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Higher Risk of Testicular Cancer in 9/11 Community

April 30, 2021 | Michael Barasch

Young men between the ages of 15 and 35 generally have the highest risk of developing testicular cancer.

As we recognize Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, know that men who were exposed to Ground Zero toxins after 9/11 also have a higher risk of developing testicular cancer, along with 67 other types of cancer and many respiratory diseases.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 9,470 new cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed in 2021. About 1 in every 250 men will develop testicular cancer during their lifetime.

The symptoms of testicular cancer include: a lump or enlargement in either testicle, a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, a dull ache in the abdomen or groin, a sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum, pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum, enlargement or tenderness of the breasts, and back pain, the Mayo Clinic advises.

Key risk factors for testicular cancer are an undescended testicle, abnormal testicle development, family history, age, and race.

If you are at risk for testicular cancer, be sure to speak with your primary care provider about accessing diagnostic exams to determine if there are any problems, and report if you detect any pain, swelling or lumps in your testicles or groin area, especially if these signs and symptoms last longer than two weeks.

Thankfully, most cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed in its early stages, resulting in a high survival rate.

Treatment often involves surgery to remove the testicle and nearby lymph nodes, as well as radiation and chemotherapy.

If you are diagnosed with testicular cancer or any of the other cancers or respiratory diseases impacting the 9/11 community, we can help you access resources through the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. 

Visit or call 212-385-8000 today.

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