A screening guideline by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for testicular cancer recommends do not screen adolescent or adult males because of the balance of harm and benefits. According to USPSTF (2014), screening by self-examination or clinician examination is unlikely to offer meaningful health benefits, given the very low incidence and high cure rate of even advanced testicular cancer. Potential harms include false-positive results, anxiety, and harms from diagnostic tests or procedures. Whereas, The American Cancer Society (2019) states,if you have certain risk factors that increase your chance of developing testicular cancer (such as an undescended testicle, previous germ cell tumor in one testicle, or a family history), you should seriously consider monthly self-exams and talk about it with your doctor. The American Cancer Society advises men to be aware of testicular cancer and to see a doctor right away if they find a lump in a testicle. Because regular testicular self-exams have not been studied enough to know if they reduce the death rate from this cancer, the ACS does not have a recommendation on regular testicular self-exams for all men. The USPSTF recommendation against screening for testicular cancer is part of the American Academy of Family Physicians clinical guidelines and several other healthcare organizations. The ACS seems more ambivalent in either recommending or not recommending early screening and takes a position to leave that decision to the physician and patient. The NIH (2012) has resources to help encourage adherence to screening guidelines in the target population online called Testicular Cancer Screening (PDQ®)–Patient Version that walks the patient through the process of self examination and has diagrams that introduce the patient to the anatomy of the male reproductive and urinary systems.
NIH. 2012. Testicular Cancer Screening (PDQ®)–Patient Version. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/types/testicular/patient/testicular-screening-pdq
The American Cancer Society. 2019. Can Testicular Cancer Be Found Early?. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/testicular-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/detection.html
USPSTF. 2014. Clinical Summary: Testicular Cancer: Screening. Retrieved from https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/ClinicalSummaryFinal/testicular-cancer-screening (Links to an external site.)
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