Know Your Normal: Pay Attention to Changes in Your Body

April 22, 2016

Published by Maggie Klee

April is Oral and Testicular Cancer Awareness Month making it the perfect time to talk about the importance of knowing what’s normal for your body. These two cancers don’t get the media attention that other cancers receive, but should because they can be detected early, and therefore, treatment can be much easier. This month, help us spread the word about preventing or detecting oral and testicular cancers in an early stage.

Testicular Cancer 

What you need to know:

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer for males ages 15-35 in the United States. This year, more than 8,720 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer. When detected early, testicular cancer is nearly 100 percent curable.

What you can do to reduce your risk: TesticularSelfExam

  1. Schedule a yearly physical with your doctor. Ask him or her to examine your testicles as part of your routine exam.

  2. Check your testicles once per month. Yes, check your balls. Check in the shower, when you wake up or whenever you think about it, but try to check the same time each month.  Testicular cancer usually doesn’t cause noticeable pain, but is often initially detected by a change in your testicles. Did it get bigger, smaller or do you feel a lump?  If you notice a change in size, feel a lump or hardness or any other changes, talk to your doctor.

Women- this cancer may not affect you but you can play a huge role in helping the men in your life prevent or detect cancer early.

Oral Cancer 

What you need to know:

Oral cancer is twice as common in men as in women. Every year, more than 45,750 people are diagnosed with the disease. Tobacco and alcohol use are among the strongest risk factors for oral cancer.

What you can do to reduce your risk:

  1. Do not smoke or chew tobacco. If you need help quitting, click here for some help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. Limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day.
  3. Have an oral cancer screening by your dentist during your regular cleaning.
  4. Talk to your dentist about an oral self-exam, be on the lookout for white or red patches and sores that don’t go away.
  5. If you experience any long lasting pain or bleeding, see your dentist right away.

1.6 million people will be told they have cancer this year, but 50 percent of cancers diagnosed today can be prevented. By paying attention to changes in your body and telling your doctor when you notice something different, you can help detect cancer in an early, more treatable stage. For more information on testicular and oral cancers, visit preventcancer.org.

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