Claim: A pregnancy test can be used to detect testicular cancer because the cancer excretes beta-HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), the same hormone used to detect pregnancy.
Status: TRUE (sort of)
In November, 2012, a redditor uploaded this rage comic showing a positive pregnancy test from his male friend. The Reddit community posted tons of comments letting the redditor know the positive test may indicate testicular cancer. The redditor uploaded a follow-up comic a couple of days later to thank Reddit for the comments and to say his friend did indeed have testicular cancer, but would be okay because it was caught early.
Well, it turns out this story is true, according to several news sources. However, the story has created a misconception. Many people have jumped to the conclusion that using a pregnancy test is a good way to screen for testicular cancer. According to Dr. Ted Gansler, director of medical content for the American Cancer Society, few men have enough HCG levels sufficient to produce a positive result using a home pregnancy test. Also, some forms of testicular cancer do not produce HCG at all.
According to the American Cancer Society, the first sign of testicular cancer is usually a lump on the testicle. The ACS does not currently have a recommendation on monthly self exams because they have not been studied enough to show they reduce the death rate from testicular cancer. They do state every man should decide for himself whether or not to examine monthly.
For more information regarding detecting testicular cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.