Testicular cancer checks: how effective is New Zealand’s new approach to screening?

testicular cancer checks

With their eternally-refreshing approach to bringing a little humor to every situation, Testicular Cancer NZ has introduced a new way to carry out testicular cancer checks. While they refer to the modern-sounding Testimatic as an automated machine, it’s a little simpler. Hidden inside a booth, there’s a urologist or GP wearing gloves. The patient steps behind a curtain and waits for a hand to emerge. The person performing the testicular cancer checks then palpates their testicles briefly, feeling for lumps.

While the Testimatic is certainly funny, it’s worth knowing that the check isn’t comprehensive. However, as the number of men attending screening is plummeting, is there a benefit to taking a lighthearted approach?

What do testicular cancer checks usually involve?

Testicular cancer checks involve looking for more than just signs of malignancy. For example, the examining physician will also look for signs of hernias and varicoceles.

It’s also worth noting that the signs of testicular cancer don’t always involve lumps. You may also counter a sudden build-up of fluid, which your doctor can examine using a simple torch. Other symptoms include pain and feelings of heaviness, which you may attribute to other conditions. Your physician, as part of the check, may also want to feel local lymph nodes. This is difficult to do from behind a screen, as they need to see where they’re prodding for the sake of accuracy.

Does that mean the Testicular Cancer NZ approach is dangerous?


Arguably, not in the slightest. If the number of men attending testicular cancer checks is falling, there’s an increased chance of them developing the condition and allowing it to advance to a stage where it’s difficult to treat.

This type of male cancer is especially common in younger men. It’s also treatable when caught early, so deaths are rare. However, for that to continue being the case, attending screening sessions is essential. It is, therefore, important to not let attendance rates fall.

By taking a lighthearted approach, Testicular Cancer NZ is de-mystifying the screening process a little. They’re also making it less daunting and showing men in at-risk groups how easy it is to examine themselves. If those factors lead to a higher screening attendance rate and more men checking themselves, unnecessary deaths become avoidable.

Who is most likely to develop testicular cancer?

According to the latest research, this type of cancer is the most common form amongst men aged between 15 and 44. It’s particularly prevalent in men who are in their late twenties to late thirties.

Although it only accounts for 0.05% of all new male cancers in the United States, the number who are resisting checks is worrying. Approximately 44% of men don’t self-examine and many aren’t aware of how young you can be when developing it.

If you’re willing to learn more about testicular cancer checks, including how to perform one yourself, head here.

About the Author

Laura McKeever
Laura has been a freelance medical writer for eight years. With a BSc in Medical Sciences and an MSc in Physician Assistant Studies, she complements her passion for medical news with real-life experiences. Laura’s most significant experience included writing for international pharmaceutical brands, including GSK.