Testicular Cancer Treatment
Testicular cancer is an abnormal change in the cells of a man’s testicles. These changes can cause healthy, normal cells inside the body to change and grow out of control into cancerous (malignant) tumors. Testicular cancer affects about 8,000 men in the United States every year and 390 will die from the condition.
Even though this cancer only makes up 1% of all cancers in the U.S., it is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 34. Testicular cancer is one of the easiest cancers to cure. 99% of patients will live at least a year after diagnosis, and 98% will live 10 years after. It’s rare for testicular cancer to return more than five years after treatment.1
Request information on treatment of testicular cancer today: call or contact us online.
Testicular Cancer Symptoms
Most cases of testicular cancer are found by the patient. Sometimes they are identified if a medical provider checks the testicles during a physical. Any changes in the size, shape or feeling in one or both testicles should be reported to your doctor. Here are some symptoms you should look out for:
- Pain in the testicle or scrotum
- Sudden fluid collecting around the testicle or in the scrotum
- Any enlargement in the testicle or change in the way the testicle feels
- A painless lump
- Dull aching in the lower abdomen, groin or lower back
Testicular cancer may lead to andropause (low levels of testosterone) which may lead to symptoms of fatigue, depression, and low sex drive. Not all of these symptoms will mean cancer is present, but make sure to see a medical provider to be sure.
Testicular Cancer Causes
There is no way to prevent the development of testicular cancer because its causes are factors that cannot be controlled-like your race, your gender, or being born with a birth defect. Risk factors that could raise your chance of developing testicular cancer include:
- A history of an undescended testicle (even if it was surgically moved as an infant)
- A history of a birth defect of the penis, testicles or kidneys, or the presence of an inguinal hernia (a hernia where the thigh meets the abdomen)
- A history of cancer in one testicle
- A brother or father who have had testicular cancer
To diagnose testicular cancer, your medical provider may ask questions about your medical and family history and then perform a physical examination of the area. Your provider may also order some extra tests including:
- Blood work to look for tumor markers (chemicals) in the blood (these levels can be high even if there’s not a tumor or other tests are normal)
- Ultrasound to see the size and location of a tumor or size of the testicle itself
- Biopsy to examine cells under a microscope. Providers usually remove the entire testicle if cancer is suspected. If only one testicle is present, surgeons will remove only a portion for testing until cancer is confirmed
If cancer is confirmed, providers will need to do additional testing to find out how far it has spread. This is known as staging and can help the medical provider create a treatment plan based on the cancer’s progression.
Testicular Cancer Treatment
Testicular cancer is a very treatable, even curable disease. Your treatment will depend on the stage of your cancer (how far advanced it is and if the cancer has reached other organs or tissues of the body), and may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and removal of the testicle.
There is a chance that your cancer treatment could destroy your body’s ability to make sperm and take away your ability to father children in the future. Make sure to ask your doctor about this possibility, and if you should consider sperm banking as a solution for the future.
Testicular Cancer Support
After treatment, you may worry that the cancer will return. Remember that testicular cancer has a very high cure rate and the chance of a return is small, but keep all of your follow-up appointments so your doctor can monitor your health.
Request more information on diagnosis and treatment of testicular cancer today: call or contact us online.
1All statistics from American Cancer Society