Testicular Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment

testicular cancer

Cancer has become much more common in people in the past two decades. While testicular cancer is not yet so common, it is one of the most common cancer forms in younger American males. The condition can be treated even in its later stages. People need to be better informed about these health conditions. Sharing information helps individuals take the right steps to prevent or cure the condition.

Testicular Cancer

Cancer occurs inside the testicles located within the scrotum. In the male body, testicles have the function of producing male sex hormones. They also produce sperms necessary for reproduction. The condition is most common among American males in the age group 15 years to 35 years of age. The condition is treatable even when cancer has spread beyond the scrotum. The treatment method used maybe a single treatment or a combination therapy. The type of treatment will depend greatly on the stage of cancer and the areas it has affected.

1. Causes

In most cases, there is no one clear cause for testicular cancer. Doctors are aware that the healthy cells in the testicles get altered. When the body functions normally, the cells divide in an orderly fashion and multiply. In some situations, the cells multiply in an uncontrolled fashion. This eventually leads to testicular cancer. While there is no clarity about the causes of testicular cancer, there are some risk factors. Here we have listed these:

  • Race: It has been observed that people belonging to the white race are more prone to testicular cancer than black men.
  • Family History: If anyone in your family has had testicular cancer, you stand a higher chance of having testicular cancer.
  • Age: While testicular cancer may occur at any age and stage of a man’s life, younger men stand a higher chance. Men who are in the age group 15 to 35 or younger are at a higher risk of developing testicular cancer.
  • Cryptorchidism: The testes in men form in the abdominal area and descend into the scrotum before birth. In some men, the testes never descend. Some of these men may get the testes surgically descended into the scrotum. In any case, men having this condition (cryptorchidism) stand a higher chance of developing testicular cancer.
  • Abnormal Development of the Testicles: It has been observed that the chances of testicular cancer are also elevated in individuals with abnormal testicular development. Conditions like Klinefelter Syndrome are responsible for such abnormalities.

2. Symptoms

Unless you understand the different symptoms associated with this condition, you cannot take the right steps.

Here we have listed out a wide range of symptoms associated with Testicular Cancer:

  • The individual having testicular cancer may suffer from back pain.
  • These individuals may also observe an enlargement or lump in either of the testicles.
  • The individual may also experience a dull ache in the groin or the abdomen.
  • Individuals have also complained of a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum. 
  • Individuals suffering from this condition may also discomfort or pain in the scrotum or the testicle.
  • They may experience tenderness of breasts.
  • They may also encounter sudden fluid collection in the scrotum.
  • Some people have also complained of enlargement of the breasts.

Cancer just affects and causes enlargement of one of the testicles. If a person encounters any of these symptoms, he needs to contact the doctor. When you report unusual changes to the doctor soon, he will also be able to take instant measures to tackle the issues.

3. Diagnosis 

There are a wide variety of tests available today to effectively diagnose cancer. When you meet a doctor, he may suggest any of these methods diagnose your condition:

  • Blood Tests: Doctors may suggest you get a blood test done. The amount of tumor marker in your blood will help the doctor diagnose your condition. While tumor markers are present in everybody’s blood, the amount increases substantially in cancer patients. The doctor can assess the amount to know whether you really have testicular cancer.
  • Ultrasound: The ultrasound tests are conducted to create an image of the scrotum and the testicles. The doctor can easily determine the nature of the testicular lumps with the help of ultrasound imaging. It helps to tell the doctor whether the lumps are solid or fluid-filled. It also helps the doctor assess the exact location of the lumps.

It is important to identify the type of testicular cancer to provide appropriate treatment. Once the doctor confirms the lump formed is cancerous, he may suggest surgery.

The surgery to remove the affected testicle will help to eliminate the cancerous growth from your body. Apart from this, it will also help to assess the type of testicular cancer you have been suffering from. Generally, there are two types of testicular cancers as listed below:

  • Seminoma: These tumors may occur at any age. When an older man develops testicular cancer, the tumor will usually be seminoma. These do not spread as aggressively.
  • Non-seminoma: There are many different types of non-seminoma tumors that exist. These could occur at any age. They spread aggressively and far more dangerous compared to the previous category.

4. Treatment

The doctor will tell you to conduct CT scans and blood tests. These will help to determine which stage your cancer is in. It will help the doctor whether surgery to remove testicles will alone help your condition. In more advanced stages, surgery to remove the adjacent lymph nodes may also be prescribed.

Doctors may even prescribe radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the more advanced stages of testicular cancer. Proper diagnosis and treatment at the right time can help you get cured completely of testicular cancer. You may consider preserving your sperms before undergoing such therapies and treatments.

Also Read: Facts About Testicular Cancer