It’s no joke: Home pregnancy OR cancer test

Man Takes Pregnancy Test as Joke, Finds Testicular Tumor

A Reddit post about a man’s positive pregnancy test appears to have alerted him to a testicular tumor.

The man, whose name has not been made public, was shocked to see two pink lines after jokingly taking the test, which had been left in his bathroom cabinet by an ex-girlfriend.

The strange scene was drawn out as a comic and submitted to the website Reddit, where it drew more than 1,300 comments in three days from concerned strangers.

“You may have testicular cancer! Get to an oncologist, tell them you took a pregnancy test and it came out positive,” one Redditor wrote.

Sure enough, a trip to the doctor revealed a tiny lump in the man’s right testicle, according to the Reddit thread.

How can this be true?

“It turns out a fair number of testicular cancers make the same exact hormone,” said Dr. Mark Pomerantz. “There are very few things in the body that produce beta hCG, and testicular cancer is one of them.”

Would this be an easy and cheap way to test for this condition? How come we never knew this? Fascinating!

  1 comment for “It’s no joke: Home pregnancy OR cancer test

  1. One Eyed Jack
    November 7, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    HCG, (human chorionic gonadotropin) is the hormone commonly used by home pregnancy tests. It rises in pregnant women with the development of the placenta. The level of HCG rises in direct proportion with the length of the pregnancy, so it can be used not only as qualitative test for pregnancy but also as quantitative measure of the term of the pregnancy.

    It is also a tumor marker for certain cancers associated with germ cells. As with a pregnancy test the level of HCG rises with the size of the tumor. It is not a definitive test, but is used in conjunction with other tests to manage patient treatment.

    Live Strong has a nice, succinct summary of HCG testing.

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