Got balls? Or, know someone who does? READ AND SHARE! #medical #testicular #testicle #cancer #surgery

Got balls? Or, know someone who does?
#medical #testicular #testicle #cancer #surgery
A youngish (aged 38), white, employed man—one with great health insurance in the USA—first noticed a pea-shaped/-sized nodule in one testicle while doing a manual self-exam over 10 years ago. At that time and for each subsequent year, he kept having that testicle checked by his doctor.
He noticed that that testicle had felt and looked different from the other one almost right away. During these 10 years, that testicle kept shrinking (and he never took steroids, which are known to cause shrinking balls), but otherwise, it didn’t change much.
shrunken testicle
Every doctor he saw told him that this shrinking testicle problem was “nothing to be concerned about.” Some diagnosed it as something like a “varicose vein” problem (varicocele); others said it was a “dysfunctional” or “atrophied” testicle. No one seemed concerned.
NO ONE suggested, nor did this young man know to request, an ultrasound, which is what SHOULD have happened, right away.
The major change that occurred about 6 months ago (over 10 years later) was that this shrunken testicle began to grow, to swell and to hurt. He said it felt as if he had pulled a groin muscle. It also looked even more different from his other testicle, on the outside of the scrotum.
When he went in to his doctor, he was having trouble walking because he was in some pain, but he still thought he may have pulled a groin muscle. That internist again did not suggest an ultrasound and only gave him the most cursory manual exam.
The doctor told him: “If it hurts more or changes again, I’ll refer you to a specialist.”
Six months later, in early November, those types of changes happened: more pain, even more swelling. This time, the young man knew that this was not a pulled muscle.
When he called his doctor, he was referred to and then quickly scheduled an appointment to be seen by a urologist.
why see a urologist
That doctor did a much more thorough manual and visual examination, asked a lot more questions, spent more time. This doctor concluded without hesitation that this testicle was a problem and ordered an ultrasound, to occur a few days later.
The ultrasound (which was painful and that pain lasted several days, BTW), confirmed that the testicle had “multiple masses” internally, something no man wants to hear.
ultrasound testicles
NOT this man’s ultrasound, but similar; from
The urologist explained the possibilities (none great) and then immediately scheduled for that testicle’s contents to be removed one week later. This inguinal (through the lower abdomen) surgery was to be done in order to find out, by removing and sending the contents for pathological analysis, whether or not these masses were cancerous (probably were), and, if so, what kind.
The surgery took about one hour. Luckily, everything went fine.
Cross-Sectional Diagram of Inguinal Surgery Procedure to Remove Testicular Mass
inguinal surgery for testicular cancer
Post-surgery, the urologist seemed optimistic about the “containment” or “encapsulation” of these masses within the scrotum (best possible outcome). The urologist mentioned that, by his observations of the scrotal contents’ look, color and texture, the masses were likely to be seminomas (also known as pure seminomas or classical seminomas).
Seminoma is “a germ cell tumor of the testicle or, more rarely, the mediastinum or other extra-gonadal [outside the scrotum] locations. It is a malignant neoplasm and is one of the most treatable and curable cancers, with a survival rate above 95%, if discovered in early stages.”

Seminoma “is a slow-growing form of testicular cancer found in men in their 30s, 40s and 50s. The cancer is in the testes, but it can spread to the lymph nodes. Lymph node involvement is either treated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Seminomas are very sensitive to radiation therapy.” › Medical Encyclopedia
However, the man had to wait for pathology (to be available five – seven days later or sooner) to hear if he had to have any “next steps” (e.g., radiation or chemotherapy), or if he’s “clear” (presumed to be cancer-free).
If he’s presumed to be cancer-free at this first checkpoint,  he and his doctor are on “watch and report frequently” duty, which means that, for about 10 years, the man is to:
1) continue doing monthly self-exams of the other testicle and the empty scrotum and
2) schedule visits for ultrasound or CAT scans every 3 – 6 months.
If, at any time, post-surgery, the cancer seems to have spread or MAY have spread, a treatment regime is proposed, agreed to and then started. This could include radiation, chemotherapy, and/or more surgery, depending upon what is detected.
For THIS man, his story has this “outcome” (for now):
This man’s blood tests were clear: no tumor cancer markers, but the surgeon said there was some “leakage” outside of the testis. There were no signs of any other masses.
The urologist  ordered CT scans to determine if any of these masses had spread (metastasized. which everyone always hopes cancer does not do). he told this man that getting the scans was “not urgent,” but should be done “soon.”
The surgeon also referred him to an oncologist (cancer specialist), who would go over all these results with him and help him understand his options and decide how to proceed at that point. [I will update this saga after all that has occurred.]

NOTES TO ALL HUMANS between the ages of 15 – 50 who have testicles, DO THESE THINGS:
Self-exams (manual and visual) are crucial (which is the way this man first found the nodules);
testicle self exam
the above graphic and the video, below, were posted by: Justin Birckbichler on Twitter:

—Get better-informed internists, so that early detection via ultrasound is routine.
If you know a or you are a human under 50 with testicles (self-identified as “male” or not), spread the word!
ANY nodules, masses, pain, changes in size or texture of a testicle MUST be reported to a doctor AND that doctor should refer to a urologist and/or should request immediately to have an ultrasound, for diagnostic purposes. 
Unless scans can prove a mass/nodule is only a fluid-filled cyst (epididymal cysts, which are quite common, painless and harmless), the affected testicle will probably be emptied out from within (an inguinal surgery, which this man, above, had), or the testicle itself is to be removed completely, ASAP.
This surgery generally works very well and urologists do it frequently, so they have the procedure down. This does involve having general anaesthesia and cutting, and, therefore, has associated risks, but most do fine with this procedure.
The surgery is usually done as an “outpatient” procedure, meaning, the person goes home that same day/night.
Depending on several factors—the general health of the person and the type of surgery done as well as the pathology results—full recovery may take 4 – 6 weeks or longer. During this time, the recovery may have restrictions (no heavy lifting or pulling, no airline travel, limited sitting, lots of rest vs. work or ordinary schedule) but walking and other non-strenuous exercises are encouraged right away.
Success and recovery rates for this type of cancer are quite high:
99% if the cancer has not spread;
96% if it has.

STILL: early detection is key.




Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer include:
  • A lump or enlargement in either testicle.
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.
  • A dull ache in the abdomen or groin.
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum.
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum.
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts.
  • Back pain.

There are several causes of testicular lumps and swellings:

  • varicocele – caused by enlarged veins in the testicles (may look like a bag of worms)
  • hydrocele – a swelling caused by fluid around the testicle
  • epididymal cyst – a lump caused by a collection of fluid in the epididymis
  • testicular torsion – a sudden painful swelling that occurs when a testicle becomes twisted (this is a medical emergency and requires surgery as soon as possible)
  • epididymitis – a chlamydia infection in the epididymis can cause inflammation, swelling and tenderness inside the scrotum (ball sack); a few men will notice that the whole of the scrotum is red and tender (this is called epididymo-orchitis)
  • testicular cancer – an estimated 4 in 100 lumps are cancer, so this is an uncommon cause of lumps

Types of testicular cancer

The different types of testicular cancer are classified by the type of cells the cancer begins in.
The most common type of testicular cancer is “germ cell testicular cancer,” which accounts for around 95% of all cases. Germ cells are a type of cell that the body uses to create sperm.
There are two main subtypes of germ cell testicular cancer. They are:

  • seminomas – which have become more common in the past 20 years and now account for 50 to 55% of testicular cancers
  • non-seminomas – which account for most of the rest and include teratomas, embryonal carcinomas, choriocarcinomas and yolk sac tumors

Both types tend to respond well to chemotherapy.
Less common types of testicular cancer include:

  • Leydig cell tumors – which account for around 1 to 3% of cases
  • Sertoli cell tumors – which account for around 1% of cases
  • lymphoma – which accounts for around 4% of cases
Think you or someone you know needs a monthly reminder to do a self-exam?
If you/they have a texting phone, show them this:
Text 81010 to @selfexam to receive a monthly text message reminder!
self-exam reminder text
checking balls app

Our Ball Checker mobile app provides a few facts every guy and girl should know about testicular cancer as well as how to do a testicular self exam. If you have testicles or know someone that does, then you should get this app.

With early detection testicular cancer is almost 100% survivable but lack of awareness leads to late diagnosis and unfortunate outcomes. The lack of awareness and education is one of the biggest challenges we have in the fight against testicular cancer.

Make sure you and the men in your life have the knowledge that could end up saving their life.

A Moment of Awkwardness Could Save A Lifetime. Talk About Testicular Cancer.

Best of luck and good health to you all!
Some other info and worst-case scenarios information:

“Dr Turnbull and her team uncovered new genetic mutations in testicular germ cell tumours, which make up the vast majority of testicular cancers. They found new chromosome duplications and other abnormalities that could contribute to the development of this cancer, as well as confirming a previous association with a gene called KIT.

“Their study also found defective copies of a DNA repair gene called XRCC2 in a patient who had become resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy. They were able to support the link between XRCC2 and platinum resistance by sequencing an additional platinum-resistant tumour.

“’Although generally testicular cancer responds well to treatment, resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy is associated with a poor long-term survival rate,’ explains Dr Turnbull. ‘The repercussions of these findings could be significant for men suffering with this disease. In the future, men who are destined to fail platinum treatment— currently around 3% of cases—could be identified before they endure courses of chemotherapy and be offered different treatments, more suited to their particular type of tumour.’”


“If the cancer has spread, the patient may get treatments like radiation or chemotherapy. The cancer will come back in about 15% to 20% of patients, most often as spread to lymph nodes , but if it does, radiation or chemo can still usually cure the cancer.”


Stage I

“These cancers can be cured in nearly all patients. You first have surgery to remove the testicle and spermatic cord (called a radical inguinal orchiectomy). After surgery, you have many treatment choices:

“Careful observation (surveillance): If the cancer has not spread beyond the testicle, the plan most experts prefer is that you be watched closely by your doctor for up to 10 years. This means getting physical exams and blood tests every 3 to 6 months for the first year, and less often after that. Imaging tests (CT scans and sometimes chest x-rays) are done every 3 months for 6 months, and then once or twice a year.

“If these tests do not find any signs that cancer has spread beyond the testicle, no other treatment is needed. If the cancer has spread, you may get treatments like radiation or chemo. The cancer will come back in about 15% to 20% of patients, most often as spread to lymph nodes , but if it does, radiation or chemo can still usually cure the cancer.

“Radiation therapy: Radiation aimed at para-aortic lymph nodes is another option. These nodes are in the back of your abdomen (belly), around the large blood vessel called the aorta. Because seminoma cells are very sensitive to radiation, low doses can be used and you’ll get about 10 to 15 treatments over 2 to 3 weeks.

“Chemotherapy: An option that works as well as radiation is 1 or 2 cycles of chemotherapy with the drug carboplatin after surgery. Many experts prefer chemo over radiation because it seems to be easier to tolerate.”

Survival by stage

“There are no UK-wide statistics available for testicular cancer survival.

“Survival statistics are available for the different stages of testicular cancer in one area of England. These figures are for men diagnosed between 2002 and 2006. They don’t provide information about the type of testicular cancer or tumour marker level.

“The [data] below are for 4 stages of testicular cancer. Your doctor may use a different system that only has 3 stages.

Stage 1

“Almost all men survive their cancer for five years or more after diagnosis.

“Stage 1 means the cancer is only in the testes.”

Stage 2

“Almost 95 out of 100 men (almost 95%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

“Stage 2 means the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.”

Pure seminoma

“Pure seminoma means that there are no teratoma cells in the tumour. You will have normal Alpha fetoprotein (AFP) marker levels if you have pure seminoma.

“There are two categories of outlook for pure seminoma testicular cancer – good prognosis and intermediate prognosis. No one with pure seminoma is classified as having a poor prognosis.”

Good prognosis

“Almost 90 out of every 100 men (almost 90%) survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

“Most men have a good prognosis. Good prognosis means that the seminoma has spread only to the lymph nodes or the lungs. It has not spread anywhere else.”

Intermediate prognosis

“More than 70 out of every 100 men (more than 70%) survive for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

“Intermediate prognosis means that the seminoma has spread beyond the lung or lymph nodes to other parts of the body, such as the brain or liver.”

Survival for all stages of testicular cancer

“The outlook for testicular cancer is one of the best for all cancers. Nearly all men survive their disease.” [NOTE: in the 1970s, this statistic was almost the opposite: 90% DIED from it!]

“In England and Wales:

  • almost all men will survive their cancer for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed
  • almost all men (98%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis

“Unlike some other cancers, it is rare for testicular cancer to come back more than 5 years later.”


and from:
“First Targeted Cancer Drug Approved Based on Mutation Rather than Tumor Type”
Please read and share this detailed, informative article about new ways to treat cancer, especially unusual types, particularly in those individuals with specific mutations.

Lead Lipsticks, Folliculitis with MRSA from Hair Removal, and other Deadly “Beauty” Choices

Deadly Lipsticks

Hold on just a minute: what are you putting on your lips? What are you kissing on someone else’s? LEAD, if you use commercial lipsticks these days, and other poisons.


image from:

Don’t believe me?

“[Researchers in 2013 and earlier found that] women who apply lipstick two to three times daily can ingest a significant amount—–20 percent of the daily amount that’s considered safe in drinking water or more—–of aluminum, cadmium, chromium, and manganese. Depending on the lipstick, in some cases women who slathered it on (14 times a day or more) were meeting or surpassing the daily recommended exposure to chromium, aluminum, and manganese.”

How many ways does the “beauty” industry despise, disrespect and want to murder women? It’s enough to make anyone sick.

Here are some lipstick facts.

Lead in Lipsticks inforgraphic

As of 2007, Burt’s Bees, owned by Clorox but which claims to be a down-home, “natural” product company, had lead in its chapsticks and did not respond to Mother Jones‘ inquiries as of 2013 asking what they had done to eliminate lead. This does NOT just affect adult women: children and men use Burt’s Bees’ lip balms.

Not to single out Burt’s Bees, but I’m hitting that company harder than others because of its atrocious pretense to “natural” ingredients. FRAUD.

Instead of getting the lead out, lipsticks tested in 2007, 2009 and 2013 got WORSE over those years, with products made by Maybelline, Cover Girl, L’Oreal, Revlon, Stargazer, and others, including Burt’s Bees, all selling popular colors/brands of lipstick containing lead.

“Lead, a metal that humans should avoid exposure to entirely, was detected in 75 percent of the samples.”

What if you are lucky enough to have a lipstick that does not have lead? Are you safe, then?

Oh, no, you’re not.

“…[L]ead isn’t the only toxin lurking in your lippy—–a new study finds cadmium, aluminum, and other heavy metals, too.”

The research showed that only a few companies, notably Wet n’ Wild, Bobbi Brown, and Shiseido, had zero lead in their lipsticks as of 2012. However, these companies’ products are not necessarily “healthy” for you, just not deadly.

To learn know more about the toxic and disease-inducing effects of these chemicals when they are ingested by humans (not to mention getting into our water system when wearers wash their faces and hands), please read the article.

(Original article is By Maggie Severns | published 5/6/13 in Mother Jones magazine. Read it!
Lead in your Lipsticks link:

You want to cover/decorate your lips, anyway?

Please use healthy, all-natural, proven and tested as well as beautiful products: lip glosses, tinted “shimmers” and balms from Badger. Badger Balm‘s products and the company itself are winning significant “green” and “B” Corporation awards annually. ALL Badger products are completely safe, mostly organic, and never tested on animals. They have hair oils, a line of products for men, skin products and much more than lip treatments.

Please check them out:


Now, what about that “extra” hair? If you insist on removing it, how to remove body hair safely?

Hair Removal is Causing Infections: Folliculitis with MRSA and others that can Kill

First, some definitions:

Folliculitis is an inflammation and infection of hair follicles, the tiny openings in the skin from which hair grows. Folliculitisis due to an invasion of bacteria that enter the follicles and cause a bacterial infection. Folliculitisis most commonly the result of an infection of staphylococcal bacteria. This causes inflammation and a red rash that is bumpy and itchy. The rash can occur anywhere on the skin or scalp.”

How does one get Folliculitis? Let me count the ways…

Folliculitisis often caused by an infection that occurs after shaving, waxing, tweezing and other types of hair removal methods.” (The above info is from:

The ONLY method that does NOT lead to Folliculitis is mentioned, below. I still do NOT recommend removing unwanted hair, though. Just my personal preference: cut it.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus = MRSA is basically a “staph” infection that is resistant to treatment/cure by most/conventional antibiotics, which means MRSA is much more dangerous and can be deadly. Some have called MRSA a “flesh-eating” bacteria, but that is a misnomer. MRSA can erode flesh, but not any more often or thoroughly than other untreated bacteria in the staph family.

MRSA ninjas

image from

Let’s say you’re a “modern” female or male who wants to get rid of some (or all!?!) of your body hair who doesn’t want infections that maim or kill. Picky, picky. What to do?

First of all, WHY do you have to remove body hair? I haven’t used a razor since 1978 and I am quite happy with that choice. Misplaced vanity and age inspire me to cut my chin hairs, but trimming is very different from actual removal (and completely harmless).

Unless you suffer from a disorder that covers your face, arms, legs and other parts with hair and you are NOT okay with that, I just don’t understand why anyone “needs” to remove hair. Don’t send me comments explaining, though: I am not interested in your rationales. I just want you to do it more safely.

Let’s go on to safe(r) hair removal methods.

HOW are you going to engage in /have you already been doing removal of YOUR body hair? What will result from your chosen method(s)? Are you DIY or do you go to a “salon” or “spa” or other commercial establishment and have them do the removal?


MRSA, HIV, Hepatitis B, STDs and other infectious/contagious diseases lurk in public spas/salons, worldwide!

“No matter how posh or pricey a salon or spa is, if it isn’t keeping up with health and safety standards, it can easily be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and germs. Be sure that all non-disposable instruments used are sterilised in an autoclave, a medical-grade device that uses superheated steam to sterilise. It’s the only way to be sure that infectious organisms have been destroyed.”

The article I am quoting, here, was published in India, but the safety recommendations and problems it researched apply everywhere. Not only women are affected, either.

“Men need to make sure that disposable razor blades are used to trim their hair (shaving) so as to avoid hepatitis B and HIV.” This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many men go to barber shops to get haircuts and never ask if the razors used to shave their NECKS (which is part of providing all “short” haircuts) have been sterilized or used prior to their shaves without having been replaced. This warning applies to electric as well as manual razors.


image from

What is required to keep hair removal equipment safe? More than some shops do.

“Dipping the instruments in some solution is not going to kill bacteria and fungi. The place should use either a proper disinfectant or an autoclave for sterilising the instruments. Check the labels. Spa or salon disinfectant should be EPA-registered hospital-level liquid that is virucidal, bactericidal and fungicidal that is 10 per cent bleach; 70 per cent or higher isopropyl or ethyl alcohol.”

Think about ALL the re-usable instruments/tools that come into contact with your body in commercial establishments. I’ve had a pedicure and manicure occasionally in recent years, but I have never asked these questions or checked out these procedures.

I will NOW! This article is worth reading (link below).

Let’s talk about waxing safety measures, since waxing is currently THE most popular and commercialized hair removal method, especially for younger women and most men.

“Body hair removal techniques like waxing sometimes can cause redness, breakouts, severe infections, irritant reactions and ingrown hair. Always check if salon staff doing waxing are using a fresh wax jar and maintaining proper hygiene and sanitation. Confirm that there is no double-dipping (putting an earlier used tool back into the wax) and no double-using (reusing wax) policies to avoid product contamination.”

Re-using wax? Ewww. That is truly disgusting to contemplate. How do they remove all the hair from the wax? Yuck.

There are so many ways for hair removal methods to be done sloppily that I shudder to consider them all, especially due to the severity of the potential outcomes.

“…[If] hygiene and sanitary measures during waxing (especially bikini waxing) go haywire, then there is a risk of getting infected by viruses like herpes, molluscum contagiosum and genital warts, which, otherwise in adults, are sexually transmitted. These can be transferred from an infected client to a healthy customer specially while getting waxed in and around bikini and gluteal areas.”

Picture this: a woman (or man) goes in to get her hair removed. Waxing ensures. All seems to go well UNTIL a few weeks later, s/he develops herpes or warts in the groin area. These diseases are incurable, painful, contagious and recurring. For the rest of the victim’s LIFE and possibly any future partners’ lives.

Don’t even get me started on what imbalance or illness has developed in a modern girl’s or woman’s self-regard that makes her believe her vaginal area is supposed to be almost or completely hairless (making it resemble a pre-pubescent girl’s) or for males to believe that a hairless chest or back (again, relegating “attractiveness” in adult males to pre-pubescence) is all their partners will accept. These cultural constructs make me both sad and furious.

I like hairy, adult, male chests? Am I the only one left who remembers Sean Connery as James Bond, hairy chest exposed, with great affection and attraction? Ahhh.

Sean Connery

Are the so-called benefits of waxing worth the risks?

I say not.

Read on. Please regard and share these extra and specific cautions, below.

Other wax warnings:

  • Do not wax over an area that has had a botox injection for at least 72 hours.
  • Do not wax if you have protruding varicose veins, diabetes, skin eczema or infection.
  • Do not wax if you are using any anti-ageing or acne creams that may contain a retinoid, as skin will be extra susceptible to getting burned and peeled off.

Read full article here:

Deciding you may want to keep your “unwanted” hair rather than acquire even more seriously unwanted problems? Good choice!

Or, if you INSIST or removing hair, try lasers! These are expensive if you buy one for your home or get treatments at dermatologists’ offices, BUT laser removal methods are considered safer than other methods because laser removal “damages the hair follicle at its root without damaging the surrounding skin tissue.”

I usually ignore or deride Fox “NEWS,” but this article quoted above and below seems well-researched and the info corresponds to many others I read. (Credit goes to Julie Revelant (who is a freelancer and does NOT work for Fox NEWS), published 8/29/14: ) for the following list (and she gives more info) about SAFE HAIR REMOVAL methods, to date.

  • 1. Diode laser hair removal (GETS MY VOTE)
  • 2. Sugaring (THIS IS STILL WAXING, though)
  • 3. Threading (STILL too much like TWEEZING)
  • 4. Electrolysis (STILL too much like TWEEZING)

If you want to know more about these methods, please go read her article. (Julie Revelant is a freelance writer and copywriter specializing in parenting, health, healthcare, nutrition, food and women’s issues. She’s also a mom of two. Learn more about Julie at

I’m sticking with my Badger Balm lip balms and lip shimmers and my hair-cutting scissors for my errant chin hairs.

hair scissors

Meanwhile, I plan to visualize that everyone gains more positive self-esteem, higher self-acceptance and an expanded view of “beauty.”

Also, I wish you all the best, whatever you choose.