What is testicular cancer?
November 05, 2020 | Sara Shoukat Ali

What is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer is malignant disease occurs in one or both testicles which are located in scrotum, a loose bag of skin present underneath of pennies. Testicles are homologous to female ovary and responsible for primary production of testosterone hormone, androgen and sperms. As compared to other cancers testicular cancer is rare but in America it is very common in males of 15 to 35. Although it is treatable but depends upon the stage and severity. Swelling and pain are common in this disease and need to visit doctor if signs persist longer than one to two weeks. There is no exact cause and prevention known.

What signs can be observed in testicular cancer?

Some of the following signs and symptoms can be seen in this disease:


·         Pain or discomfort in testicles

·         Back pain

·         A lump or enlargement in testicle

·         A dull ache in the groin or abdomen

·         Feeling of heaviness in scrotum

·         Enlargement or tenderness of the breast

·         Sudden buildup of fluid in scrotum

·         Difference in size between testicles

What are causes and risk factors of testicular cancer?

Experts do not know why germ cells become cancerous but some of the genetic factors increase the risks. Some of the risk factors are following:

·          Cryptorchidism: risk of cancer is higher among males who suffer Cryptorchidism also known undescended testicle, the condition in which one or both testes fail to move from abdomen to scrotum before birth.

·         Family history:  There is higher chance of getting cancer in those males whom close relatives have already testicular cancer.

·         Fertility problem: if some of males have problem in making women pregnant so they have to visit doctor for proper examination because there is more likely chance of testicular cancer.

·         Other genetic disorders: the risk may high in those who have other genetic disorders like Down’s syndrome.

·         Problems before birth:  issues related to female during pregnancy like abnormal bleeding, estrogen or hormone therapy may play role as well.

·         HIV infection: AIDS may also link to this disease.

How to prevent testicular cancer?

There is no way to prevent testicular cancer anyhow it can be controlled by proper and regular examination to your doctor if you feel any sign of it.

What are stages of testicular cancer?

Stages depend upon whether the cancer is present in testicles or invades to other parts of body. Following are stages of testicular cancer:

Stage1:  earliest stage of cancer in which cancer does not invade to nearby cells and lymph nodes except testes.

Stage2: cancer spreads from testes to nearby organ like abdomen or pelvis and lymph node.

Stage3: cancer spread beyond the abdomen to lungs and liver. Kidneys may also be affected and in this last stage cancer invades to brain the most dangerous stage of cancer.

How to diagnose testicular cancer?

The different tests doctor use to diagnose the cancer:

·         Physical examination:  doctor asks medical history and examines testicles’ abnormalities, lumps, and fluid.

·         Ultrasound: sound waves are used to make picture of testicle so that it can be diagnosed whether there is any lump or abnormal growth like cancer or something harmless.  For this patient lie on his back on exam table and a gel is spread over patent’s scrotum. Then ultrasound device is moved over patient’s scrotum for diagnosis.

·          Blood test: doctors also recommend blood test as cancer make protein or enzymes in blood. By blood test the presence or absence or the type of cancer can be diagnosed

·         Biopsy: the best way to check the cancer is biopsy. Doctor takes out some tissues from testes to diagnose the cancer.

·         Other tests: doctor also recommends other tests such as X-rays, CT scan and MRI to check the sign of cancer spreading.

In which ways testicular cancer is treated?

Testicular cancer is highly treatable and curable. Three main treatments are done to testicular cancer patients like surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

   ·         Surgery: Medical procedure for disease includes the expulsion of the tumor and, at times, some encompassing healthy and sound tissue during an activity. Radical orchiectomy, additionally called inguinal orchiectomy, is frequently the main therapy for testicular malignant growth. It is additionally normally how the malignancy is analyzed. Addition to a radical orchiectomy, different sorts of medical procedure might be accomplished for testicular malignancy at various time periods in the therapy plan. Every one of these kinds of medical procedure is portrayed further underneath. Prior to medical procedure, talk with your medical care group about the conceivable results from the particular medical procedure you will have.

·         Chemotherapy:  Chemotherapy is the utilization of medications to wreck malignant growth cells, typically by shielding the disease cells from developing, partitioning, and making more cells. Chemotherapy is given by a clinical oncologist, a specialist who has some expertise in treating malignancy with prescription. Chemotherapy for testicular malignant growth is given directly into a vein with the goal that it enters the circulatory system and arrives at disease cells all through the body. Some of the drugs are used individually or in combination like Bleomycin ,Carboplatin , Cisplatin  and Etoposide etc

·         Radiotherapy: In males’ testicular cancer radiation directly fall at the lymph nodes of abdomen. Whereas some time radiations fall directly to lymph nodes of the same side where pelvis and testes present from where cancer began.




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Sara Shoukat Ali

MS in molecular biology & currently working in Queen Mary College as a lecturer