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Raising awareness of testicular cancer

Christopher Schmidt Although it is not a common cancer, testicular cancer is the No. 1 cancer affecting men age 18 to 35, according to King's Daughters urologist Christopher Schmidt, D.O.

Although it's most frequently diagnosed in young and middle-aged men, is may occasionally be found in infants. Because it affects young men more frequently than older men, Schmidt said, "Parents should examine their babies and little boys on a regular basis at bath time until the children are old enough to be taught to do it themselves.”

Testicular cancer is often found early and treated successfully.

Boys born with an undescended testicle are at higher risk for developing the cancer, Schmidt said. In addition, microcalcifications found in a the testicles can be a precursor of the disease.

Because there are only a couple of known risk factors and no real prevention measures, regular manual examination of the testicles is key.

“I tell every young man in my office to conduct self examinations,” said Schmidt. During self-exam, males should look and feel for any hard lumps or smooth rounded bumps or any change in the size, shape, or consistency of the testicles."