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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Testicular cancer study reveals high risk symptoms

Tuesday July 3rd, 2018

A new analysis has pointed to the key symptoms of testicular cancer found in general practice.

The research, the first to look at symptoms of testicular cancer reported in UK general practice surgeries, compared anonymised patient records of 1,398 men with testicular cancer to 4,956 controls in the year before their diagnosis, to determine which symptoms are associated with a higher risk of the disease.

The research team at the University of Exeter Medical School found that testicular enlargement is the biggest risk factor for testicular cancer. The findings are published in the British Journal of General Practice.

Co-study leader Dr Elizabeth Shephard, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said: "We know early and accurate diagnosis saves lives in cancer. The findings of our study give greater clarity on which patients GPs should refer for further investigation for suspected testicular cancer in order to get the best outcome for patients."

Professor Willie Hamilton, of the University of Exeter Medical School, co-study leader, added: "Despite recent improvements, the UK still lags well behind other countries on cancer survival. Our study showed that some cancers could be confused initially with other testicular conditions, likely leading to delays in diagnosis.”

The findings support current National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines, and may help doctors decide when an ultrasound should be considered in men with symptoms of testicular cancer.

Dr Richard Roope, from the Royal College of GPs, said the findings were “promising.”

He said: “It is encouraging to see this research, the first of its kind, focussing on the symptoms of testicular cancer reported in general practice, and we hope the findings will be considered by NICE in the development of their guidelines on the disease.

“Timely diagnosis of all cancers, including testicular cancer, leads to better outcomes for patients but to do this GPs and our teams need to have better access to diagnostic tools in the community – and the appropriate training for our teams to use them - to either rule out or confirm a diagnosis of cancer, as currently our access is amongst the lowest in Europe.”

Shephard E, Hamilton W. Selection of men for investigation of possible testicular cancer in primary care: a large case-control study using electronic patient records. British Journal of General Practice 3 July 2018

http://bjgp.org/content/early/2018/07/02/bjgp18X697949

Tags: Cancer | Men's Health | UK News

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