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Testicular Cancer – Warning Signs, Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, Treatment

Testicular Cancer

Testicular Cancer is one of the most common type cancer seen in Men. It develops in the testicles, a part of the male reproductive system. Here you can read about Testicular Cancer Warning Signs and Symptoms. Know how to Prevent Testicular Cancer. Testicular Cancer also called as scrotal cancer. Get details of Complications, Treatment, chemo therapeutic drugs used for Testicular Cancer.

What causes Testicular Cancer-scrotal cancer is still unknown. This is also said to be one of the highest cure rates of all cancers with an average five-year survival rate of 95%. If it is not spread outside the testicle, the 5-year survival is 99%. It often seen as a  lump on the testicles which may not be cancer all the time, may be tumors, and not all tumors are malignant (cancerous).

What Causes Testicular Cancer

Still the reason for testicular cancer in not clear in most cases.  Testicular cancer occurs when healthy cells in a testicle become altered. This causing growth to get out of control and accumulating cells form a mass in the testicle. Risk factors which may leads to Testicular cancer  are, An undescended testicle (cryptorchidism), Abnormal testicle development such as Klinefelter’s syndrome, Family history,  age between ages 15 and 35 and race of white men.

Testicular Cancer

Warning Signs and Symptoms

In many of the cases, this starts with a  lump or swelling in the testes, which may or may not be painful. One may feel sharp pain or a dull ache in the lower abdomen or scrotum. This  feeling often described by men as “heaviness” in the scrotum. Due to hormonal effects of β-hCG some men experience breast enlargement (gynecomastia).

As the tumor spread to the lymph nodes along the back, low back pain will start. If the cancer  spread to other organs, apart from the lungs person may experience shortness of breath, coughing up blood and  lump in the neck due to metastases to the lymph node. 

Prevention of Testicular Cancer

According to  U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), you should go for routine screening for testicular cancer. This must be done for asymptomatic adolescent and adults including routine testicular self-exams. As per  American Cancer Society, those have a family history of cancer, should examine their testicles monthly for any abnormality.  American Urological Association suggests for monthly self testicular examination in all young men. 

Testicular Cancer

Self Testicular Examination

Treatment

Once diagnosed with Testicular Cancer, there are three available treatment options. These includes  surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. In most cases cancer  is found to be cured readily with minimal long-term morbidity. Stage 1 cancers cases, if monitored properly have essentially a 100% survival rate. 

First, surgery will performed based on condition of patient to remove the affected testicle (orchiectomy). In some rare cases, only testicular cancer tumors from a testis removed, while leaving the testis functional. But this leaves for  risk of pre-cancerous cells spread throughout the entire testicle.

Radiation will be used to treat stage 2 seminoma cancers. It is also offered as adjuvant (preventative) therapy in the case of stage 1 seminomas. It can destroy those  tiny, non-detectable tumors exist and will spread. Radiation id ineffective for  nonseminoma and there for not used in primary therapy for nonseminoma.

Chemotherapy is the standard treatment for non-seminoma and this used when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Drugs used are  rounds of Bleomycin-Etoposide-Cisplatin (BEP). Also use of four cycles of Etoposide-Cisplatin (EP) found to be equally effective. After chemo, Lymph node surgery may also performed. 

Fertility of Man with Testicular Cancer

Fertility of a man with Testicular Cancer is most doubtful. a man with one remaining testis may maintain fertility. For men who still plan to have children should go for sperm banking. The reason behind this is fertility may be adversely affected by chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. After treatment and recovery he can produce healthy sperm again even with once scrotum. A man who loses both testicles with surgery or other means will be infertile.

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