Monday, October 14, 2019

Testicular Cancer Signs, Symptoms, Types & Staging

What is testicular cancer?
Testicular cancer is cancer that develops in the testicles of male reproductive system. About 95% of testicular cancers are germ cell tumors. Remaining 5% are sex cord gonadal stromal tumors. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in males aged between 20 to 39 years and has highest cure rates.

(2) Can testicular cancer kill you?
Testicular cancer counts of 1% of all cancers and affects the testes. The survival rates are higher if diagnosed early. About 90% cases of testicular cancer can be treated in a single treatment. It is most common in men aged between 20 and 34.

(3) What is usually the first sign of testicular cancer?
A painless lump or swelling on either of the two testicles is usually the first sign of testicular cancer. Any discomfort, pain, numbness, or swelling can be felt in a testicle or the scrotum. Testicular tumor may be about the size of a pea or a marble in its early stage but it can grow beyond this.

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(4) What are the early warning signs of testicular cancer?
Early warning signs of testicular cancer may include:

  1. Lump or any growth in testicle,
  2. Pain in testicle or the scrotum,
  3. A dull ache in the abdomen or groin,
  4. Back pain,
  5. Discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum,
  6. Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts,
  7. Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum,
  8. Sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum

(5) How does testicular cancer start out?
When cancer cells form in one or both testicles then testicular cancer develops. These cells begin to change and grow uncontrollably, forming a growth or tumor. The cells can also invade the blood stream and lymph system. If these cells metastasize or spread then they may form tumors in other parts of the body.

(6) At what age is testicular cancer most frequently diagnosed?
Testicular cancer is most common among men aged 15–40 years.
Testicular cancer has three peaks:

  • (1) As teratomas and yolk sac tumors,in infancy through the age of four,
  • (2) Post-pubertal seminomas and nonseminomas during age 25-40 years,
  • (3) Spermatocytic seminomas from age sixty

(7) What causes testicular cancer? How is testicular cancer caused?
What are the risk factors of testicular cancer?

Risk Factors Of Testicular Cancer:

The exact cause of testicular cancer is not known but there are some factors that may increase the risk of developing testicular cancer.

  1. If father has had testicular cancer then the child is more likely to develop this cancer. And the chances are four times more than that of father.
  2. If your brother has testicular cancer then the chances of developing this cancer become eight folds.
  3. If you had testicular cancer before in your life then you are more susceptible to it.
  4. White men have a greater risk of developing testicular cancer than other ethnic groups. White men develop testicular cancer 5 times more than African-American men.
  5. A person is more likely to develop testicular cancer if he has his balls inside his testicles at the time of birth and If they don't descend by the time they turn one year old.

(8) What are the chances of surviving testicular cancer?
About 68% testicular cancer patients are diagnosed at first stage. The survival rate is 99% if testicular cancer is detected in first stage. But if it has spread to the retroperitoneal lymph nodes (lymph nodes in the back of the abdomen) the survival rate decreases to 96%.

(9) How long can you live with testicular cancer?
What are the five year survival rates for testicular cancer?
The 5-year survival rate for testicular cancer is 95%. This means that 95 men out of every 100 men diagnosed with testicular cancer will live at least 5 years after the diagnosis of disease.

(10) What does the lump feel like in testicular cancer? What does testicle lump feel like?
Testicle lumps may be caused by cysts, epididymitis, and hydroceles. Lumps can be as small as a pea. Lump can either be painful or painless. Swelling can feel like an irregular thickening on testicle. You can also feel some discomfort in testicles.

Cysts are usually harmless and can develop almost anywhere on the body. Cyst can feel like a small, hard lump. Swollen veins in the testicles cause a lumpy area called as varicocele.

Testicular Cancer
Testicular Cancer

(11) Is epididymal cyst dangerous?
An epididymal cyst is a benign fluid-filled sac which grows at the top end of the testicle. Some men get only one while others get several on both testicles. Rarely, it is causative of cysts in other parts of a man’s body.

(12) When should you go to the doctor for testicle pain?
If you experience sudden and severe testicle pain then it is best to see a doctor. . If the pain is causing nausea and vomiting, then you need medical care on emergency basis.

(13) What does testicular cancer back pain feel like?
Testicular cancer symptom and pain may feel like:
  1. Ache in your back
  2. Bloating in lower abdomen
  3. Heaviness in scrotum
  4. Lump or a swelling in your testicle
  5. Pin in groin, lower abdomen
  6. Scrotum pain

(14) What kind of doctor do you see for testicle pain?
If you feel testicular pain then you must consult urologists. For minor conditions, your doctor or healthcare provider can manage your conditions.

(15) Does testicular cancer spread quickly?
Nonseminomas grow very fast. Nonseminomas are the more common form of testicular cancer and may spread to other parts of your body.  But seminomas grow slowly and are usually confined to testes.

(16) Can testicular cancer spread to brain?
Testicular cancer may spread to the lung and the lymph nodes of the chest, pelvis, and the base of the neck. Advanced staged testicular cancer may spread to the liver and bones. Testicular cancer spreads to the brain very rarely unless the primary tumor is a choriocarcinoma.

(17) Can you get testicular cancer twice? Does testicular cancer come back?
Sometimes testicular cancer comes back after treatment. Testicular cancer survivors are likely to develop a new cancer outside the testicle up to twice. The most common cancer seen in testicular cancer survivors is a second testicular cancer. If the testicular cancer recurs then it will most likely be within two years of finishing your treatment however it can still be treated.

(18) Can testicular cancer cause birth defects?
Chemotherapy and radiation can cause genetic damage to sperm. Testicular cancer treatment damage might increase the risk for birth defects.

(19) Does testicular cancer affect sperm?
Testicular cancer also can cause low sperm counts. Testicular cancer or its treatment can make you infertile.

(20) Can a man father a child after chemotherapy?
Sperm may be damaged by chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Those sperm should be replaced in 2 years. Men can try to have a child after cancer treatment ends. Doctors usually recommend waiting 2 to 5 years to father a child.

(21) Is it beneficial to conduct monthly testicular self exams?
Self-examination of the testes can detect testicular cancer early. So it is very important to perform a self exam on monthly basis. Testicular cancer is found in a single testicle so comparing your both testes can help you a lot. But it is noteworthy that one testicle may be slightly larger than the other. So do not worry but take care of the thing that if there is any change from the previous month self exam.

(22) How to self examine your testes to check for testicular cancer?

Testicular Cancer Self Examination:

Testicular cancer can spread very quickly but if diagnosed early then it can be cured. If you notice a lump or any changes or lumps in your testicles then consult your doctor. After puberty, you must self exam of your testes monthly. The best time to self-exam is after a warm bath or shower because then the scrotal skin is relaxed.
  • (1) Roll your testes between the thumb and forefingers. 
  • (2) Find the epididymis (It is a soft tube like structure behind the testicle that collects and carries sperm.)
  • (3) Knowing your epididymis will never confuse you for an abnormal mass.
  • (4) Look for any lumps or growths.
  • (5) Look for any changes in size, shape, or texture of your testes. But note that it's normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than other.
  • (6) If you find any problem, then take appointment from a urologist.

(23) Is testicular cancer a death sentence?
Testicular cancer is a highly treatable cancer and not a death sentence. It has overall survival rate of 95%. If diagnosed early, it can be treated.

(24) What happens if testicular cancer is left untreated?
In early stage, it can be cured completely and has 95% survival rate but if left untreated, then it becomes more difficult to treat. Testicular cancer is localized within the testicle in early stage but later the cancer may spread to other parts of the body where it may be difficult to cure.

(25) Is Testicular Cancer painful?
Testicular cancer may be painless lump or swelling on either testicle. Pain, discomfort, or numbness in a testicle or the scrotum, with or without swelling may be felt. Swelling may feel like an irregular thickening on your testes.

(26) What's the youngest age you can get testicular cancer?
About 50% of testicular cancer cases are between age 20 and 45. However teens or men above age 60 can also develop testicular cancer.  Men of any age can develop this cancer.

(27) What does testicular cancer look like on the outside?
Testicular cancer looks like a lump, growth, or a swelling in your testicle which may be as small as a pea. Symptoms are often painless, but there might be some discomfort or irritation.

(28) Can you have a lump on your testicle and it not be cancer?
Most lumps are caused by benign, or they are noncancerous. Not all lumps on your testes are testicular cancer. They may be caused by an injury or some other conditions but they may lead to a serious medical problem. Your healthcare provider can tell accurately about the cancerous or non cancerous nature of these lumps or swelling on your testis.

(29) What are the stages of testicular cancer? Testicular cancer is divided in how many stages?

Testicular cancer stages:

  1. Stage I testicular cancer: In this stage, cancer has not spread beyond the testes.
  2. Stage II testicular cancer: Stage 2 testicular cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the abdomen
  3. Stage III testicular cancer: Stage 3 cancer of testis has spread beyond the lymph nodes (as far as the liver, lungs, or brain)

(30) Can Stage 3 testicular cancer be cured?
Patients with Stage 3 testicular cancer or Stage III seminoma have spread cancer outside the testes and retroperitoneal lymph nodes.  Anyhow the patients are curable in more than 90% of cases.

(31) Why is there no stage 4 testicular cancer?
There is no stage IV (4) testicular cancer. Cancer is staged by the criteria of spreading to distant parts of body from the point of origin. In stage 3 testicular cancer, the cancer spreads to vital organs such as liver, lungs, or brain. So there is no stage 4 testicular cancer. The lower the number, the less the cancer has spread and in stage III, cancer has spread more so there is no stage IV (4) testicular cancer.

Testicular Cancer Diagnosis:

(32) Can MRI detect testicular cancer?
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging which may take up to an hour and a half. If an ultrasound scan doesn't show a lump is testicular cancer then MRI scan may be the best choice to detect testicular cancer.

(33) Does testicular cancer show up in urine test?
How do doctors check for testicular cancer?
Some proteins are tumor markers and are usually used to detect testicular cancer. A blood test is performed to test for certain proteins in your blood. The ultrasound also measures blood flow to the testicles. As blood flow is increased in cancerous areas so blood test is an effective way to measure testicular cancer.

(34) Does a CT scan show testicular cancer? Can an xray show testicular cancer?
CT scans Computerized tomography scan take a series of X-ray images of your abdomen, chest and pelvis to check for signs that cancer has spread outside of your testicles.

(35) What is the recurrence rate of testicular cancer?
More than 80% of men with clinical stage I seminoma are cured with orchiectomy alone. About 15% to 20% will have a recurrence of testicular cancer if given no further treatment.

(36) Can testicular cancer come back after 10 years?
About 10-30% of initially treated testicular cancer patients experience recurrence within the first 2 years after treatment.

(37) What is choriocarcinoma testicular cancer?
Choriocarcinoma is a very rare and aggressive type of testicular cancer. It develops mostly in adults.

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