Not all lumps on the testicles indicate a tumor, and not all tumors are cancerous or malignant. There are many
Testicular cancer happens in the testicles (testes) which are just located inside the scrotum. A loose bag of skin underneath the penis. The testicles create male sex hormones and sperm of reproduction.
Testicular cancer is rare when compared to other forms of cancer. However, testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in American men between the ages of 15-35.
Testicular cancer is highly treatable, even if cancer spreads beyond the testicle. It depends on the type of testicular cancer and the stage, how many treatments or combinations of treatments that you may receive. The regular testicular self-examination can often help identify early growth when the chance of successful testicular cancer treatment is high.
Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
Enlargement or a lump in either testicle
A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
A dull ache in the groin or abdomen
Fluid in the scrotum collecting suddenly
Pain or discomfort in the scrotum or testicle
Enlargement of tenderness of the breast
When should You see a Doctor?
You should see your doctor if you detect any pain, lumps or swelling of your testicles, or groin area. If you have signs or symptoms that last, linger than two weeks.
What Causes Testicular Cancer
It is not clear what causes testicular cancer in many cases.
Today doctors know that that testicular cancer occurs when healthy cells in the testicle become abnormal and altered. Healthy cells normally grow and divide to keep the body functioning as usual. However, sometimes cells will develop abnormalities, deform, causing uncontrolled growth – these cancer cells that will continue to grow and divided even when new cells are not needed. These cells accumulate and form a mass within the testicle.
Nearly all testicular cancer begin within the germ cells – these are cells in testes that produce immature sperm. The causes are unknown how germ cells become abnormal and develop into cancer.
What are the Risk Factors for Developing Testicular Cancer
Factors for increased risk of developing testicular cancer include the following:
An undescended testicle (cryptorchidism) The test form in the abdominal area during fetal development and usually descend into the scrotum before birth. Men who have a testicle that has not descended are at significant risk than men whose testicles descended normally. The risk higher risk remains even after the testicle is surgically relocated to the scrotum,
Although, the majority of men who develop testicular cancer do not have a history of undescended testicles.
Abnormal testicles growth = Conditions that cause the testicle to develop abnormally, such as Klinefelter’s syndrome, may increase your risk fo testicular cancer
A Family history of testicular cancer. If some in the family had this cancer, there is a higher risk that you can develop it as well.
Age – Testicular cancer affects teenagers and younger men. Those between the ages of 15025. However, testicular cancer can occur at any age.
Race – Testicular cancer is more common in Caucasian men than black men.
In some cases, men will discover they have tactical cancer themselves either while doing a testicular sale examination to check for lumps or initially. At other times, your doctor may detect a lump during a routine physical examination.
To determine if the a lump is testicular cancer your physician may request one of the following:
An Ultrasound test- A testicular ultrasound test produces sound waves to create an image of the scrotum and testicles. You will lie on your back with your legs spread and you will a apply a clear gel to your scrotum and a hand held the probe and moved over your scrotum to make the ultrasound image.
An ultrasound test can assist your doctor in determining the nature of any testicular lumps, such as if the lumps are solid ofrfluid=filled. Ultrasounds also help your doctor to know whether lumps are inside or outside the testicle.
Blood test – Your doctor may order a blood test to determine the levels of tumor markers in the blood. A tumor marker is substances that occur in your blood. Tumor markers are chemicals that normally occur in your blood. However, the levels of theses chemicals may be elevated in certain situations, including testicular cancer. A high level of tumor markers in your blood does not necessarily mean you have cancer but will be helpful for you doctor to determine your diagnosis.
Surgery to remove the testicle (radical inguinal orchiectomy) If it is determined that the lump may be malignant (cancerous), surgery to separate the testicle may be recommended. Your removed testicle may be analyzed to determine if the lum is cancerous and if is, which type of cancer.
Types of Cancer
Your removed testicle will be examined to determine the type of testicular cancer it is. The type of cancer you have determines your treatment and prognosis. There are two types of testicular cancer.
Seminoma, Seminoma tumor occur in all ages groups, but if an older man develops testicular cancer, it will mostly be seminoma. Seminomas, in general, aren’t as aggressive as nonseminomas.
Nonseminoma tumors tended to develop early in life and grown and spread rapidly, Several different types of nonseminoma tumor exist, including teratoma, yolk sac tumor, choriocarcinoma, and embryonal carcinoma
Once your doctor confirms your diagnosis the next step is to figure out what stage of cancer it is to determine whether cancer has spread outside of the testicles, you may undergo:
Computerized tomography (CT scan(. Ct scans take series of X-rays images of the abdomen, pelves, chest; The doctor will then look for signs cancer has spread.
A blood test also indicates elevated tumor markers to help understand if the cancer is still in the body after the testicle is removed.
After these tests are complete, the testicular cancer is assigned a stage which will help determine the best treatments.
Stage 1 – Cancer is limited to the testicle only
StageE II – Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the abdomen
Stage III Cancer has spread to other parts of the body Testicular cancer most commonly spread to the liver and lungs.
Treatment and Medications
There are several options for treating testicular cancer wich depend on your overall health, stage of cancer and your preferences.
Procedures used to treat testicular cancer include:
Surgery to remove the testicle – In this procedure the surgeon makes an incision within the grown and extracts the entire testicle through the opening. A prosthetic line-filed testicle can be inserted to replace the removed one if you choose.
Surgery to remove nervy lymph nodes ( Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection) this procedure is performed through an abdomen incision. The surgeon removes cancerous lymph nodes. The surgeon will avoid damaging nerves surrounding the lymph nodes, however in some cases; nerve damage may be unavoided. Damaged nerves can cause difficulty with ejaculation, however, will not prevent you from having an erection.
In cases where there is early stage testicular cancer, surgery may be the only treatment needed.
If surgery is the only treatment needed, the doctor will request to schedule follow-up appointmentsThese appoint will typically occur every few months in the first few years and less frequently after that, in which you will be monitored for a blood test and CT scans to ensure cancer has not returned.
Radiation therapy uses high-powered rays, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. During radiation therapy, ou set on a table in a large machine rotates around you and aims energy beams at precise points on your body.
Radiation therapy is a treatment option that may be needed for seminoma type of testicular cancer. The radiation therapy may be recommended after surgery to remove your testicle
Side effects may include fatigue, as well as skin redness and irritation in your groin and abdominal area; Radiation therapy is also likely to cause infertility. You should speak with your doctor about preserving your sperm before beginning tradition treatment.
Chemotherapy treatment used drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs travel through the body to destroy cancer cell that has migrated from the original tumor
Chemotherapy may be your only treatment and may be recommended before or after lymph node removal surgery.
Side effects of chemotherapy depend on the drugs being utilized. As your doctor what you should expect. Standard side effects include hair loss, fatigue, nausea, increase the risk of infection. There is some medications and treatment that will reduce the impact of adverse events of chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is also likely to cause infertility which can have permanent effects. Speak with your dot com before to find out options for preserving your sperm befoe beginning chemotherapy.
Can you Prevent Testicular Cancer
There is no way to prevent testicular cancer
Some doctors may recommend routine testicle self-examination to identify potential testical cancer at the earliest stage. Not all doctor agree. Discuss testicular self-examine with your doctor if you are unsure.
If you choose to do a testicular self-examination a good time to examine your testicles is after a warm bath or shower. The heat form the water relaxes your scrotum, so it makes it easier for you find anuthing outside the usual.
To conduct a self-examination follow these steps;
Stand in front of the mirror – look for any swelling on the skin or scrotum.
Check each testicle with both hands. Position the index and middle fingers under the testicle while putting your thumbs on the top
Gently rolls the stick between the thumbs and the fingers. – The testicles are usually smooth, oval shaped and semi-firm. Its number for one testicle to be slightly larger than the order. The cord leading upward from the top of teictle (epididymis) is a normal part of the scrotum as well. By prforming this exam, you can become more aware of your testes and any changes that might cause concern.
If you find a lump, you should make an appointment with your doctor.