Testicular cancer forms in the testicles, the male reproductive glands located in the scrotum. Testicular cancer is treated successfully in more than 95% of cases.
Most commonly, testicular cancer starts in cells that produce sperm. These tumors, called germ cell tumors (GCTs), are most common in men between 20 and 40 years of age. There are two main types of germ cell tumors: seminomas and nonseminomas.
Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
Below are some common symptoms of testicular cancer:
- A painless swelling and/or lump in one or both of the testes. This is the most common symptom.
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A dull feeling of pain in the region of the lower abdominal area, groin or lower back
Symptoms of Advanced Testicular Cancer
If testicular cancer has spread beyond the testicles and nearby lymph nodes to other organs, symptoms in those respective regions may appear. Symptoms of advanced-stage testicular cancer may include:
- Dull pain in the lower back and abdomen
- Lack of energy, sweating for no apparent reason, fever or a general feeling of illness
- Headache, confusion or dementia
- Weight loss
Risk Factors for Testicular Cancer
Below are some of the possible risk factors that may increase chances of getting testicular cancer:
- An undescended testicle. This is a testicle that has not moved down from the abdomen into the scrotum.
- Certain genetic disorders, such as Klinefelter's syndrome.
- A personal or family history of testicular cancer.
Radical Inguinal Orchiectomy
This procedure involves the surgical removal of the testicle and the spermatic cord, done through an incision in the groin. This is initially how the cancer is diagnosed and treated.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells. In testicular seminoma, beam radiation from outside of the body is used after orchiectomy to decrease the chance of recurrence of the tumor.
Chemotherapy treats the entire body. It is used when the tumor has already spread. It uses toxic drugs to destroy the cancer cells, destroying cells that exist after surgery for testicular cancer. It may be administered through IV, taken in pill form or injected into the muscle.