Are Your Skinny Jeans Giving You testicular Cancer?
15 December 2016
One in ten men reports discomfort when wearing skinny jeans. Is there a clear link between this experience and the occurrence of testicular cancer?
Skinny jeans – now no longer just a woman’s fashion statement. A closet staple for lead singers of rock bands, Kpop artists and even your hipster neighbour, skinny jeans make you look stylish and neat. However, are there downsides to wearing skinny jeans, especially for men? Does the tightness of the apparel cause pain and discomfort near the groin, and will this develop into something more serious?
Testicular cancer affects males of all ages, from infants to elderly men, but mostly affects males aged 15-34 years old. If detected early, it can be treated and usually cured.
Are skinny jeans bad for me?
First things first: As it is an external organ, your testicles are more accustomed to being at a cooler temperature compared to the rest of your body. Constraining your testicles too tightly in too-small briefs or too-tight pants may cause severe discomfort, especially over a prolonged period.
In fact, one in ten men have experienced unpleasantness while wearing skinny jeans – and almost half of them have had groin discomfort. Skinny jeans generally limit the mobility of your hip joint and movement, which may negatively affect your spine.
Over time, prolonged wearing may also cause:
Urinary tract infection
Bladder weakness in the long term
Twisted testicles (ouch!)
skinny jeans cause cancer?
The answer is: No, there is no adequate scientific proof to link skinny jeans and cancer.
Phew! Can I wear my jeans now?
Doctors worldwide still link tight jeans to infertility and testicle damage. A study by the fertility research centre of Universities of Manchester and Sheffield discovered that wearing tight briefs does affect the count of healthy sperm, versus wearers of loose boxer shorts.
While there is no solid link between skinny jeans and testicular cancer, science has proven some known risk factors for the reproductive organ cancer. For example, men born with undescended testicles are more prone to develop testicular cancer. It is also hereditary: if one’s father or brother has had the illness; he stands a higher chance of developing it too.
What can I
do to self-check?
To understand this type of cancer, it helps to be familiar with the structure and function of the testicles. In adult males, a testicle is slightly smaller than the size of a golf ball. Each testicle is confined within a bag-like skin structure called the scrotum.
To do a self-check, hold the testicle between your thumbs and fingers, rolling it gently. Look out for any hard lumps, smooth rounded bumps or change in the size, shape or consistency of the testicles.
Other signs to look out for during a self-check are:
Painless lump or swelling on either testicle
Pain or discomfort in a testicle or scrotum
Change in the way a testicle feels or “heaviness” in the scrotum
Dull ache in lower abdomen or groin
Sudden build-up of fluid in the scrotum
If any signs are present, set up an appointment with your doctor or specialist for a proper medical check-up and diagnosis.
How is it treated?
There are two treatments for testicular cancer, depending on the type and level of growth.
Surgery: removes the entire affected testicle to avoid the risk of the cancer spreading to other organs. A mass of malignant or growing testicular tissue can only be removed by surgery.
Chemotherapy: slows down the growth of cancer cells, to prevent them from dividing and multiplying further. A few cycles of chemotherapy are required to completely eradicate it. This would be suitable for growths that are benign, which pose less harm than malignant ones.
What can I do to prevent it?
Testicular cancer is not unavoidable but curable when detected early. Here are some things you can do to lower the risk of getting testicular cancer:
Loosey Goosey: Wear loose underwear and pants and to leave plenty of room around the groin area for sufficient comfort without restricting movement. Remember, your organs were not made to be kept constrained!
Eat & Live Well: Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. No matter your circumstances, having a balanced nutritional plan, working out regularly and quitting smoking is always good for your body.
Taking Care of your Little Buddies: Finally – don’t be ashamed of taking care of your little buddies. On your monthly self-checks, remember to take note of the usual size, shape and feel of your testicles.
Early detection is key, the age-old adage remains true - the earlier the diagnosis, the better the result.