Testicular Cancer

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Testicular cancer, is cancer of tissues that is present in either  one or both testicles. Testis is located in a loose bag called scrotum underneath penis. Their function is to produce male sex hormones and sperms for reproduction. Most common of testicular cancer is testicular germ cell tumour. Germ cells are responsible for production of sperms

Testicular cancer is uncommon compared to other cancers (0.7% of all cancers), most widespread cancer in males aged between 35 and 15 in North America and Europe.

Testicular Cancer

Risk Factors of Testicular Cancer

Although, there still trials and researches going on to determine the risk factors, some of them that may cause a risk have been stated by clinicians and scientists [1]:

  • Cryptorchidism (undescended testicle) – Testicles descend from abdomen into the scrotum around birth . An un-descended testicle at time of birth increases the risk of testicular cancer and usually a surgery is performed which reduces the risk.
  • Congenital abnormalities – A higher risk is associated with abnormalities of the penis, kidneys or testicles.
  • Inguinal hernia – Groin hernia in male child at birth has a higher risk of cancer occurrence than any other.
  • History of Testicular cancer – In olden times testicular cancer increases the chances of reoccurrence as compared to a person with no history
  • Family history –  Testicular cancer has a high rate of familial occurrence. So make sure to put it in your medical records when you visit your GP.
  • Abnormal testicular development –  other developmental abnormalities and Klinefelter’s syndrome, may also contribute to testicular cancer
  • Mumps Orchitis – A rare, but complicated condition which is associated with inflamed testicles in mumps and cause an increase risk of having testicular cancer.
  • Race – Testicular cancer has higher incidence among white population than Asian or African.

Signs and Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

From a variety of signs and symptoms that maybe noticed by the patient or by the physician some are listed below:

  • A lump or enlargement in one or both testicles
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the abdomen or pelvic area
  • Abrupt and sudden fluid collection in scrotum
  • A feeling of pain/ discomfort in scrotum or testicle
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
  • Back pain

If swelling or lumps in groin area persist for more than 2 weeks it can be a cause of concern and one should visit the doctor soon. [2]

Tests and Diagnosis of Testicular Cancer

Usually testicular cancer is diagnosed by a lump or swelling. So physical examination plays an important role. For imaging Ultrasound, CT and MRI are used. Tumor markers such as Human Gonadotropic Hormone, Alpha fetoprotein and LDH1 are most commonly tested in blood.

To confirm the diagnosis and perform staging, biopsy is performed by obtaining tissue samples from testis. [3]

Treatment and Management of Testicular Cancer

Type and stage of cancer plus patients health will play a main role in choice of option for treatment. The main 3 options available are : Surgery to remove cancerous cells/ surrounding lymph nodes that have been affected, Radiotherapy (usage of high powered energy beams to kill cancer cells) and chemotherapy ( use of chemicals to kill cells). [4]



[1] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/166993.php

[2] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/testicular-cancer/basics/symptoms/con-20043068

[3] http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/testicular

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testicular_cancer#Diagnosis