What are the Early Signs of Testicular Cancer?
Dr. Murali Subramanyam
Malleswaram, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
It is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of one or both testicles. The testicles are 2 egg-shaped glands located inside the scrotum and they are held within the scrotum by the spermatic cord, which also contains the vas deferens and vessels and nerves of the testicles. They are male sex glands and produce testosterone and sperm. Germ cells within the testicles produce immature sperm that travels through a network of tubules into the epididymis where the sperm matured and stored. Almost all testicular cancers start in the germ cells and the two main types of testicular germ cell tumors are seminomas and nonseminomas. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men 20 to 35 years old.
- A lump in or on a testicle
- Any enlargement or swelling of a testicle
- Shrinking of a testicle
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A dull ache in the lower abdomen or in the groin
- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
Causes and Risk Factors
Cause of testicular cancer is not known till now but several risk factors are there which may increase the risk of testicular cancer. Risk factors include:
- Men who have a testicle that never descended in the scrotum from abdomen during fetal development are at greater risk of testicular cancer than are men whose testicles descended normally. The risk remains elevated even if the testicle has been surgically relocated to the scrotum.
- When testicles are developed abnormally, such as Klinefelter syndrome, may increase your risk of testicular cancer.
- You may have an increased risk if family members have had testicular cancer.
- Testicular cancer is more common in white men than in black men.
1. Physical exam and history: The testicles will be examined to check for lumps, swelling, or pain. A history of the patient's health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
2. Ultrasound exam
3. Serum tumor marker test
4. Inguinal orchiectomy
Staging the cancer
After diagnosis when testicular cancer is confirmed, the next step is to determine the extent of the cancer. For this one should undergo these test:
• Computerized tomography (CT) scan.
• Blood tests.
The stages of Testicular cancer are:
• Stage I. Cancer is limited to the testicle.
• Stage II. Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the abdomen.
• Stage III. Cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Testicular cancer most commonly spreads to the lungs and liver.
There's no way to prevent testicular cancer.
Some doctors recommend regular testicle self-examinations to identify testicular cancer at its earliest stage.