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You’re in the shower getting your lather on. You’re feeling good. It’s the weekend, and you just got paid. Luther Vandross is playing in the background, shaping your thoughts of the next 48 hours. Visions of the next wave of beauties that will be making your acquaintance for the next couple of days flash through your mind. You absentmindedly lather your well-manicured chest, move down to your six-pack, achieved through hours of hard work and dedication, then to your delicate nether regions, inattentively moving it this way and that, and then…what’s that? Was that a lump? You’re snapped back to reality, attentive now to the present. Suddenly, your life flashes before your eyes. You think of all the missed opportunities you’ve had to settle down and start a family. You think of all the atrocities you’ve committed in your lifetime and you think that karma has finally caught up with you. What now?
First off, calm down. While testicular cancer is one of the most common cancers of males between the ages of 20-39, it also has one of the highest cure rates. So before you go apologizing to your cousin Earl whom you haven’t seen in 12 years after stealing the love of his life back in high school, thinking that you’re about to meet your maker, know that the majority of lumps detected in a man’s scrotum are easily treatable. There’s a number of alternative explanations for testicular lumps that are not life-threatening as well, including testicular stones, cysts, and benign growths.
Still, this highlights a salient point – that as macho and invincible as he may feel, a man may be brought to his knees when faced with a health-related issue. Knowing this, why not prevent it by being in tune and aware of one’s body? Yes, outwardly, you have the picture-perfect body, the camera-ready smile and the once-in-a-lifetime job that makes you the envy of all your friends, but without proper health and lifestyle choices, this can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Globally, testicular cancer kills about 8,000 of our young men each year. The US Preventative Service Task Force recommends testicular cancer screening in the event that you have concerning symptoms, including a lump in the scrotum that may or may not be painful, sharp or dull pain in the lower abdomen or scrotum, a feeling of “heaviness” in the scrotum or low back pain. Be aware and remain attentive.
While this article is not meant to scare the bejesus out of you, a little fear never hurt anyone. I challenge you today to do a scrotal self-exam tonight. If you feel anything, go ahead and take a look at the title of this post again. And like I tell my friends who complain that I’m skinny and eat like a fat person, “exercise and you can eat whatever you want.” Take my advice, put your health and body first, and then you can live as nefariously as you want. If karma is out to get you, at least you can be certain she won’t have your testicles fall off.
Send me your healthcare and lifestyles questions. Any suggestions will be wholly appreciated.