Orchid Male Cancer Awareness Week takes place from 3 - 9 April 2017. Penningtons Manches is supporting the campaign to raise awareness of male specific cancers – namely prostate, testicular and penile cancer. The 2017 campaign is focused specifically on testicular cancer, seeking to highlight its symptoms and treatment following diagnosis.
Unlike many cancers, there are few known strong risk factors for testicular cancer. It most commonly affects men between the ages of 15 and 45 and is statistically the most common cancer in men aged between 25 and 49 in the UK.
The clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches is well aware that the key to treating all cancers is an early diagnosis leading to prompt treatment, but to ensure this, there needs to be a better understanding of the disease so that warning signs and symptoms are recognised and acted upon.
Testicular cancer occurs when normal, healthy cells, which are carefully regulated by the body, begin to reproduce uncontrollably within the testicles.
The symptoms of testicular cancer can vary from man to man. The most common symptoms include:
Men are encouraged to perform testicular self-examination on a regular basis, at least monthly, to ensure that they understand the general anatomy of the testicle. This will make it easier to notice any changes which could be symptomatic of testicular cancer.
While Cancer Research notes that fewer than four in every 100 lumps in the testicle are cancerous, it is important to have any lump or swelling or any of the other symptoms here checked by your GP straightaway.
Testicular cancer, if diagnosed promptly, is a very treatable condition. Orchid reports that if caught at an early stage, testicular cancer has a cure rate of approximately 98%.
Typical treatment plans almost always include the surgical removal of the affected testicle – called an orchidectomy – which doesn't usually affect a man’s fertility or his ability to have sex. The whole of the affected testicle tends to be removed because only removing the tumor may lead to the cancer spreading.
For some patients, chemotherapy may be used for certain types of testicular cancer, but in many instances the chances of recurrence are low, meaning that following an orchidectomy doctors may monitor the individual carefully over the following few years without any further treatment being required.
Penningtons Manches has a friendly and approachable clinical negligence team experienced in representing men who have received poor medical care resulting in a delayed diagnosis, and poorer prognosis, than they would otherwise have faced.
Each case is of course unique, but it is possible to claim damages where there has been a significant impact on health, prognosis and perhaps a loss of earnings as a result of a cancer diagnosis. Some examples include an award of £38,000 for delayed diagnosis of testicular cancer leading to removal of lymph nodes with associated scaring, and £25,000 for a GP’s failure to refer an individual for a prostate biopsy, losing the opportunity for nerve-sparing surgery which could have avoided permanent erectile dysfunction.
If you have any concerns or queries about the medical care you or your family have received, please contact Penningtons Manches’ specialist team.