Although rare, testicular cancer is the most common cancer in American males. This cancer develops in the testes, where the male produces hormones and sperm for reproduction. Testicular cancer is very treatable, even after it has spread past the testicles. There is no definite prevention, however routine checks performed by either the male himself or his physician can detect any abnormalities quickly.
1. Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer include a lump or growth in one or both of the testes, a feeling of heaviness or a dull ache in the lower abdomen, pain in the scrotum, back pain or even fluid buildup in the scrotum. Some men have experienced tenderness or swelling in the breasts.
There is no definitive answer as to what causes testicular cancer. It will generally affect only one teste. When healthy cells become altered, or have abnormalities, they will continue to divide and multiply even if new cells are not needed.
The factors that increase the risk of testicular cancer are an undescended testicle, family history, age race. Testicular cancer is more prevalent in white American males than any other race. Another risk is when the testicles develop abnormally; this is called Klinefelter’s Syndrome. Even with surgery to lower an undescended testicle, the risk remains high that the male will develop testicular cancer.
Ultrasounds and blood work will generally allow the physician to determine if there is testicular cancer present. If the physician determines the testicle is likely cancerous, surgery will be performed to remove the affected testicle. This will then be analyzed to determine the type of cancer present. If it is found to be Seminoma, this type is generally in older males and develops at a slower rate. If it is determined to be Nonseminoma, this is the type that develops at a younger age and grows more rapidly.
Surgery, Radiation and Chemotherapy are options for treatment. Speaking with your physician, you will have help to determine which would be the best type of treatment for your case. Either option will mean you need a support system and patience. Having a therapist to speak with will help the male through this time of confusion and anger.
6. Rate of Occurrence
Cancer is a scary term for every person; men will come to terms in their own way and on their own time. It is important to remember that testicular cancer has the highest cure rate, but like any form of cancer, it can return. Also remember that surgery will not affect males fertility, however, Chemotherapy and Radiation will render the male infertile.
The smartest plan is to check yourself daily, look for any abnormalities. No matter how small it seems, any problem you notice is best checked out with your physician.