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UROLOGY CANCERS

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is a relatively rare but highly treatable type of cancer that develops in the testicles, the male reproductive organs responsible for producing sperm and hormones. Here's important information about testicular cancer:

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Testicular Cancer

RISK FACTORS:

While the exact cause of testicular cancer is often unknown, there are some risk factors associated with it, including:

  • Cryptorchidism: An undescended testicle (testicle that hasn't descended into the scrotum).

  • Family history of testicular cancer.

  • Previous history of testicular cancer.

  • Age: It most commonly affects young men between the ages of 15 and 40.

SYMPTOMS: 

Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer may include:

  • A painless lump or swelling in the testicle.

  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.

  • Pain or discomfort in the testicle or scrotum.

  • A change in the size or shape of the testicle.

  • A dull ache or pain in the lower abdomen or groin.

DIAGNOSIS:

A doctor will conduct a physical examination, and additional tests may include an ultrasound to visualize the testicle and blood tests to check for tumor markers such as alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG). A biopsy is typically avoided as it can potentially spread cancer.

STAGING:

Staging helps determine the extent and severity of the cancer. Testicular cancer is usually staged from I to III, with Stage I being confined to the testicle and Stage III indicating spread to distant organs or lymph nodes.

TREATMENT OPTIONS: 

Treatment for testicular cancer depends on the stage, type of cancer, and other factors. Common treatment options include:

  • Surgery: Surgical removal of the affected testicle (radical inguinal orchiectomy) is often the first step for both diagnosis and treatment.

  • Radiation Therapy: High-energy beams used to target and kill cancer cells, less commonly used.

  • Chemotherapy: Medications to kill cancer cells; this is a standard treatment for more advanced cases.

  • Surveillance: In some early-stage, low-risk cases, active surveillance may be recommended, involving regular check-ups and monitoring without immediate treatment.

PROGNOSIS: 

Testicular cancer has one of the highest cure rates among all cancers, especially when diagnosed early. Even advanced cases have a good prognosis with appropriate treatment.

FOLLOW-UP CARE:

After treatment, regular follow-up visits are essential to monitor for cancer recurrence and address any potential side effects or long-term issues related to fertility and hormone levels.


It's crucial for men to perform regular testicular self-exams and seek medical attention if they notice any unusual changes or symptoms in their testicles. Early detection and prompt treatment are key to successful outcomes in testicular cancer cases.

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