Testicular cancer ‘nearly beaten’
Almost every man in the UK diagnosed with testicular cancer is now beating the disease, according to new figures.
Ten-year survival rates have surged by almost 30% in the last 40 years, said Cancer Research UK.
More than 96% of men treated for the disease today are still alive after 10 years, compared with fewer than 70% in the 1970s.
Although there is a slim chance of recurrence after 10 years, they are considered effectively cured.
Each year around 2,300 new cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed in the UK.
Unlike many other cancers, the disease strikes at a relatively young age. It is the most common cancer in men aged 15 to 49.
Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “A clear success story in cancer research has been the drug cisplatin, which our scientists helped to develop. This is helping almost all men with testicular cancer to beat the disease and is a shining example of what we can achieve through dedicated research.
“For some types of cancer, the word ‘cure’ is almost a reality – 96% of men with testicular cancer are now cured. But it’s important we recognise the four per cent who aren’t surviving the disease, as well as the fact that we still need treatments to be kinder to patients in the future. It’s only by doing more research that we can bring forward the day when we are able to beat all types of cancer.”
The most common early symptom of testicular cancer is a lump or swelling in one of the testicles.
Martin Ledwick, head information nurse at Cancer Research UK, urged men not to ignore such warning signs.
“Although most lumps in the testicle won’t turn out to be cancer, it’s important you get symptoms checked out as early as possible as this gives the best chance of cure,” he said.
“Get used to how your testicles look and feel normally and if you if you notice a lump, swelling or persistent discomfort then go and see your GP. Cancer Research UK has a leaflet about what to look out for, which you can download from the website. You can also call the charity’s information nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040 if you have any questions.”
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