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Dr. Preston Sprenkle discusses the significance of promoting testicular cancer awareness


Press Release

Last month, Yale Cancer Center shared this interview with Preston Sprenkle, MD, associate professor of Urology, to honor testicular cancer awareness month.

During Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, what do you feel Is the most important message to share with our community?

Testicular self-examination is very important and can identify testicular cancers early when treatment and cure are easier and less intensive. It’s very simple and only takes a minute to perform. It should be done once a month, so you have an easier time noticing if something has changed. Testicular cancer is often diagnosed in young men so routine self-examination should begin at age 15.

Are there any risk factors for testicular cancer–such as family history, age, race–and Is there a way to identify testicular cancer in its early stages?

There is an increased risk if a family member has testicular cancer. Testicular self-examination is the way to identify any new hard lumps on the testicle that may be a testicular cancer.

How have diagnosis and treatment of testicular cancer improved over the last several years, such as pharmaceutical or technological advances?

Testicular cancer is a very well-studied disease with several management options after diagnosis. Because testicular cancer is most often diagnosed in young men and treatments are very successful, the focus is on minimizing the short- and long-term impacts of treatment. New, less-toxic chemotherapy regimens and minimally invasive surgery are being evaluated as treatment options.

How do you collaborate with oncologists at Smilow Cancer Hospital to care for patients with testicular cancer?

The treatment of testicular cancer is multidisciplinary by nature, involving surgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists as these are all potential treatment strategies. At Yale, we have a weekly multidisciplinary tumor board to meet and discuss challenging cases.

How can we prioritize cancer prevention in our daily lives?

Many cancers cannot be prevented, but cancer screening can identify them early and allow for less intensive treatment. In the case of testicular cancer, routine healthcare and self-examination are very important ways to optimize your health.

Sprenkle is Associate Professor of Urology; Co-Chair, Cancer Liaison Committee, Oncology; Co-Chair, NCCN Guidelines Committee on Prostate Cancer Early Detection; Division Chief, Division of Urology at VA Connecticut Healthcare System, Urology; Director, Urology Research Fellowship, Urology; Director, Urologic Oncology Clinical Fellowship Program, Urology.

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