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Men's health: Facts about prostate and testicular cancer

Getting routine health checks can save you time and money. When you catch potential issues early, they are usually easier and less expensive to treat. That can help you spend less time focusing on health issues and more time doing the things you enjoy.

Regular health checks, such as an annual wellness exam, give your doctor a chance to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and more to make sure there are no changes in your health. They can also help make sure that you don’t have any new serious conditions. This can mean getting recommended cancer screenings, which include prostate cancer and testicular cancer screenings for exercising outdoors

Facts about prostate cancer

Prostate cancer affects 1 out of every 8 men, according to the American Cancer Society. Prostate cancer is caused by out-of-control cell growth in the prostate. Men aged 65 and older have a higher risk of prostate cancer, with a 6 in 10 chance of diagnosis. Other factors, such as ethnicity and genetics, can also increase your risk. African American men and Caribbean men of African descent face a higher risk.  


According to the Mayo Clinic, prostate cancer may cause no symptoms or signs in its early stages. But symptoms of advanced prostate cancer can include:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Blood in the semen
  • Bone pain
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Erectile dysfunction

When prostate cancer is found early due to screening, it can greatly increase your chances of being able to treat it and defeat it.

Facts about testicular cancer

Testicular cancer, while uncommon, mostly affects younger men between ages 15-49. The exact cause of testicular cancer is unknown, but is usually related to a growth in cells starting in the testicles.

Johns Hopkins Medicine states that testicular cancer risk factors include:

  • An undescended testicle, or cryptorchidism
  • Family history of testicular cancer
  • Previous diagnosis of testicular cancer
  • Intratubular germ cell neoplasia (ITGCN), which can be an early sign of cancerous invasive testicular germ tumors (TGCTs)

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of testicular cancer can include:

  • A lump or swelling in either testicle
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the lower belly or groin
  • Sudden swelling in the scrotum
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breast tissue
  • Back pain

Self-exams can help you tell if a lump or scrotal mass has formed on one of your testicles or in your scrotum. The Mayo Clinic recommends checking your scrotum every month for changes. While most scrotal masses are benign, some could be cancerous, so you should make an appointment with your doctor. When detected, testicular cancer is highly treatable.

Find a primary care provider (PCP) for preventive care

Having an annual wellness exam can help you stay healthy by keeping an eye on your health. And finding a provider who you can see regularly is also an important part of maintaining your health. When you build a relationship with your provider, they’ll have a better picture of your health and can recommend preventive care at the right time. Blue Cross of Idaho members can search for a provider by logging in to their member account and selecting Find Care.

Preventive care is typically covered at little or no cost to Blue Cross of Idaho members when they visit an in-network provider. Blue Cross of Idaho members can log in to their member account to see what preventive care services are covered under their plan.


Written by: Blue Cross of Idaho

Posted: July 9, 2024