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Testicular Cancer and Testicular Self-examination: Knowledge and Attitudes of Adolescent Swedish Men

Rudberg, Lennart MSc, RN, RNT; Nilsson, Sten PhD, MD; Wikblad, Karin PhD, BM, RN; Carlsson, Marianne PhD


The main objective of this study was to assess the knowledge of and attitudes toward testicular cancer (TC) and the prevalence of testicular self-examination (TSE) among senior high school male students in Sweden. Another aim was to describe to what extent the students had received information about TC and TSE prior to this study. Seven hundred twenty-seven (70.7%) male students (M = 17 years) completed a 60-item questionnaire, encompassing background characteristics, information, knowledge of and attitudes toward TC, and prevalence of TSE practice. The results showed that most students had never heard of TC or TSE, had limited knowledge of common symptoms, and had hardly ever practiced TSE. The most frequently reported information source on this topic was the mass media. Most of the students considered TC to be a serious disease and were afraid of getting it. Thus, there is a need for imparting health education with respect to this subject, information that could preferably be included when promoting health in school settings and during enlistment to the military services. This investigation is the first part of an intervention study aiming to describe the effect of different educational materials on male students' knowledge of TC and their practice of TSE.

Department of Health and Social Sciences, Dalarna University, Falun (Mr Rudberg); the Departments of Public Health and Caring Sciences (Mr Rudberg and Dr Carlsson) and Medical Sciences (Dr Wikblad), Uppsala University; and the Department of Oncology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm (Dr Nilsson), Sweden.

Corresponding author: Marianne Carlsson, PhD, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden (e-mail:

Lennart Rudberg died May 20, 2005.

Accepted for publication March 22, 2005.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.