is testicular cancer?
Testicular cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in
one or both testicles, which causes a lump or tumour. Cancerous cells can break
away from this tumour and form new growths elsewhere in the body. Testicular
cancer is most common in men under 35 years and is a treatable and usually curable
form of cancer.
causes testicular cancer?
The cause of testicular cancer is unknown but the disease does seem to occur
more frequently in men whose testicles have not descended into the scrotum,
a process that should occur before birth or be surgically corrected later. The
cause of testicular cancer is not yet known, but there are certain risk factors
associated with developing the disease:
- Age most testicular cancers occur between the ages of 15 and 40.
But, this cancer can affect males of any age, including infants and elderly
- Undescended testicles (cryptorchidism) this is the main risk factor
for testicular cancer. The testicles normally develop inside the abdomen and
descend into the scrotum before birth or in the childs first year. In
some cases, a surgical procedure known as orchiopexy is necessary to bring
the testicle down into the scrotum. If the process does not occur naturally
or is not corrected by surgery, the testicle may remain in the abdomen or
start to descend but get stuck in the groin area.
- Family history a family history of testicular cancer increases the
- Occupational risks it has been suggested that exposure to certain
chemicals used in the mining, oil or leather industries may increase the risk
of developing testicular cancer, but this has not been conclusively proven.
- HIV infection men infected with the human immunodeficiency virus
(HIV) may be at increased risk.
- History of testicle cancer men who have been cured of cancer in one
testicle have an increased risk of developing cancer in the other testicle.
testicular cancer be prevented?
The main known risk factors, ie. undescended testicles and a family history
of the disease, are unavoidable because they are present at birth and many men
with testicular cancer have no known risk factors, so it is not possible to
prevent most cases.
are the symptoms of testicular cancer?
- A lump in the testicle although it may not be painful, it will cause
- Enlargement of one testicle after puberty.
- Enlargement of the breasts (occurs with some types of testicular tumours).
If the cancer has spread, you may experience other symptoms, such as:
- Low back pain.
- Difficulty urinating.
- Coughing and breathing problems.
is testicular cancer diagnosed?
The symptoms of testicular cancer can resemble an infection, but if a course
of antibiotics does not resolve the problem, you must visit your doctor again.
Your doctor will examine your testicles and you may be referred for an ultrasound
examination of the testis, abdomen or pelvis.
is testicular cancer treated?
Treatment may include one or more of the following:
- Radiation therapy.
- Surgery to remove the testicle.
can I do?
Successful outcome depends on finding the cancer early and treating it before
it spreads. It is important to examine your testicles monthly and have regular
checkups with your doctor, especially if you have an undescended testicle.
is the correct method of examining my testicles?
Hold your testicles with one hand and feel each of them with your other hand.
You should feel the smooth bump (epididymis) that covers the top, back, and
bottom of each testicle. Gently separate the epididymis from the testicle with
your finger and feel the testicle itself. If you find a hard, painless mass
in either testicle, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
is the outlook?
Testicular cancer can be treated and, in most cases, completely cured with
surgery and chemotherapy or radiotherapy if it has not spread to other parts
of your body. Following treatment, you should visit your doctor regularly for
at least three years to check whether the cancer has returned. It is important
to follow the doctor's recommendations so that any recurrence can be spotted
at an early stage.
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