Almost all testicular cancer patients now recover
Published 29/07/2013 | 10:54
Almost all patients with testicular cancer recover from the disease, according to new figures from Cancer Research UK.
Survival rates for the disease have risen by almost a third since the 1970s and more than 9pc of men who contract the cancer today are now cured.
Fewer than 70pc of patients survived the disease 40 years ago.
Each year around 2,300 new cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed in the UK.
Unlike many other cancers, the disease strikes at a relatively young age. It is the most common cancer in men aged 15 to 49.
The improvement in survival rates is in large part down to the use of the drug cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug also used to treat bladder, lung and ovarian cancers.
Dr Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “A clear success story in cancer research has been the drug cisplatin, which our scientists helped to develop.
"This is helping almost all men with testicular cancer to beat the disease and is a shining example of what we can achieve through dedicated research.”
He added: "For some types of cancer, the word cure is almost a reality.
“96pc of men with testicular cancer are now cured. But it’s important we recognise the 4pc who aren’t surviving the disease, as well as the fact that we still need treatments to be kinder to patients in the future.
"It’s only by doing more research that we can bring forward the day when we are able to beat all types of cancer.”
The most common early symptom of testicular cancer is a lump or swelling in one of the testicles.
Martin Ledwick, head information nurse at Cancer Research UK, urged men not to ignore such warning signs.
"Although most lumps in the testicle won't turn out to be cancer, it's important you get symptoms checked out as early as possible as this gives the best chance of cure," he said.