Testicular Cancer Symptoms – What to Look For & How it is Diagnosed
Testicular cancer starts with cancer cells attacking the testicles, a part of the male reproductive system. This type of cancer is relatively uncommon as it only accounts for roughly 1% out of all cancers in men.
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause, however aside from the symptoms, there are also certain risk factors that have to be looked out for. Young men between the age of 15 to 39, for example, are more likely to be targeted than those falling in higher or lower age brackets. Although the disease can and may affect men of any race or age, studies have also shown that Caucasian men are more likely to be affected than men of any other race.
Some testicular cancer symptoms that you will have to look out for are swelling or lumps that you can feel in one or both of the testes. Along with this can come pain in either the testes or the scrotum although there is a chance that it might not be present, despite the swelling. Even if the pain may not be present in the scrotum itself, it may manifest as a dull feeling in the lower abdominal area, groin or lower back.
However, symptoms aren’t limited to just the testicles. Sometimes you can also feel an ache in your lower back, pelvis or groin area. Of course these can also be symptoms of injury or another, less severe condition.
The next few symptoms are the most important to watch out for:
* Hydrocele. A hydrocele is a painless buildup of fluid around one or both testicles that causes the scrotum or groin area to swell. Even though the swelling may be unsightly or uncomfortable, it is not painful. An acquired hydrocele can occur at any age but is most common in men older than 40.
* Varicocele. A varicocele is an enlarged, twisted vein (varicose vein) in the scrotum, most often on the left side. It feels like a “bag of worms” and may occasionally cause discomfort.
* Spermatocele. A spermatocele (epididymal cyst) is a sperm-filled cyst in the long, tightly coiled tube that lies behind each testicle and collects sperm (epididymis). It feels like a smooth, firm lump in the scrotum.
* Orchitis. This is an inflammation or infection of the testicle that may be caused by a virus or bacteria. Orchitis occurs most often in men who have mumps.
* Epididymitis. This is an inflammation and infection of the long, tightly coiled tube that lies behind each testicle and collects sperm (epididymis). Epididymitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection but may also occur following a urologic procedure. Sexually transmitted diseases cause most cases of epididymitis in men younger than 35.
Doctors do not know the exact cause, but a number of risk factors for development of this disease have been identified. Young men between the ages of 15 and 39 are most often affected. White men are affected more than men of other races, although the disease can occur in men of any age and race, including children. Men who have an undescended testicle (termed cryptorchidism), even if surgery has been performed to remedy the condition, have an increased risk. Other risk factors include the genetic condition known as Klinefelter’s syndrome, abnormal development of the testicles, and having relatives who have had any of these problems.
Testicular cancer is highly curable when detected early, and 95% of patients diagnosed are alive after a five-year period. However, about half of men do not seek treatment until it has spread beyond the testicles to other locations in the body (as in the case of seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong).
Most cases are found by men themselves. Doctors recommend that men perform an examination of their testicles once a month (referred to as TSE or testicular self-examination) to facilitate detection of it in its early, treatable stage. The TSE involves gentle examination, one at a time, holding each testicle between the thumb (on top) and middle and index fingers below. Look for any small, hard lumps within the testicles or changes in the feel of the testicles.
Other symptoms and signs include:
* pain or swelling in the testicles,
* lumps or nodules in the testicles, whether painful or not,
* enlargement of the testicles or change in the way a testicle feels,
* pain in the lower abdomen, back, or groin areas, and
* swelling of the scrotum or collection of fluid within the scrotum.
Many men will not feel ill and may report no symptoms. It’s also important to remember that other, benign conditions can cause the symptoms listed above. However, since it is highly curable in it’s early stages, men should see a doctor if they have any of the warning signs or symptoms. He or she can perform tests that determine whether the symptoms are due to cancer or another condition.
In the United States, between 7,500 and 8,000 cases are diagnosed each year. Over his lifetime, a man’s risk of testicular cancer is roughly 1 in 250 (four tenths of one percent, or 0.4 percent). It is most common among males aged 15-40 years, particularly those in their mid-twenties. This type of cancer has one of the highest cure rates: in excess of 90 percent; essentially 100 percent if it has not metastasized. Even for the relatively few cases in which it is malignant and has spread widely, chemotherapy offers a cure rate of at least 85 percent today. Not all lumps on the testicles are tumors, and not all tumors are malignant; there are many other conditions such as testicular microlithiasis, epididymal cysts, appendix testis (hydatid of Morgagni), and so on which may be painful but are non-cancerous.
Malignant neoplasm is the medical terms for the uncontrolled or unstoppable duplication and multiplication of cancerous cells which bring about the production of abnormal cells. These carcinogenic or abnormal cells then rapidly increase in number and cause injure and obliteration of cells, tissues, and organs whether near or far because cancer is capable of spreading in the entire human body.
There are many ways to avoid or prevent the occurrence of this disease and one of them is very simple and easy to do. All males should regularly examine and check themselves for signs or testicular cancer symptoms. This routine self-examination and checking greatly saves one from discovery an underlying case which may lead to a more difficult treatment process or delayed discovery and attention may be the cause of one’s demise and “misfortune”.
Checking one’s self for possible symptoms or signs is easy. Here are some of the most common signals to watch out for…..The first thing to do is ask check if you have any feeling or sensation of pain and discomfort in the groin and abdomen area especially the testicles. Other testicular cancer symptoms include either the enlargement or deflating testicles this may be due to the uneven blood supply to and from the testicles. Emotional instability and decreased sexual arousal are one of the symptoms to look after when examining ones self. Basically, any odd or strange feeling and sensation should be a cause of alarm for any male.
If continual and persistent testicular cancer symptoms occur and meddle in daily life then it is best to have a medical check-up with a trustworthy and able doctor. There are doctors known as that specialize in the male over all and reproductive anatomy. These specialized doctors are capable of helping you in any way they can like providing you with the proper cure or medications. Always do keep in mind that the regular self check up goes a long way because prevention is definitely better than cure itself.