Purpose: The authors analyze their 3-year results of the "educational and early detection program for testicular cancer". The goals of the program are to reduce the duration of symptoms and to improve early detection. Methods: Advertisements were placed in the media describing the early signs of testicular cancer, the risks factors, the correct method of self-investigation and the importance of early detection. Between 1 April, 1995 and 1 April, 1998 5056 volunteers were examined. They underwent physical and ultrasound examination of the testicles, and in case of suspicious findings, tumor markers (alpha-fetoprotein, human choriogonadotropin) were checked. Results: Testicular tumors were found in 1.28% of patients with symptoms (testicular enlargement or nodules). No tumor was found in the population that was symptom-free, or in patients with pain, sensitivity to palpation, or unrelated complaints. Of the patients with a palpable lump and swollen testicles, 4.5 and 3.9% were found to have tumors respectively. In total 32 testicular tumors were detected in 30 patients: 15 (2 bilateral) seminomas, 13 non-seminomas and 4 benign tumors. The occurrence of malignant testicular tumors was most frequent, 1.6% in the age group between 15 and 40 years. The stages were as follows: 9 I/A, 9 I/B, 1 I/S, 3 II/A, 1 II/B and 2 III/B. One patient was lost to follow-up after castration. All the other patients achieved complete remission. Conclusion: Despite the increasing incidence of testicular cancer screening of asymptomatic men does not lead to detection of tumors. The awareness of the early signs associated with cancer, selfexamination, ultrasound examination of the testicle help in establishing an early diagnosis, nevertheless a widescale program for the early detection of testicular cancer is not justifiable. Effective early detection should be based on an educational program for the population at risk, the appropriate training of doctors and staff engaged in the health care of the young, and the initiation and facilitation of early ultrasound examination at the first symptoms. Serum markers play a limited role in early diagnosis.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2000|
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