Man takes life-saving pregnancy test

Helen Marsden

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They say that curiosity killed the cat. Well, in this particularly interesting case from the US curiosity may well have saved the day.

Upon finding a pregnancy test in his bathroom cabinet, an unnamed male wondered what would happen if a man took the test and so subjected himself to a pregnancy test as a joke. Much to his shock however, the test came back telling him that he was, in fact, pregnant. Assuming this to be a flaw in the test itself, he told a friend who posted a cartoon about his experience on an online blogging website.

It took no time at all after this 'amusing' escapade was posted for perceptive medical professionals to point out that there could be a more sinister explanation for the man's apparent 'pregnancy'; his positive result could indicate the presence of testicular cancer. Sure enough, after taking the advice of fellow bloggers, the curious man visited his doctor to find that he did have a small tumour in his right testicle.

Pregnancy tests work by detecting the presence of the hormone Beta Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (Beta HCG) in the urine; the hormone is produced by the cells of a woman's placenta during pregnancy. Many women use home pregnancy tests that work by analysing a urine sample, however blood tests for Beta HCG are also available that can give an earlier indication of a pregnancy.

Although Beta HCG is most commonly associated with pregnancy, the hormone is also produced by some tumours, and particularly certain testicular cancer tumours. It is recommended that men perform self-examinations of their testicles to check for any unusual lumps. As a more reliable alternative to taking a pregnancy test, concerned males may wish to take a Testicular Tumour Profile check, a blood test that measures Beta HCG levels along with Alpha Feto Protein.

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