Testicular cancer: A young man’s disease

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Lance Armstrong put testicular cancer in the spotlight when he was diagnosed with the disease in 1996. The former Tour de France champion was just 25 years old.

"It's usually young men," says Dr. Patrick Macquire, a radiation oncologist at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in males between 20-39 years old, according to the American Cancer Society.

Testicular cancer, though is not a common cancer, accounting for about one percent of all male cancers.

The American Cancer Society reports that about 8,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

The good news - it's very treatable with a high cure rate if it's found early.

"If it's very early, it has a 99 percent cure rate and when it spreads to lymph nodes, it's about 95 percent, which is still very high," Maquire added.

Most testicular cancer tumors are metastatic, meaning they have the ability to spread to other organs such as the lungs and brain. Even then, the survival rate is good.

"Even when it spreads to distant sites like lungs and elsewhere, we cure about three quarters of men," Maquire explained.

Lance Armstrong was one of those men. His cancer spread to his brain, lungs, and abdomen. For over 20 years, he has been cancer-free.

Copyright 2017 WECT All Rights Reserved