Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to actually prevent testicular cancer. But, there are things that can be done to detect it early. And the key to treatment of any cancer is early detection.
Many patients come in for various cancer conditions and ask, "Are there any diets that I could be on" or "is there anything I could take, is there a medication I could take to reduce my risk of developing this type of cancer." And, as I mentioned, unfortunately for testicular cancer there is not any of those things.
We do know that there are several risk factors for developing it. And these include family history as well as history of something called an undescended testicle, where the testicle did not descend all the way down into the scrotum at some point in the past. These things increase your risk of developing testicular cancer.
And those patients who have these types of situations should really be checking the testicles by doing a self examination, which we recommend doing once a month, usually in a warm shower when the testicles are descended. And we recommend doing it by palpating or feeling the testicle between the fingers and rolling the testicle between the fingers. And the testicle should feel soft and squishy, and there should be no firm or hard areas within the testicle itself.
But, the key to treating cancer is detecting it early. The earlier we can detect it before the cancer has the opportunity to spread to other parts of the body, the easier your treatment is going to be and the less likely you are to require treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
So, though the cancer cannot be prevented, I think the key is to try to detect it early, if possible. Don't wait and assume that whatever is going on in the testicle is nothing to worry about. And, I will tell you, I have seen patients who have come in with testicles this big, football size. Because, they were in denial. So the key, again, early detection, self examination when appropriate, and that can reduce your risk of having complications related to the cancer.