Dictionary Series - Health: cancer
November 9, 2012

Reddit Finds Testicular Cancer

Though they’ve recently been in the spotlight for harboring Persons of Questionable Character and setting fire to the cause of Freedom of Speech, it turns out the online community Reddit might actually be responsible for saving a man’s life.

Recently, an unnamed man created what’s called a “rage comic” about an interesting trip to the bathroom. For those outside of the lexicon, a Rage Comic is comic-strip style way of telling dumb stories about your day, using a set of poorly drawn stick figures and hideous faces. In this particular rage comic, the unnamed man tells a story about finding one of his ex-girlfriend’s pregnancy tests in his medicine cabinet. Like any normal man, this guy became curious and decided to give the test a whirl, you know, for funsies. As it turns out, the pregnancy test turned up positive, using this as the punchline and final scene in his comic of rage.

This comic quickly gained over 1,300 responses, according to ABC, as fellow Redditors suggested that his pregnancy was no joke, but perhaps an early warning of testicular cancer.

“If this is true, you should check yourself for testicular cancer. Seriously. Google it.” writes such a Redditor, who operates under the handle “Goxilo.”

Pregnancy tests work by detecting a certain kind of hormone in blood and urine. This hormone is usually produced by a placenta which is preparing itself for the miracle of childbirth.

“It turns out a fair number of testicular cancers make the same exact hormone,” said Dr. Mark Pomerantz, an oncologist who spoke with ABC News.

“There are very few things in the body that produce beta hCG, and testicular cancer is one of them.”

The man apparently did get to Googling and got himself to an oncologist. On Tuesday, this man’s buddy, a Redditor by the name of “CappnPoopdeck,” posted a second comic of rage explaining what’s happened since the false pregnancy scare.

As it turns out, it is difficult to convey sensitive news via rage comic, but that didn’t stop Capt. Poop from giving it a go.

“Today he went to the doctor to be tested” writes Capt. P. Deck in the third tile of the comic.

“And in his right testicle they found a very small tumor, but since it was caught early, it can be treated immediately.”

Though they caught the tumor, the good Captain also mentions that the doctors might have to remove the testicle surgically. Dr. Pomerantz agrees, saying that though the surgery is often required, this type of cancer is very treatable.

Both Captain P. Deck and Dr. Christopher Wood at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston who spoke with ABC strongly urge men to check themselves for lumps. If these men are looking for a little extra insurance, it looks like a pregnancy test could also work in a pinch.

As for Reddit, the conversation quickly changed from telling similar stories about diseases and disorders being diagnosed on the Internet to feathers, dinosaurs and the best way to buy such pregnancy tests in bulk online.

As you were, Reddit. As you were.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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