Researchers are trying to understand why the incidences of testicular cancer have been slowly rising, not only in the United States but also in other countries around the world. Does it have anything to do with the diet? What about environmental concerns? So far, there have been no definitive conclusions about just exactly men contract the disease.
In the United States alone, there are usually just over 8,000 new cases of testicular cancer each year, according to the American Cancer Society. Also in these statistics is the fact that almost 400 men will die each year of this particular type of cancer.
While 400 in the scheme of millions of men in the country may not be statistically significant when looking at just numbers, for testicular cancer purposes, even one death is too many.
For some reason, the increase in testicular cancer around the world, as mentioned above, falls within the seminoma category. Seminomas are a type of germ cell that is involved in the production of sperm. As of now, medical researchers do not have an answer as to why incidences of this particular subtype are rising.
The good news is testicular cancer is not a common disease in the field of cancer. There is a 0.003% chance that a man will develop testicular cancer in his lifetime. And if a man does contract the disease, treatment is so successful that 95% can be deemed cured. Science has come a long way in the treatment and cure of this type of cancer.
When it comes to statistics on cancer, there are some terms that should be understood to gain a better perspective on the disease. If the term “five year survival rate” is bandied about, this relates to the portion of patients who live at least five years after their cancer was first diagnosed.
Five years seems to be the magical number when talking about forecasting the life of cancer patients. Once past those five years, many cancer patients breathe a lot easier. These survival rates compare the rate of survival for those with cancer (like testicular cancer) with the expected rate comparison of people who do not have the disease.
The five year survival rate of testicular cancer survivors is almost 97% according the NCI, the National Cancer Institute. This survival rate is almost 99% if the testicular cancer is contained within the testicle. If the cancer spread beyond the testicle to nearby lymph nodes, the survival rate after five years is still around 96-97%, a still excellent prognosis.
For the more severe forms of testicular cancer which spread to other areas of the body beyond the lymph nodes, the five year survival rate drops to approximately 70%, a more sobering number.
When reading up on the latest survival statistics, keep in mind that they are based on older cases from the previous years. They do not take into account the latest and greatest treatments, surgeries and other medical advances. In another five years, the statistics may look more favorable for testicular cancer.