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Pregnancy test helps detect testicular cancer

Category: Male Specific Tests

According to ABC News, an unnamed man may have detected testicular cancer by taking a pregnancy test as a joke. When the pregnancy test came back positive, the man drew out the episode as a comic strip and posted it on Reddit. One of the Reddit users commented that results may indicate that he has testicular cancer.

ABC noted that the Reddit thread later reported that the man went to have himself examined and a small cancerous tumor was found on his right testicle.

Experts told the news source that pregnancy tests detect the presence of a hormone known as beta human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine, which can also be found with a lab test and is sometimes a sign of testicular cancer, as well as pregnancy.

"It turns out a fair number of testicular cancers make the same exact hormone," said Mark Pomerantz, M.D., of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, told the news source. "There are very few things in the body that produce beta hCG, and testicular cancer is one of them."

Testicular cancer facts
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men between 15 and 34 years old, and although the rates of testicular cancer have increased twofold in the last 40 years, treatments have become more effective and it can often be cured.

Risk factors
Some risk factors of testicular cancer include having an undescended testicle, an abnormal testicle, such as one that is smaller and does not function properly, and having immediate relatives who have had testicular cancer. White men are also at a greater risk of developing the disease when compared to other ethnicities.

After cancer is detected in the testicles, other tests are conducted to see if it has spread to the rest of the body. These include a chest X-ray, CT scan and an X-ray of the lymph system.

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