You may have heard the recent internet buzz about a teenager who took a home pregnancy test as a joke and was shocked to get a positive result? Well, that same teenager wasn’t pregnant (obviously) but he could have had testicular cancer!
It’s entirely possible, according to Dr. Ted Gansler, director of medical content for the American Cancer Society, who says pregnancy tests work by detecting a hormone called beta-HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) which is produced by female placenta cells during pregnancy. , but it is also excreted by certain tumors associated with testicular cancers.
“Only a small minority of men with testicular cancer have HCG levels high enough to be detected by a home urine pregnancy test,” Dr. Gansler said. « Medical journals have documented that men and women with pancreatic, lung, stomach, or other cancers may have HCG levels high enough to cause a positive pregnancy test result. »
Although the American Cancer Society does not recommend home pregnancy tests as a useful screening tool, it does recommend that men examine themselves regularly. Any detection of a lump on the testicles is the first sign of cancer, and should be followed by a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible.
Source: CNN Health