Aviva reveals 28% of men never check their testicles despite cancer risk

According to the latest research commissioned by Aviva, featured in The Association of Medical Insurers & Intermediaries (amii) January Newsletter, 28% of men never check their testicles despite testicular cancer remaining one of the most common types of cancer affecting men aged 15-49 years old.

Related topics:  Aviva,  New Research
Tabitha Lambie | Editor, Protection Reporter
25th January 2024
Testicular Cancer
"By adopting a healthy lifestyle and being aware of potentially worrying symptoms, men can take positive action to help them control the risk of becoming seriously unwell."
- Dr Doug Wright, Medical Director at Aviva UK Health

Of those surveyed (2,002), over a quarter (28%) of men never check their testicles despite the heightened risk of testicular cancer among men aged 15-49 years old. While 28% said they check their testicles monthly, 12% said they didn’t think it was possible to detect warning signs of testicular cancer. This misconception rose to 20% for those aged 34-44 years old.

Although 57% of men knew what to look out for when checking their testicles, 37% didn’t know the symptoms of testicular cancer. Worryingly, 38% of those who weren’t aware of these crucial symptoms were 25-34 years old – according to Cancer Research UK, the peak rate of testicular cancer occurs between 30-34 years old.

When prompted, the majority of men (57%) recognised painless swelling or lumps in one of their testicles as a warning sign of testicular cancer, followed by changes in shape or texture (47%), dull ache or sharp pain in the testicles and/or scrotum that may come and go (42%), and a difference in appearance between one testicle and another (40%). Only 36% of men identified an increase in the firmness of a testicle as a potential warning sign while 33% said a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum could indicate testicular cancer.

Discussing general health, 64% of men agreed they try to lead a healthy lifestyle but know there’s more they can do. 71% admitted they don’t exercise regularly with a similar figure (73%) failing to eat a balanced diet. Of those improving dietary habits, 18% have reduced the amount of fat they eat and 25% have either reduced or eliminated their alcohol consumption. However, only 14% have stopped smoking and 21% aren’t taking any measures to reduce their risk of cancer.

Commenting on these findings, Dr Doug Wright, Medical Director at Aviva UK Health, said that although testicular cancer is relatively rare, there is a “worrying lack of awareness among younger men who are more likely to experience this condition.” He felt it was particularly worrying that over a quarter of men don’t ever check their testicles. “It’s important that men know what to look for, and get into the habit of checking their testicles regularly,” he explained.

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