Testicular cancer occurs when cancer cells form in the tissues of one or both testicles. In almost 100% of cases, the tumor is generated from germ cells, which are responsible for the formation of sperm in men; and that is why this disease is also known as a germ cell tumor.
It is a more common type of cancer in young men between 15 and 35, although it can also occur at an older age. Its exact causes are unknown, but an early diagnosis is essential for a favorable prognosis and a complete cure. At FastlyHealwe, show all the information about it and explain testicular cancer symptoms, causes, and treatment.
Table of Contents
Symptoms of testicular cancer
There are probably no symptoms, but when they do appear, testicular cancer can manifest itself through:
- The presence of a lump does not cause pain or inflammation in any testicles.
- Touch can appreciate the thickness or enlargement of a testicle or changes in its shape.
- I am feeling heaviness in the scrotum.
- Pain in the lower abdomen and groin.
- Accumulation of fluid in the scrotum.
- Although it does not usually occur in most cases, breast growth may appear, a condition known as gynecomastia. This is due to an increase in the levels of the chorionic hormone gonadotropin, which influences the development of breast tissue.
If cancer spreads to other areas, symptoms may occur in more body parts, such as lower back pain, nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal conditions, weight loss, fever, lump or nodule in the neck, cough, or difficulties breathing correctly.
In the presence of the symptoms described above, it is essential to go to the doctor to undergo the appropriate tests and receive an accurate and safe medical diagnosis. You should be aware that these symptoms are not always indicators of cancer, as they could be associated with other conditions or diseases, even of a benign nature.
Causes of testicular cancer
In the same way that it happens with other types of cancers, the exact causes that could lead to the development of testicular cancer are unknown. However, certain factors have been pointed out that would increase the risk of suffering from it, among which are the following:
- Genetics: Men with direct relatives who have had testicular cancer have ten times the risk of developing the disease.
- Personal history of testicular cancer.
- Cryptorchidism: During the development of the fetus, the testes descend into the scrotum. However, when this does not happen or occurs after birth, the development of testicular cancer is increased.
- Environmental factors: some specialists have pointed out that the risk may also be increased in those men who, due to their work, are continuously in contact with chemical products and extreme temperatures of cold or heat.
In addition to these risk factors, it has been observed that it is a type of cancer more typical of young men between 20 and 35 years of age and that it has a higher incidence among the population of Northern European countries. For this reason, it has been determined that white men have a greater risk, and it is that it rarely occurs in black or Asian men.
Types and stages of testicular cancer
When germ cells (those made by sperm) grow abnormally, two different types of tumors can form seminomas and non-seminomas. Let’s see below the differences between these types of testicular cancer:
- Seminomas: Slow-growing, immature germ cell tumors account for approximately 50% of cases. They are the most common in older patients.
- Non-seminomas: mature germ cell tumors that spread more quickly.
In addition to the type of tumor, the stage of testicular cancer is a critical factor in determining the appropriate medical treatment for each patient. The following steps are observed, depending on the severity of the disease:
- Stage I: Cancer is confined to the testicle.
- Stage II: Cancer affects the testicle and the lymph nodes near it.
- Stage III: cancer affects beyond the nodes near the testicle.
- Stage IV: metastasis occurs in other organs.
Testicular cancer treatment
The medical diagnosis of testicular cancer is carried out using a physical examination to study the symptoms and verify a lump or firm nodule in the testicle. In addition, other tests such as blood tests, abdominal and pelvic tomography, chest x-ray, and scrotal ultrasound may be performed.
The treatment of this type of cancer depends on the type of tumor present and the stage in which it is found. Based on this, the following medicines can be prescribed:
- Surgery: the testicle is removed through an incision in the groin and the removal of nearby affected lymph nodes.
- Chemotherapy: administration of drugs that enter the bloodstream and help kill cancer cells. This is the treatment used when cancer has spread to other body areas or as preventive therapy in those cases of higher risk.
- Radiation therapy: radiation is used to treat stage II seminomas or as preventive therapy in setting I testicular cancer to prevent tiny and undetectable tumors from spreading.
Although it depends on the stage and size of the tumor, the prognosis for testicular cancer is one of the most favorable, with the survival rate of men with phase I seminoma exceeding 95%. For this reason, it is so important to go to a medical consultation as soon as possible to detect the disease early and initiate timely treatment.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.