It's evident in the term that testicular cancer occurs within the testicles, which are that part of the male reproductive organ designed to produce sperm and the male sex hormones. This cancer often begins in the cells that are responsible for producing sperm. In comparison to other kinds of cancer, testicular cancer is pretty rare. According to information from the American Cancer Society, only one in every 270 men will be diagnosed with this type of cancer in their lifetime, and it's most common between the ages of 15 and 34. Depending on the stage and type of cancer, this condition is very much treatable.
What You Need to Know About Testicular Cancer: Risk Factors
One of the most important things to learn about this type of cancer are the risk factors that are involved. It's important to understand, however, that just because you have some of these risk factors, it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll end up having it. It's very difficult to know how much any of these factors contribute to the disease, but the causes should not be ignored. Factors that increase your risk include weight problems, age, ethnicity, genetics, and undescended testicles.
Key Signs and Symptoms of Testicular Cancer:
The symptoms associated with testicular cancer are often linked to irregularities in the size, shape, or texture of the testicle. At this point, however, it's important to point out that it's normal for one testicle to hang lower or be larger than the other. Other symptoms might include:
– Swelling or lumps in either testicle: tumors can be very small but can sometimes grow much larger when undetected.
– Breast growth or tenderness: sometimes this condition causes the growth of breast tissues in males.
– Pains and aches in the abdomen or lower back. Usually, this is a sign that the cancer has spread through the abdomen lymph nodes.
What You Need to Know About Testicular Cancer: How It's Diagnosed
Diagnosing testicular cancer begins with self-examination. You should perform a self-examination on a monthly basis to check for any changes to the testicles or symptoms that might be associated with testicular cancer. It's crucial to get to a doctor as quickly as possible. Doctors will perform a physical exam of various parts of the body, including the testicles, and other testing might be performed too. For instance, you may receive an ultrasound to help diagnose testicular cancer, a blood test to determine high levels of proteins that mark the signs of testicular cancer, or a biopsy that allows the doctor to examine the tumor. Biopsies are very rarely done, because they can increase the chances of the cancer spreading.
Treatment Options for Testicular Cancer:
When it comes to what you need to know about testicular cancer, treatment options are likely your biggest concern. Treating this disease is an activity that depends on the stage and type of the cancer in question. For instance, nonseminoma and seminoma tumors are treated differently, and common forms of treatment can include radiation therapy, surgery, and chemotherapy. A combination of treatments might be used for certain stages of cancer.