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testicular cancer; men's health; health promotion; testicular awareness
Health outcomes among men are poorer than women and little efforts have been made by health organizations to promote men’s health. Testicular disorders can have a negative effect on men’s health and are rarely addressed in pre-existing men’s health policies. Findings from the empirical literature on men’s awareness of testicular disorders suggest that men’s knowledge of testicular disorders is lacking and their intentions to seek timely medical attention for testicular symptoms are low. This paper aims to introduce the concept of ‘testicular awareness’ and explore its implications for health research, practice, and education. The key attributes of ‘testicular awareness’ include: (i) familiarity with own testes; (ii) knowing what is normal versus abnormal; (iii) ability to detect an abnormality; and (iv) knowing own risk factors. Testicular awareness is an all-encompassing concept since it helps men become familiar with a body part that is seldom discussed and enables them to detect testicular abnormalities and to seek timely medical attentions for testicular symptoms, regardless of the ultimate diagnosis. Testicular awareness can be promoted using a number of strategies; these include but are not limited to: (i) involving men in drafting men’s health policies that address testicular awareness; (ii) partnering with men to develop and test interventions promoting testicular awareness; (iii) being cognizant of the learning needs of men who are at risk of health disparities including those with low literacy and health literacy; (iv) promoting testicular awareness in clinical practice and health education; and (v) using men’s daily spheres of information (e.g. workplaces, universities, gyms, and community organizations) to promote testicular awareness.
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