Reality star's death prompts 2,500% spike in web searches for testicular cancer symptoms — and more health questions Canadians had this week

From testicular cancer to male fertility medication, these are the health-related questions Canada asked this week.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle.

Ryan Hadley, John Horgan and Orelviz Martinez made headlines this week. (Images via Instagram/@ryanhadleytattoo/Reuters/Getty Image)
Ryan Hadley, John Horgan and Orelviz Martinez made headlines this week. (Images via Instagram/@ryanhadleytattoo/Reuters/Getty Image)

Canadians often turn to the internet to learn more about the latest headlines — especially when it comes to health-related stories.

Earlier this month, “Ink Master” contestant Ryan Hadley died following a battle with seminoma cancer that spread to his liver and lungs. The news sparked a 2,500 per cent spike in web searches to learn more about seminoma cancer.

The 46-year-old tattoo artist's family announced his death on Instagram writing, “Ryan left this world last night surrounded by loved ones. While his life was cut short, in that time he left a legacy behind in both the art and tattoo world. He loved his many fans, his friends and clients, and most of all his children. He’ll be missed and always remembered. A legend forever. “

A GoFundMe is available to support Hadley's family.

Seminomas are a cancerous form of germ cell (reproductive cell) tumours that often begin in the testes and account for approximately 35-50 per cent of testicular tumours. Although it’s possible for seminomas to grow quickly, they tend to grow slower than other forms of testicular cancer, and can spread to the lymph nodes and other areas of the body. When detected early, the survival rate for seminomas is approximately 95 per cent.

There may not be symptoms in the early stages of testicular cancer. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, symptoms of testicular cancer can include:

  • Pain, dull ache, or heaviness in the testicle or scrotum

  • Enlarged testicles due to swelling

  • Buildup of fluid in the scrotum

Sometimes testicular cancer can produce symptoms similar to other ailments, including:

  • Back or abdominal pain

  • Gynecomastia, a hormonal imbalance that causes increased breast gland tissue in male, that can be painful

  • Trouble breathing

  • Cough (sometimes with blood)

  • Trouble swallowing

  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck

  • Fluid around the lungs

  • Weight loss

  • Infertility

  • Headaches

  • Chest pain

  • Swelling in the chest

Testicular cancer can also cause young boys may show signs of puberty at an earlier age.

A majority of testicular cancer cases occur in men ages 20-35 and is more prevalent in white and Asian men. A family history of testicular cancer, an undescended testicle or previous testicular cancer and HIV or AIDS can increase your risk of developing testicular cancer. There are also birth defects and precancerous conditions, like germ cell neoplasia in situ (GCNIS) also increase the risk of cancer.

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks to the news media at the Pinnacle Hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada June 28, 2022. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier
B.C. Premier John Horgan has been diagnosed with cancer for the third time. (Image via REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier)

Former B.C Premier and Canada's ambassador to Germany John Horgan has been diagnosed with cancer for the third time. In a statement, the 64-year-old said he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer during a routine appointment in Berlin.

"It is the third instance of cancer I have had, but I remain confident that I will again live long and prosper," Horgan said. The former politician turned diplomat is on an indefinite leave to undergo treatment. Horgan was previously treated for bladder cancer in 2008 and was diagnosed with cancer again in 2021 after discovering a "lump on his throat."

The news prompted a 1,300 per cent increase in web searches to learn more about Horgan's condition.

According to the Cancer Society of Canada, it’s estimated that 6,600 Canadians will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2024; 4,700 of those will be women.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck that produces and releases certain hormones. In the early stages, thyroid cancer may have no symptoms. However, symptoms can include:

  • Lump or swelling in the neck

  • A persistent cough

  • Pain in the front of the neck

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

  • Sore throat that won’t go away

  • Voice changes/hoarse voice

Treatment plans for thyroid cancer vary depending on the type of cancer and the stage of diagnosis. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there’s almost a 100 per cent survival rate when the cancer is localized to the thyroid gland

TORONTO, ON - JUNE 18: Orelvis Martinez #13 of the Toronto Blue Jays smiles from the dugout after being called up to the team from the minor leagues ahead of playing against the Boston Red Sox in their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on June 18, 2024 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
Blue Jays outfielder Orelvis Martinez accepted his 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

Web searches for clomiphene spiked by 950 per cent after the Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Orelvis Martinez was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for the drug.

Clomiphene is typically prescribed to women to treat infertility by increasing hormone production to support ovulation. Although it's often given to women, there are some medications that can be prescribed to men to treat infertility. A medication called Clomid, contains clomiphene citrate and is given to men to improve sperm concentration.

According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), clomiphene alters testosterone production and is banned under the category of S4 Category of Hormone and Metabolic Modulators.

In a statement, Martinez said he began taking a medication called Rejun 50, which contains clomiphene, after visiting a fertility clinic in Dominican Republic with his girlfriend.

"We wanted to keep this matter private, even within our family, and trusted the doctor who assured us this treatment did not include performance-enhancing drugs," Martinez said in a statement. "Therefore, I made the mistake of not disclosing this to my team or the MLBPA. With that said, I took full responsibility for my actions and accepted my suspension."

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