Testicular cancer used to be a brutal condition with a low survival rate, but that's all changed in recent years thanks to improved treatment. While just over half of patients survived a half century ago, 96 per cent of men who contract the disease today are cured.
Throwing around the word "cure" is always an iffy proposition when it comes to something as serious as cancer. However, the progress in treatment is commendable according to figures just released by Cancer Research UK. Doctors credit the chemotherapy drug cisplatin for the drastically improved numbers, and although the drug has been around since 1978, its efficacy has been consistently improving thanks to early detection of the disease. A lump or swelling of the testicle is an early warning sign.
We're close to a cure, but we're not quite there. "It's important we recognise the four per cent who aren't surviving the disease, as well as the fact that we still need treatments to be kinder to patients in the future," says Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK. "It's only by doing more research that we can bring forward the day when we are able to beat all types of cancer." In the meantime, we can all cheer on this horrifying mascot for testicular cancer research, "Mr Balls." [UK Telegraph]