The debate of whether testicular self-examination (TSE) should be promoted among males generally centers on a harm-benefit corollary. The benefits of TSE include improving health outcomes, inclusive of an increase in both quality of life and knowledge/awareness of potential health concerns, as well as promoting proactivity in achieving wellness.
The harms include claims that false-positive results can increase anxiety and produce costs via unnecessary treatments and therapies. Further claims point to the lack of evidence suggesting TSE decreases testicular cancer mortality. This commentary primarily discusses the anxiety portion of this debate from a logic-based perspective. The argument that TSE should not be promoted among males due to the risk of inciting false-positive anxiety appears to be flawed. A 5-point perspective is presented on the illogical discouragement of TSE due to theorized levels of false-positive anxiety while existing evidence suggests late-stage testicular cancer is associated with anxiety and depression.
American journal of men's health. 2016 Feb 26 [Epub ahead of print]
Michael J Rovito
University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA