Testicular cancer survival rates 'soaring' in UK

Testicular cancer in ultra sounds scan Growing awareness of the cancer is believed to be partly behind the rise

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The overwhelming majority of men with testicular cancer are now surviving for at least 10 years, figures released by the charity Cancer Research UK show.

They show survival rates in the UK soared to 96% in 2009, much higher than in the early 70s when 68% survived.

The organisation said attention needed to be focused now on the remaining 4%.

Experts said that changes in treatments offered as well as a growing awareness of testicular cancer could explain the improved survival figures.

Around 2,300 people are diagnosed with the cancer each year in the UK. The main symptom is a lump or swelling in the testicles.

Survival rates have made significant progress since the 70s and reached 90% by the start of the 90s.

'Success story'

Dr Harpal Kumar, the chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "A clear success story in cancer research has been the drug cisplatin, which our scientists helped to develop.

"This is helping almost all men with testicular cancer to beat the disease and is a shining example of what we can achieve through dedicated research.

"For some types of cancer, the word 'cure' is almost a reality - 96% of men with testicular cancer are now cured. But 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."

Katherine Mutsvangwa, from the male cancer charity Orchid, said earlier diagnosis was a important part of falling death rates.

"There has been a lot of awareness of testicular cancer in the time. Men are presenting earlier, before it has spread to other parts of the body."

She said the 4% of patients who were not surviving tended to be diagnosed much later or with "much more aggressive" testicular cancer.

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