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Testicular Cancer

Testicular Cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer. Although testicular cancer accounts for only 1 percent of cancers in men, testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 20 and 34. About 75% of cases of testicular cancer occur in men between 20 and 49. Nevertheless, testicular cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer, with cure rates approaching 100% if detected early. Additionally, testicular cancer is more common in white men than black or Asian men.

Most testicular cancer cases are found by men themselves when doing a self-examination or by accident. The testicles are smooth, oval-shaped, and rather firm. Men who examine themselves routinely become familiar with the way their testicles normally feel. Any changes in the way they feel from month-to-month should be checked by a doctor, preferably a Urologist.

Signs & Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

  • A lump or mass in either testicle
  • Any enlargement or swelling of a testicle 
  • A collection of fluid in the scrotum 
  • A dull ache in the lower abdomen, back, or in the groin 
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum 
  • Discomfort or pain in a testicle or in the scrotum 
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts

Testicular Cancer Treatment

There a several different ways to treat testicular cancer. Perhaps the most common start is a Orchiectomy. Once removed, the testicle can be analyzed by a clinical pathologist to diagnose the stage of the cancer. Other treatment options are Lymph Node Dissection, Chemo, Radiation and Surveillance.

Facts about Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is the most common malignancy in young men between the ages of 20 and 34. There are about 7500 new cases yearly, with approximately 350 deaths per year in the US.

Although it accounts for only about 1 percent of all cancers in men, it is the number one cancer killer among men in their 20's and 30's.

Most testicular cancers are self-discovered by patients as a painless or uncomfortable lump in the testicle. About 1-3% of testicular neoplasms are bilateral.

Pure seminomas constitute roughly 40% of all testicular cancer cases. Forty percent of the testicular cancers have mixture of histology.

The cancer risk for boys with a history of undescended testicles is about 10-40 times higher than normal individuals. The risk of developing the disease was estimated at 1 out of 20 for a testis retained in the abdomen and 1 out of 80 if it was within the inguinal canal. The risk remains elevated after surgical correction. Both testis are at higher risk, not just the undescended one.

If found early, testicular cancer is almost always curable.

Early stage testicular cancer can be treated with surgery and radiation therapy. Late stage testicular cancer can be treated with the combination of surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.

The prognosis for men with testicular cancer is very good, even with late stage disease. The chances of recovery are excellent with surgery and radiotherapy for early stage disease. Combined modality is used for treatment of late stage disease with good results.

More than 90% of testicular cancer patients are cured by their initial treatment, and many of those who have recurrent disease can also be cured with chemotherapy or radiation.

Testicular Cancer Self Exam

A testicular self exam is best performed after a warm bath or shower. Heat relaxes the scrotum, making it easier to spot anything abnormal. The National Cancer Institute recommends following these steps every month:

Stand in front of a mirror. Check for any swelling on the scrotum skin.

Examine each testicle with both hands. Place the index and middle fingers under the testicle with the thumbs placed on top. Roll the testicle gently between the thumbs and fingers. Don't be alarmed if one testicle seems slightly larger than the other. That's normal.

Find the epididymis, the soft, tubelike structure behind the testicle that collects and carries sperm. If you are familiar with this structure, you won't mistake it for a suspicious lump. Cancerous lumps usually are found on the sides of the testicle but can also show up on the front.

If you find a lump, see a doctor right away. The abnormality may not be cancer, but if it is, the chances are great it can spread if not stopped by treatment. Only a physician can make a positive diagnosis.

For more information on Testicular Cancer go to the National Testicular Cancer website below, or arrange to see you local Doctor who can give you more advice. If you would like to, contac the Brunswick offices for more information.

National Testicular Cancer website : http://www.cancerresearchuk.org