GPs urged to step up testicular referrals
Many deaths from testicular cancer could be prevented by earlier ultrasound referral by GPs, a new study claims.
It found testicular cancer can be extremely difficult to diagnose with GPs confusing cancerous lumps with cysts and failing to recognise less-common symptoms of the
disease such as swollen
The study published in the British Journal of General Practice this month also found diagnosis was delayed further by long waiting times for ultrasound.
Dr Ann McPherson, a GP in Oxford and one of the study authors, said: 'GPs should maintain a high level of suspicion for men with testicular complaints and a low threshold for ultrasound investigations of symptoms.'
During the study 45 men with testicular cancer were interviewed to assess why they thought treatment delays occurred.
Fear of damaging masculine self-image made many wait weeks or months before seeking help and the study confirmed earlier findings that many men are afraid to admit they need help.