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Health Checkup: March 13, 2008

Risks and Warning Signs of Testicular Cancer

Dr. Stephen Cohen, M.D., F.A.C.S. from Chesapeake Urology answers your questions about testicular cancer.

Q: I found a lump in my testicle. Should I be worried?

A: If you find a lump in your testicle, you should schedule an appointment immediately. A lump is not always a sign of testicular cancer, but it should be checked out just to be safe. When testicular cancer is detected early, it can be successfully treated more than 95 percent of the time. Other symptoms to look for include testicular swelling, hardness or pain, or a heavy aching feeling in the scrotum or lower abdomen.

Q: What causes testicular cancer?

A: The truth is the cause of testicular cancer is unknown. However, there are factors that may increase your risk. Caucasian men ages 15 to 35 are at the highest risk. An undescended testicle, Klinefelter’s Syndrome or a family history of testicular cancer also puts you at risk.

Q: How is testicular cancer diagnosed?

A: For my patients, I talk to them about their medical history and then perform a physical exam. If I notice any lumps or swelling, I might order an ultrasound, CT scan, chest X-ray or blood tests. If any of these come back inconclusive, a biopsy may be necessary.

Q: How is testicular cancer treated?

A: The most common method of treatment is surgery. Often the cancerous testicle must be removed. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy might also be treatment options, depending on the characteristics of your cancer. Our doctors at Chesapeake Urology are all board certified and experts at treating testicular cancer. We are able to offer our patients the most advanced technologies and treatment options. Should you need to have a testicle removed, we can fit you with a saline prosthesis that looks and feels like a real testicle.

Q: Is there anything I can do to prevent testicular cancer?

A: Because the cause of testicular cancer is unknown, you can’t really prevent it. You should conduct routine self exams and visit your doctor yearly for a screening.

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Stephen P. Cohen, M.D. is the Chief of the Department of Urology at Sinai Hospital. Certified by the American Board of Urology and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Cohen has been in private practice for more than three decades.

For more information about Dr. Cohen and the services available at Chesapeake Urology Associates, call 1-866-955-0002 or visit our website at www.chesapeakeurology.com.

Chesapeake Urology Associates is the premier urology practice in Maryland, treating prostate cancer, testicular cancer, erectile dysfunction and incontinence, plus performing vasectomies, reverse vasectomies and more. If you have a concern, schedule a screening today by calling 1-866-955-0002.

PUNCH YOUR WAY TO GOOD HEALTH

You don't need to be a professional boxer to benefit from working out with a speed bag. In addition to toned arms that would make your friends jealous, exercising on a speed bag improves hand-eye coordination and reflexes while providing a great cardiovascular workout.

Once the basic punches and rhythm are mastered, newcomers will find working out on a speed bag extremely enjoyable and stress-relieving.

Learning the rhythm and technique can be tricky at first. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your speed bag workout.

• Relax. Make sure your muscles are not too tense, and don't try to hit the too hard.
• Get the right height to avoid ineffective punching motions.
• Hit softly and count the rebounds. Many beginners find hitting the bag after three rebounds is too difficult. If so, try five rebounds.

MAKE YOUR OWN SPORTS DRINK

We live in a Gatorade world. Who needs plain old water when we can shell out two bucks for a bottle of colored stuff marketed as a way to get the most out of our bodies? If you like carbo-hydration drinks like Gatorade, POWERade and Vitamin Water, but hate paying so much, try making your own at home.

Juices, such as apple, orange or grape are excellent bases for sports drinks. They contain both glucose and fructose sugars, as well as potassium, which is lost with sweating. Add one tablespoon of salt (to replace the sodium lost while sweating) to a quart of diluted juice.

LINK OF THE WEEK

www.holistichelp.net:80/sugar-addiction.html

Did you know the average American consumes 32 teaspoons of sugar a day? Holistic Health Solutions examines the hidden dangers of sugar addiction, the most common addiction in America.

Issue 3.11: March 13, 2008