Testicular Self-Examination Cost-Effective
(HealthDay News) — According to two new studies, testicular self-examination is cost-effective and non-Caucasians with testicular cancer have worse outcomes. These findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held from May 16–21 in Orlando, Fla.
Michael E. Aberger, MD, from the University of Kansas in Kansas City, and colleagues compared the average cost of treatment for a missed advanced-stage testicular tumor with that of six other scenarios related to the work-up of a testicular mass discovered during self-examination. The researchers found that the total costs for an advanced-stage seminoma or non-seminoma were $48,877 and $51,592, respectively. These costs were equivalent to 313 benign office visits; 180 visits with scrotal ultrasound; 79 visits with serial scrotal ultrasounds and laboratory testing; six office visits followed by radical inguinal orchiectomy for benign pathology; or three office visits resulting in identification, therapy, and surveillance for early-stage testicular cancer.
Claudio Jeldres, MD, from the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, and colleagues examined racial variations in outcomes for 75,902 patients with testicular germ cell tumors identified from the National Cancer Data Base. The researchers found that 10.6% of Caucasians presented with stage III disease, compared with 17.2, 15.5, and 13.9% of Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians, respectively. The worst survival was seen for African-Americans, with a two-fold increased risk of death for African-American versus Caucasian patients with similar stage at presentation.
"Health care access, inherent biological differences, and cultural perceptions may be important factors in patient diagnosis, treatment, and survival variances," Benjamin J. Davies, MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, said in a statement.