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Screening for Testicular Cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Reaffirmation Recommendation Statement FREE

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The full report is titled “Screening for Testicular Cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Reaffirmation Recommendation Statement.” It is in the 5 April issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 154, pages 483-486). The author is the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Ann Intern Med. 2011;154(7):I-36. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-154-7-201104050-00001
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Who developed these guidelines?

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is a group of health experts that reviews published research and makes recommendations about preventive health care.

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

The testis is a reproductive organ in males that produces sperm. Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer among males aged 15 to 34 years, but it is relatively rare compared with other types of cancer. Fewer than 6 out of every 100,000 males develop testicular cancer in a given year.

The main treatment of testicular cancer is surgery to remove the testis (called orchiectomy). Treatment may also include chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It is fortunate that despite how far the cancer has progressed at the time of diagnosis, testicular cancer is cured in more than 90% of males with the condition.

Most cases of testicular cancer are discovered when a lump is found in the testis. In 2004, the USPSTF recommended against regularly screening males (both adolescents and adults) for testicular cancer because there was no evidence that testicular examination in healthy males with no symptoms discovers testicular cancer at an earlier (and more treatable) stage than if it were discovered by the males themselves or their partners.

This report is an update to that evidence review. The USPSTF performed a new search to determine whether studies published since 2004 would change its recommendation.

How did the USPSTF develop this recommendation?

The USPSTF reviewed research on screening for testicular cancer published since 2004 to determine the benefits and harms of screening.

What did the USPSTF find?

The USPSTF found that there were no new studies showing that males with testicular cancer found during screening had better outcomes than those who developed symptoms or discovered a lump.

What does the USPSTF suggest that patients and doctors do?

The USPSTF recommends that doctors do not screen males who have no symptoms of testicular cancer.

What are the cautions related to this recommendation?

This recommendation applies only to males who do not have symptoms of testicular cancer. Patients who notice a lump or pain in the testis should visit a doctor to have these symptoms evaluated. It also does not apply to males with undescended testes (cryptorchidism), because they are at higher risk for testicular cancer than males who do not have this condition.





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