mostly if you have this virus then do yourself good to contact Dr. Akintunde and see what the Lord can do through this Herbal Doctor's medicine in less than a month. 100% free from herpes Virus. I and my family say "thank you" Sir, for helping my life. You are a blessing to this generation and God will reward you richly


    WhatsApp number: +234 703 524 5593

  3. WHAT A GREAT MIRACLE THAT I HAVE EVER SEE IN MY LIFE. My names are Clara David I’m a citizen of USA, My younger sister was sicking of
    breast cancer and her name is Sandra David I and my family have taking her
    to all kind of hospital in USA still yet no good result. I decided to go to
    the internet and search for cancer cure so that was how I find a lady
    called peter Lizzy she was testifies to the world about the goodness of a
    herbal man who has the roots and herbs to cure all kind of disease and the
    herbal man email was there. So I decided to contact the herbal man @herbalist_sakura for my younger sister help to cure her breast cancer. I contacted him and told him
    my problem he told me that I should not worry that my sister cancer will be
    cure, he told me that there is a medicine that he is going to give me that
    I will cook it and give it to my sister to drink for one week, so I ask how
    can I receive the cure that I am in USA, he told me
    That I will pay for the delivery service. The courier service can
    transport it to me so he told me the amount I will pay, so my dad paid for
    the delivery fee. two days later I receive the cure from the courier
    service so I used it as the herbal man instructed me to, before the week
    complete my sister cancer was healed and it was like a dream to me not
    knowing that it was physical I and my family were very happy about the
    miracle of Doctor so my dad wanted to pay him 5 million us dollars the
    herbal man did not accept the offer from my dad, but I don't know why he
    didn't accept the offer, he only say that I should tell the world about him
    and his miracle he perform so am now here to tell the world about him if
    you or your relative is having any kind of disease that you can't get from
    the hospital please contact or whats app him
    +2348110114739  you can follow him up on Instagram @herbalist_sakura for the cure, he will help you out with the
    problem. And if you need more information about the doctor you can mail me 

  4. I was diagnosed as HEPATITIS B carrier in 2013 with fibrosis of the
    liver already present. I started on antiviral medications which
    reduced the viral load initially. After a couple of years the virus
    became resistant. I started on HEPATITIS B Herbal treatment from
    ULTIMATE LIFE CLINIC ( in March, 2020. Their
    treatment totally reversed the virus. I did another blood test after
    the 6 months long treatment and tested negative to the virus. Amazing
    treatment! This treatment is a breakthrough for all HBV carriers.

  5. Visit Website replica bags online More hints replica bags paypal replica bags buy online louis vuitton replica bags neverfull