Testicular Exams Often Omitted from Physicals

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ATLANTA—More than one quarter of adolescent and adult males aged 15-45 report not having a testicular exam during a routine physical in the previous 12 months as recommended in American Cancer Society guidelines, according to data presented at the American Urological Association 2012 annual meeting.

James M. Dupree, MD, MPH, and colleagues at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, analyzed data from 10,403 men who participated in the National Survey for Family Growth conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2006 to 2010.

An estimated 36.9% of respondents reported having a testicular exam within the previous 12 months. Of the men who had a routine physical in the previous 12 months, 27.8% reported not having a testicular exam, Dr. Dupree said.

The national prevalence of testicular exams for the entire cohort varied by race, with the highest prevalence found in African Americans (45.9%), followed by whites (37.6%), and Hispanics (29.5%). In multivariate analysis, African Americans were 26% more likely than whites to have had a testicular exam in the previous 12 months. In addition, individuals born outside the United States were 27% less likely to than those born in the United States to have had a testicular exam in the previous 12 months.

The investigators said the findings are concerning because males in the 15-45 age group are at the highest risk of testicular cancer.

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