Gonad groping Brits wont spot cancer

2012-03-28 22:12

Paris - Celebrity appeals for British men to fondle their testicles to detect early signs of cancer are a waste of time and possibly harmful, an opinion piece published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) says.

Singer Robbie Williams and the Leicester Tigers rugby team are among those who have lent their names to a campaign for men to be "testicle aware," just as women are encouraged to look for dangerous lumps in their breasts.

But in a personal view published in Thursday's BMJ, Doctor Keith Hopcroft, a general practitioner in the southeastern county of Essex, lashes the invitation for a man to "grope his gonads or caress his crown jewels" as "well-meaning whimsy, with the potential to do harm".

"There is no good evidence that routine testicular self-examination is of any benefit," he writes.

"The chances of discovering something significant from routine self-examination of the testicles are minuscule. At least 50 000 men would need to examine themselves for 10 years to prevent one death."

Hopcroft says the "testicle aware" campaign is based on the notion that this form of cancer is a silent killer, with no symptoms of pain.

The campaigners argue men should look for painless swelling that, they say, is a possible sign of cancer.

But, argues Hopcroft, at least half of patients with testicular cancer usually experience pain.

The real question is teaching men to be aware of this symptom and act on it swiftly, rather than "turning the nation's blokes into ball-watching neurotics", he says

Self-examination may turn up benign swellings such as epididymal cysts that are harmless but may cause the man crippling anxiety, he adds.

  • mtrapotu - 2012-03-28 22:42

    bull sh#t....

  • npretorius2 - 2012-03-28 22:50

    So I don't have 3 testicles, I might have cancer?

  • veritas.odium.paret - 2012-03-29 05:38

    "ball watching neurotics" lol

  • Art - 2012-03-29 06:35

    What if they don't fit in TWO HANDS? Get a THIRD opinion?

  • gailcarolynhayes - 2012-03-29 10:29

    Like men need to be told to fondle their gonads!!! I don't think so... They do it ALL the time.

  • zane.blignaut - 2012-03-29 10:56

    a positive drive towards men being more aware of testicular cancer, and it gets blasted with negativity... its a move in the right direction, as men never really are aware of these things till its too late. the hypocrisy in this world is ridiculous... and my thought is after 50 000 men have been aware and checking themselves and becoming more health conscience can save 1 life... well go ahead.. i think its a good thing overall.. same as the breast cancer drives.. look at how many womens lives are saved, while 20yrs ago when women were told to check regularly it was also against social norms...

  • Wendy - 2012-03-30 13:04

    This is absolute RUBBISH ! I raise awareness in schools and have done for 13 years and over 230 young men have found the cancer and survived because of this. One young man was 16 and he was checking for just 3 months when he found the cancer and he is now 27 years old. The problem we have in the UK is the GP's don't refer men for proper checks early enough. Keep checking those balls boys.

  • Julie - 2012-03-30 17:20

    This article utter rubbish ! as a nurse myself its all about awareness & self examination and saving lives , not leaving it till its to late or as this person would like (Not at all) and face death ! My Son is a survivor of Testicular Cancer and thank god we have a wonderful GP unlike this bloke ! Lads always check your tackle it will save your LIFE ! Just like women have to !

  • andydonegal - 2012-03-30 17:26

    what a stupid irresponsible man .... not fit to be a doctor!!!!

  • nickohs - 2012-03-30 18:35

    This doctor and his personal comments are not only uninformed but dangerous. I lost both testicles in 1988 having discovered a tiny lump on one testicle. I didn't ignore it and maybe it saved my life, but more importantly, it saved the NHS far more serious treatment and expense than if I's failed to detect the lump and done nothing until my life was more seriously threatened. The work done by countless friends to make young men aware of the need to check for lumps on the testicle is a vital element in removing male denial when it comes to his own health.

  • phillymorris - 2012-03-30 22:37

    he is GP, it was a GP who said my cancer was an infection of the testicle and my Girlfriends Melanoma was a wart! they do get a bit above them selves now and then to get their names in papers

  • phillymorris - 2012-03-30 23:09

  • Robert - 2012-03-30 23:27

    I think a lot of doctors have forgotten that lost art of empathy. They seem to forget what it's like to be human! And for self- examination to be harmful?? Horse s**t

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