In November 2012, Reddit user ‘CappnPoopdeck’ uploaded a picture in which he jokingly described the experience of one of his friends who used a pregnancy test he found in the medicine cabinet and turned out to be positive!
Here’s the picture he posted:
As soon as the picture was uploaded, his fellow Reddit users urged him to go check himself for testicular cancer. The man went to the doctor, did the test and indeed, he did have testicular cancer!
As soon as the story went viral on the internet, people started wondering: can you really tell if you have testicular cancer by a pregnancy test? Well, let’s see the facts.
If the test turn out to be positive does it mean that you have testicular cancer? No.
But should you worry? Yes.
Pregnancy tests work by detecting the hormone chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine. This hormone is produced by pregnant women but, as it turns out, it is also produced by testicular tumors.
However, pregnancy tests should not be used as a reliable method of detecting testicular cancer. As Ted Gansler, director of medical content at the American Cancer Society noted “only a small minority of men with testicular cancer have hCG levels high enough to be detected by a home pregnancy test. Several non-cancerous conditions can cause false positive results.”
So if the test is positive, even though one should worry, it does not necessarily mean that the results indicate testicular cancer.