Testicular CancerCancer » Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer is cancer that develops in the testicles, apart of the male reproductive system. Testicular cancer is a disease in which cells become malignant (cancerous) in or both testicles. The testicles (also called testes or gonads) are a pair of male sex glands. They produce and store sperm and are the main source of testosterone (male hormones) in men.
Although cancer of the testes is rare, accounting for only about 1 percent of all cancers in men of all ages and about 5 percent of all male genitourinary system cancers, it is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 35, and the second most common malignancy in men ages 35 to 39. Fortunately, testicular cancer is often curable. The treatment success is due to effective diagnostic methods, including identification of tumor markers; effective combinations of chemotherapy drugs, and improved surgical techniques.
Types of testicular cancer
- Seminomas: Germ cells become malignant at a very early stage in their development.
- Non-seminomas: Cells, which are more mature and specialized than the germ cells, give rise to non-seminomas.
Testicular Cancer Causes
- Orchiopexy: surgical placement of an undescended testis.
- Vasectomy: surgical separation of the seminal vesicles for contraception.
- Men with a history of hernia
- Men with extra nipples
- Men with a history of infertility problems
Testicular Cancer Symptoms
The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a painless lump on the testicle. Pain may occur but is not as common. The affected testicle may be enlarged or swollen, and there may be a sensation of fullness in the scrotum. Testicular cancer that has spread to other areas of the body may have symptoms related to the sites to which it has spread.
- A lump in one testis which may or may not be painful.
- Sharp pain or a dull ache in the lower abdomen or scrotum.
- Testicular pain.
- Fluid in the scrotum.
- Low back pain (lumbago) tumor spread to the lymph nodes along the back.
- Shortness of breath, cough or coughing up blood.
Testicular Cancer Treatment
- Surgery: While it may be possible, in some cases, to remove testicular cancer tissues from a testis while leaving the testis functional, this is almost never done, as the affected testicle usually contains pre-cancerous cells spread throughout the entire testicle. Thus removing the tumor alone without additional treatment greatly increases the risk that another cancer will form in that testicle. This is called orchiectomy. Radical inguinal orchiectomy alone followed by careful testing to see if the cancer comes back. The doctor must check the patient and do blood tests and x-rays every month for 2 years. This option in chosen only if the tumor has certain special features.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation may be used to treat stage 2 seminoma cancers, or as adjuvant (preventative) therapy in the case of stage 1 seminomas, to minimize the likelihoodthat tiny, non-detectable tumors exist and will spread (in the inguinal and para-aortic lymph nodes). Radiation is never used as a primary therapy for nonseminoma.
- Chemotherapy: This therapy is a cancer treatment therapy that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. Combinations of actinomycin, adriamycin, bleomycin, cisplatinum, cyclophosphamide, etoposide, and vinblastine are used by the therapy .
- Complementary treatments: Acupuncture, Massage therapy and Yoga.