Awareness of testicular cancer in New Zealand men

Aust N Z J Surg. 1994 Nov;64(11):750-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.1994.tb04532.x.


Testicular cancer is the most common malignancy in young men and is frequently associated with delays in presentation. It has been postulated that ignorance and poor awareness of this type of cancer may contribute to such delays, which may result in high stage disease and subsequent treatment-related morbidity. This study was undertaken to assess the level of awareness of testicular cancer in a sample of 500 men from Wellington, New Zealand, and to specifically examine awareness related to the age, race, and socio-economic level of the respondents. Sixty-one per cent of men returned a satisfactorily completed questionnaire. Most (70%) were unaware that cancer of the testis could develop. Of those who correctly identified testis cancer as occurring, half recognized the most commonly affected age group, 40% understood testis cancer could be treated, and 14% believed testis cancer could be cured with treatment. The lowest awareness score (mean +/- s.d.) were found in the 18-30 age group. The score in this group (2.82 +/- 1.47) was significantly lower than that seen in the 31-40 (mean 3.66 +/- 1.81, P = 0.009) or 41-50 (mean 3.57 +/- 2.16, P = 0.036) age groups. Differences were also seen between ethnic groups, with Maori having significantly lower scores than non-Maori (Maori, mean 2.69 +/- 1.52; non-Maori, 3.45 +/- 1.83; P = 0.044). Higher scores were associated with higher socio-economic grouping. The overall poor awareness of men in this study supports the need for a public education programme aimed at encouraging men to seek early advice following the recognition of testicular masses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Awareness*
  • Ethnicity
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand
  • Self-Examination
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Testicular Neoplasms*