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CAMP LESTER, Okinawa — Although prostate cancer is rare in men younger than 40, there is another cancer that poses a risk for men as young as 20.

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men and, like prostate cancer, it often does not have symptoms until it’s too late, said Lt. Cmdr. M. Adrian Rossi, a urologist at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa on Camp Lester.

Ninety percent of testicular cancers occur between ages 20 and 54, according to the American Cancer Society.

One type of screening for this cancer is a monthly self-exam of the testicular area, Rossi said.

If you find a suspicious mass or area, then you need to tell your doctor, Rossi said.

“Numerous young men have masses they know about but they think it’s not cool to tell the doctor,” he said. “When you wait too long, those masses can get out of control and require major treatment.”

Worse, Rossi said, “too many young men don’t do self-exams or don’t even know they should.”

A description of how to perform a testicular self-exam can be viewed on the testicular cancer page of the American Cancer Society’s Web site.


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