Testicular Cancer

Testicular Cancer

Testicular Cancer Explained

Testicular cancer is a form of cancer that is usually found in only one testicle. It is the most common form of cancer for males between 15 and 35 in the U.S. The two most common types of testicular cancer include seminoma and nonseminoma.

Seminoma is usually diagnosed in older adult males and is found to be the less aggressive of the two types.

Nonseminoma typically develops in younger adult males and presents in many different forms.

Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

Symptoms of testicular cancer include:

  • A lump or enlargement in one of the testicles
  • A heaviness feeling in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the groin or abdomen
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Testicular or scrotal pain
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
  • Back pain

Risk Factors of Testicular Cancer

Risk factors for testicular cancer include:

  • An undescended testicle (cryptorchidism)
  • Abnormal testicle development
  • Family history of testicular cancer
  • Age
  • Race (Testicular cancer is more common in white men than black men.)

Diagnosing Testicular Cancer

Once a testicular lump has been detected either by the patient on self-examination or the physician during a physical exam, your physician may recommend blood tests to check for elevated tumor markers, a scrotal ultrasound to get an image of the mass or potentially a radical inguinal orchiectomy to remove the testicle with potential cancer.

There are multiple stages of testicular cancer ranging from Stage I where the cancer is still within the testicle to Stage III where the cancer has spread to other body organs and tissues.

Treating Testicular Cancer

The treatment for testicular cancer depends on multiple factors including the stage of one’s testicular cancer and one’s overall health. Options include surgical treatment, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. In many cases, multiple lines of treatment are used in combination.

Treatment options include:

The most common form of treatment is the surgical removal of the affected testicle and in many cases the surrounding lymph nodes.

Radiation therapy involves the use of high energy beams to target and kill the cancer cells. This type of therapy is usually performed following surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells not removed during surgery.

Chemotherapy is also typically performed following surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. In some cases, though, chemotherapy is used instead of surgery as the only method of treatment to shrink the size of the tumor.