Advances in testicle cancer screening mean that there is an excellent cure rate.
In the United States, testicle cancer impacts around 9,000 men each year. Officially classified as a solid tumor, testicle cancer primarily occurs in men between 15 and 34 years of age. While the diagnosis is a frightening experience, advancements in cancer screening and treatment have bolstered an astonishing 95 percent cure rate.
Although the prognosis of testicle cancer is categorized as excellent, with less than 400 deaths each year, it is important to understand the risk factors, as well as how men can detect a cancerous tumor before it has time to progress.
As modern medicine continues to unveil the mysteries of cancer, we have an opportunity to understand the underlying elements of this serious condition.
While modern medicine has miraculously reduced the facility rate of testicular cancer, its root cause remains a mystery. The cancerous tumor seems to form when germ cells, which manufacture immature sperm, begin growing abnormally. However, the reason for this abnormal growth is unknown.
Even though the exact catalyst of cancer formation is unknown, medical observation and research has demonstrated several risk factors. Interestingly, the majority of patients don’t currently, or have never, demonstrated any of these risk factors.
Regardless, risk factors include:
Klinefelter Syndrome – Defined as irregular development of the testicles, the abnormal development has been linked to testicle cancer.
Hereditary – Evidence suggests men who had a family member diagnosed with testicle cancer are at an increased risk of developing this disease.
Cryptorchidism – Occurs when a testicle remains undescended, which is when a testicle fails to move from the abdomen into the scrotum during gestation.
Age and Race – The vast majority of diagnosed patients are 15 to 35 years old, and is more likely to impact white males.
Signs and Symptoms of Testicle Cancer
Generally, cancerous cells tend to occur in a single testicle. The most common symptoms include:
Enlarged mass, or lump, alongside the testicle
A persistent, yet dull, ache throughout the scrotum
Scrotal swelling due to fluid accumulation
Unresolved, or mysterious, back pain
Uncomfortable tenderness, or enlargement, of breast tissue
Sudden and unexplained scrotum pain
Treatment Options for Testicle Cancer
As with all cancer types, treatment type and prognosis is based upon its stage. If diagnosed before spreading into other body regions, or before metastasizing, prognosis is generally positive. Although testicle cancer is regarded as highly curable, potential complications are mediated via early detection.
Seminoma cancer cells tend to slowly grow in size and are often treated via radiation therapy. Nonseminoma cells grow at a significantly faster rate, and are unresponsive to radiation therapy.
Treatment plans are constructed on an individual basis. Exact treatment methods vary based on cancer stage, existing health issues, and patient medication tolerance. Options may include, but are not limited to, chemotherapy, robotic surgery or a combination of both surgical and non-surgical methods.