When compared with other types of cancer, testicular cancer is quite unusual. Although it mostly affects men between 15 and 49 years old, it is more frequently getting diagnosed in younger men.
Signs and Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
By far the most common symptom is a swelling or lump in one of your testicles and usually is about the size of a pea, although it can sometimes be larger. Most growths are not cancerous, but they shouldn’t be ignored. It’s important to correctly diagnose any problem that you have, to determine whether it’s cancerous or not.
Self-Checking your Testicles
You should make it part of your daily routine to check for lumps or swelling. The easiest time to check is when you’re taking a shower. To do a self-examination, you will need to move your penis to one side and check one testicle at a time. Hold your testicle lightly with your fingers and thumb, and then gently roll it between your fingers.
You should be looking for a sudden change in the size or shape of your testicle, unusual consistency, or in most cases, small lumps. A quick examination only takes a few moments, and it can help you to diagnose any problems sooner rather than later.
Visit Your Doctor if you see any signs of Testicular Cancer
If you do notice something unusual with your testicles, then contact your doctor immediately for a professional examination. Your doctor will be able to advise you on whether or not you need to see a specialist.
If you doctor sends you to a specialist, you’ll undergo a scrotal ultrasound. This painless procedure is used to identify whether a lump is malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). Moreover, this test will provide accurate information about the location of the lump and whether it’s filled with a fluid or a solid material.
Following this test, you’re likely to have a blood test to confirm the diagnoses made in the scrotal ultrasound.
Treatment for Testicular Cancer
Treatment for testicular cancer can vary depending on the type (seminoma or non-seminoma) and the stage of the disease.
In all cases, an orchiectomy will be performed, which is to have a testicle surgically removed. For patients suffering from stage 1 seminoma testicular cancer, a single dose of chemotherapy is used after surgery to help stop cancer from returning. In some cases, a short course of radiotherapy is also used.
Most patients with stage 1 seminoma have small chances of recurrence. Doctors will often recommend that you’re monitored for a few years, and receive further treatment only if necessary.
If you’re suffering from the later stages of testicular cancer, then you may require a longer course of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. You will usually be placed on a combination of medications, and you may need to have further surgery to remove deposits in the lungs or any lymph nodes which have also been affected.
The amount of chemotherapy, radiation, medication, and surgery will depend on the type and stage of cancer. A specialist will be in the best position to provide you with advice on the best course of treatment.
Testicular cancer is unusual and usually, affects younger men under the age of 50. It is also one of the most treatable diseases and is rarely fatal. Most men diagnosed with testicular cancer are successfully treated. Most men make a full recovery and have satisfying sexual experiences. However, a small percentage of men will report problems such as erectile dysfunction, ejaculation problems, or a low sexual desire.
It’s important to regularly self-examine your testicles to spot the early signs of any problems. If you notice any differences in your testicles, then you should consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor will arrange for further testing to diagnose your problem correctly and will advise you on the best course of treatment.