April is testicular cancer awareness month and Tommy John, which makes the most comfortable underwear on the planet, has teamed up with the Testicular Cancer Foundation to support your balls in a whole new way. During the month of April, they are donating 5% of all purchases of a limited-edition cancer awareness print to the Testicular Cancer Foundation to help educate and support men who face testicular cancer.
Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men from 15 – 34 years old. It is 95% curable when detected early. Regular self-exams can help men find suspicious lumps early. Getting to know your balls will help you know if something is abnormal. While most lumps are not likely to be cancerous, testicular cancer often does not have any other symptoms, so it is important to get them checked by a urologist.
What if it is testicular cancer?
Getting educated about the process of treating and recovery from testicular cancer can remove some of the fear around getting checked out, so Tommy John sat down with the Testicular Cancer foundation to learn more about the recovery process. Here’s what they learned
Tommy John: We talk a lot about early detection and the time leading up to surgery, but what does the post-surgery and recovery process look like to most patients?
Testicular Cancer Foundation: When Testicular Cancer is caught early, the surgery (inguinal orchiectomy) to remove the cancerous testicle can be minimally invasive. Generally speaking the patient returns home the same day of surgery and recovery time is rather short. This is why early detection is crucial. A simple surgery and the patient is back to daily life. When testicular cancer metastasizes not only do your chances of survival decrease, but more invasive surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are likely to follow – all of which have their own risks and side effects.
Tommy John: What type of lifestyle changes do survivors need to make post-surgery/treatment (diet, exercise, work, etc.)?
Testicular Cancer Foundation: We urge men to be advocates for their own health. This includes living a healthy lifestyle – a well-balanced diet and exercise. Additionally, we urge men to take their time and be patient when jumping back into work and daily life.
Tommy John: How often do survivors follow-up with their doctors/oncologist/urologist after the surgery/treatment?
Testicular Cancer Foundation: No one follow up regimen is appropriate for every TC survivor, but standard protocol would be a doctors visit every 3-6 months the first year, 6-12 month the 2nd and 3rd year, and annually for year four and five. Each of these visits would include some or all of the following tests; blood work, CT Scans, Chest X-rays and Testicular Ultrasound.
After having a testicular cancer diagnosis, there is a slightly higher risk for a re-occurrence of cancer, so survivors are advised to become advocates of their own health, and look for any changes they see/feel.
Tommy John: What are some of the biggest difficulties that survivors face post-surgery and possible treatment?
Testicular Cancer Foundation: Life after cancer can be one of the biggest struggles for some after a cancer diagnosis. This is another reason why we emphasize early detection. If caught in stage one, often there is no need for additional treatment which minimizes some of the struggles guys often face after surgery and additional treatment (additional surgery, chemotherapy, radiation).
Some TC survivors go through what can be an extremely traumatic experience, and after treatment are given the “all clear” from their doctor. They are then expected to jump back into daily life like nothing happened. For some, healing for both mind and body can take time, and we urge men struggling to discuss their options with their social worker or doctor.
We have found that there is high numbers of TC survivors that suffer from PTSD. Some men suffer from depression, feel as if they have lost their “manhood”, and fear re-occurrence. Some men struggle with infertility as well. At TCF we have bolstered our support system to ensure that men have resources and support groups to deal with life after cancer.
The Testicular Cancer foundation is a great resource to learn more about the signs, symptoms, treatment options and recovery from testicular cancer. Taking steps to get educated can give you more control over your health and even save your life. In the meantime, treat your balls to the support they deserve with a pair of underwear that never need to be adjusted.
Thanks, TCF and Tommy John for being on the front line of improving men’s reproductive and sexual health!