- By Dr Vikas Singh,
M.B.B.S., M.S., M.Ch.
Urologist, Genito Uro Oncologist and Kidney Transplant Surgeon,
Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore.
Testicular cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer that develops in the testicles, which are the male reproductive glands responsible for producing sperm and testosterone. Despite its rarity, testicular cancer is a serious condition that requires prompt medical attention. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about testicular cancer:
What are the symptoms of testicular cancer?
The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a painless lump or swelling in one of the testicles. Other symptoms may include a feeling of heaviness or aching in the scrotum, a dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin, and a sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum. However, not all testicular lumps are cancerous, and some men with testicular cancer do not experience any symptoms at all.
Who is at risk for testicular cancer?
Testicular cancer can affect men of any age, but it is most commonly diagnosed in men between the ages of 15 and 40. Men who have a family history of testicular cancer or who have previously had testicular cancer are also at increased risk. Certain medical conditions, such as undescended testicles and infertility, may also increase the risk of testicular cancer.
How is testicular cancer diagnosed?
If a man notices a lump or swelling in one of his testicles, he should see a doctor immediately. The doctor will perform a physical exam and may order imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, to determine whether the lump is cancerous. If testicular cancer is suspected, a biopsy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
How is testicular cancer treated?
The most common treatment for testicular cancer is surgery to remove the affected testicle. In some cases, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may also be used to kill any remaining cancer cells. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, more aggressive treatment may be necessary.
Can testicular cancer be prevented?
There is no known way to prevent testicular cancer, but regular self-exams and medical check-ups can help detect the condition early, when it is most treatable. Men should perform self-exams once a month and report any unusual lumps or swelling to their doctor.
What is the prognosis for testicular cancer?
The prognosis for testicular cancer is generally good, especially if the cancer is detected early. Even in cases where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the five-year survival rate is around 95%. Regular follow-up exams and monitoring are important to detect any potential recurrence of the cancer.
Can testicular cancer affect fertility?
Depending on the extent of treatment, testicular cancer can have an impact on fertility. Surgery to remove one testicle may not affect fertility, but if both testicles are removed or if chemotherapy or radiation therapy is used, fertility may be impaired. Men who are concerned about their fertility should discuss their options with their doctor.
What can I do to support someone with testicular cancer?
A diagnosis of testicular cancer can be overwhelming for both the patient and their loved ones. One of the most important things you can do is to offer your emotional support and encouragement. Help the patient to stay positive and hopeful, and offer practical support, such as helping with household tasks or accompanying them to medical appointments.
Where can I find more information about testicular cancer?
There are many resources available for men and their families who are affected by testicular cancer. The American Cancer Society and the Testicular Cancer Foundation are two organizations that offer information, support, and resources for those with testicular cancer