Testicular Cancer

Cancer that forms in a man’s testicles is called: testicular cancer. Usually this type of cancer affects males who are between the ages of 20 and 40. Males who have had abnormal testicle development, have had an undescended testicle, or have those who have a family history of testicular cancer are those who are more prone to developing this cancer.

White males of Scandinavian descent are more prone to having this type of cancer. The testicular cancer rate for white males has doubled in the past 40 years and has recently increased for black men too. There is no known cause for the difference in rate of occurrence between whites and blacks.

Symptoms

The symptoms of testicular cancer include pain in the scrotum or testicle, or ache in the lower abdomen, back or groin, lumps in the testicles or in the groin area, and also swelling the same area. The earlier you discover and treat this cancer the better for prognosis.

The treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation and also surgery. These treatments may cause infertility, so if it is your desire to have future children and you are faced with testicular cancer treatment, consider sperm banking before your treatment starts.

The males who have this type of cancer either have the nonseminoma or the seminoma type. There are other types of testicular cancers but they are rare. The cancer can affect one or both of the testicles

Testicular cancer is not all that common as it accounts for only 1% of all cancer that occurs in males.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis for testicular cancer is made using blood tests, ultrasound, and also biopsy. The blood tests use tumor markers such as alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (ßHCG), and also lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) that may help to detect the presence of testicular tumor. The tumor is sometimes too small to detect on a physical exam or by using imaging tests.

The ultrasound test is a high-frequency sound wave test that is used to produce a picture of the sound waves as they bounce off of internal organs and tissues. This test can be used to detect the presence of a mass in the testicle. The test can also rule out other conditions that may also have the same symptoms such as swelling due to an infection or a collection of fluid that can be unrelated to cancer.

The biopsy is an examination done by microscope that uses tissue taken from an incision in the groin. The tissue is examined by microscope to look at the cells of the tissue for evidence of cancer cells.

If testicular cancer is located, further tests will then be conducted to determine if the cancer has spread to other parts of the male’s body. The treatment would be determined by the “stage” of cancer and the “stage” is determined by the extent of the spread of the disease.