Testicular cancer study reveals highest risk symptoms to aid diagnosis

A new study has identified the highest risk symptoms that can indicate testicular cancer, in research that aims to improve diagnosis.

Testicular cancer is on the rise in the UK, with well over 2,000 new cases each year. The number of cases has increased by 27% since the late 1990s, and is expected to grow by 12% over the next two decades.

The research, by the University of Exeter Medical School, published in the British Journal of General Practice has found testicular enlargement (a lump or swelling) to be the biggest risk factor for testicular cancer. The finding that painful testicular enlargement may indicate cancer contradicts traditional teaching.

The study, led by Dr Elizabeth Shephard and Professor Willie Hamilton is the first to look at symptoms of testicular cancer reported in UK general practice (GP) surgeries. The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

Dr Elizabeth Shephard, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “We know early and accurate diagnosis saves lives in cancer. The findings of our study give greater clarity on which patients GPs should refer for further investigation for suspected testicular cancer in order to get the best outcome for patients.”



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