Testicular cancer study shows promising breakthrough but GPs need better access to diagnostic tests, says RCGP

Responding to research by the University of Exeter Medical School published in the British Journal of General Practice on testicular cancer, Clinical Lead for Cancer at the Royal College of GPs, Dr Richard Roope said:

“Testicular cancer affects a growing number of men but it is one of the most treatable types of cancer – in fact, in England and Wales, almost all men (99%) survive for a year or more after being diagnosed with testicular cancer, and 98% survive for five years or more after diagnosis.

“This new research indicates a promising breakthrough in understanding the biggest risk factors for testicular cancer. Any testicular swelling should be checked out by the patient’s GP and these findings could assist GPs in better identifying symptoms of testicular cancer and knowing when to make an urgent referral so that men with the disease receive better outcomes.

“Furthermore, it is encouraging to see this research, the first of its kind, focussing on the symptoms of testicular cancer reported in general practice, and we hope the findings will be considered by NICE in the development of their guidelines on the disease.

“Timely diagnosis of all cancers, including testicular cancer, leads to better outcomes for patients but to do this GPs and our teams need to have better access to diagnostic tools in the community – and the appropriate training for our teams to use them – to either rule out or confirm a diagnosis of cancer, as currently our access is amongst the lowest in Europe.

“This is why the College has recently welcomed plans from NHS England to pilot a series of ‘one-stop’ cancer clinics for diagnosis and assessment, which we hope will go some way to improving this.”