Scrotal signs and symptoms in the general population, the value of testis self-examination and the pitfalls of a scrotal screening programme: is the two-week rule relevant?
AffiliationDepartment of Urology, Adelaide and Meath Hospital (Incorporating the National, Children's Hospital), Tallaght, Dublin 24, Ireland. Marjorie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Early Detection of Cancer/economics/*methods
Testis/*anatomy & histology
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CitationWorld J Urol. 2011 Jun;29(3):387-91. Epub 2010 Apr 13.
JournalWorld journal of urology
AbstractPURPOSE: Testicular symptoms/lumps are a cause of concern, anxiety and possible diagnostic dilemma for patient and general practitioner. The majority of scrotal pathology is benign in nature and results in a huge workload. The main aim of this study was to determine the relationship between scrotal symptoms, previous scrotal surgery, testicular self-examination and awareness of scrotal abnormalities. Secondarily, we sought to determine the scrotal findings in men enrolled in a consultant urologist-directed screening programme. METHODS: There were 677 men surveyed on their performance of TSE. They were also asked about scrotal symptoms and prior surgery, before undergoing blinded physical examination by one of four consultant urologists. RESULTS: Among the participants, 9.8% of men had scrotal symptoms with 55% of these having a normal scrotal examination and the rest having benign pathology. A number of men who had undergone previous scrotal surgery (13%) had no clinical findings detected on scrotal examination. No subject was found to have testis cancer; 20.9% had a benign scrotal or inguinal condition detected with the majority (65%) not aware of the abnormality. Men who demonstrate a superior awareness of their scrotal abnormalities were more likely to perform TSE. CONCLUSIONS: Increased awareness of scrotal abnormalities combined with TSE may have a role in improving detection of significant testicular pathology. However, the high prevalence of benign scrotal conditions, of which most men were unaware, may serve to raise anxiety in the patient and general practitioner. We believe there is no role for a one-stop scrotal anxiety clinic, as the costs do not justify the benefits.