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established 2015

OUR MISSION
To bring Testicular Cancer awareness to the forefront of conversations world wide while providing effective means to connect and support patients and survivors.

Free The Balls; Being bold and strong enough to conquer anything, freeing our man-hood. Testicular Cancer isn’t usually brought to a man’s life until we get the call, we have cancer.  If only we were aware that it’s not so “rare” as the stats say. If only we were aware how cure-able it is. If only we knew how to do self exams. If only we were more aware of just the name, Testicular Cancer. If only we could create some awareness to the “if only’s”. That’s were we come in… Free The Balls!

“Free The Balls” is essentially freeing (removing) that ball / testicle, which every testicular cancer patient must face. The procedure is called an orchiectomy.
 
We are all about bringing awareness through stories of other survivors, showing the world its true identity.

Testicular Cancer

FAQ

answers via urologyspecialistsnc.com

Testicular Cancer can include one or more of the following symptoms:

  • A lump or swelling in either testicle
  • Discomfort or pain in either testicle
  • Enlargement of a testicle
  • Change in the way a testicle feels
  • Dull ache, pain, or heaviness in the scrotum
  • An ache in the lower abdomen, back, or groin
  • Breast tissue swelling
  • In some cases, there are no symptoms

Valid question! But, no.

Actually, fewer than 4% of testicular lumps are cancerous– that’s 4 out of 100!

So, keep your eye on the ball(s). Perform self-checks every month!

How to perform a self-check:

  1. Take a warm bath or shower.
  2. Stand in front of a mirror and look for any signs of swelling.
  3. Support your testicles with one hand and feel each one with your other hand.
  4. Roll the testicles between the thumb and fingers, feeling for any lumps. Lumps can be as small as a grain of rice and are usually firm.
  5. Also, feel for areas that are tender.

If you feel a lump or notice any change, talk to your doctor immediately. Cases of testicular cancer that are detected early on have a 99% survival rate.

The exact cause of testicular cancer is unknown.

Contrary to what you may have heard:

  • Frequent bike rides DO NOT cause testicular cancer. Though it can contribute to a swollen prostate.
  • The size of your testicles DOES NOT determine whether you’ll get testicular cancer or not.
  • Prior injury to the testicles DOES NOT cause testicular cancer.
  • Old age is NOT a factor. The majority of testicular cancer cases are found in men between the ages of 20 and 34–but can affect males of any age.    

There are certain things that put men at higher risk of developing testicular cancer (TC) according to some studies:

  • An undescended testicle
  • Any congenital abnormalities of the testicle, penis, kidney, and inguinal hernias
  • A family history of TC
  • An HIV infection, particularly AIDS
  • A personal history of TC

Stage I (stage 1 testicular cancer): The cancer has invaded tissues next to the testicle, but has not spread to lymph nodes, or more distant sites in the body. Levels of tumor marker proteins may be normal or elevated. The three subcategories of stage I testicular cancer are:

  • Stage IA: The tumor may have grown through the inner layer of tissue surrounding the testicle, but not the outer layer, and it has not spread to blood or lymph vessels. Serum levels of tumor markers are normal.
  • Stage IB: Tumors at this stage may have spread to blood or lymph vessels or may have invaded the outer layer surrounding the testicle, the spermatic cord or the scrotum. Serum levels of tumor markers are normal.
  • Stage IS: These cancers can demonstrate any degree of invasion of nearby tissues, and levels of tumor markers measured after the tumor has been removed by surgery are elevated.

Stage II (stage 2 testicular cancer): Testicular cancers at this stage have invaded tissues next to the testicle and can now be found in at least one nearby lymph node. Tumor marker levels may be normal or slightly elevated. Stage II testicular cancer has three subcategories:

  • Stage IIA: Tumors at this stage have spread to one or more lymph nodes, but no node is larger than 2 cm.
  • Stage IIB: Tumors at this stage have spread to at least one lymph node, which is between 2 cm and 5 cm in size.
  • Stage IIC: These tumors have spread to at least one lymph node that is larger than 5 cm.

Stage III (stage 3 testicular cancer): Testicular cancers at this stage have spread to distant lymph nodes or organs. Stage III testicular cancer has three subcategories:

  • Stage IIIA: These cancers have spread to a distant lymph node or the lungs. Tumor marker protein levels are normal or slightly elevated.
  • Stage IIIB: At this stage of testicular cancer, patients have moderately elevated levels of tumor marker proteins, and the disease has either spread to nearby or distant lymph nodes, or the lungs.
  • Stage IIIC: These cancers have high levels of tumor marker proteins and may have spread to nearby or distant lymph nodes, or the lungs. Alternatively, they may have spread to other distant organs, such as the liver or the brain, but in this case serum tumor markers can be at any level.

Surgery to remove a testicle with cancer is called a radical inguinal orchiectomy. An incision (cut) is made just above the pubic area, and the testicle is gently removed from the scrotum through the opening. The surgeon then removes the entire tumor along with the testicle and spermatic cord.

Testicular cancer is a diagnosis, not a death sentence. Not to take away from the seriousness of testicular cancer, but you should take comfort in that fact that TC is one of the most treatable types of cancer.

The overall survival rate of testicular cancer is 95%. When caught early, the survival rate increases to 99%! So, when we say early detection is important– we mean it.

THE TEAM