Delta Medix Patient General Information

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is a disease in which cells become cancerous in one or both testicles. The testicles are a pair of male sex glands, which produce and store sperm. They are the main source of testosterone (male hormones) in men. These hormones control the development of the reproductive hormones and other male physical characteristics. The testicles are located under the penis in a sac-like pouch called the scrotum. Nearly all testicular cancers are one of two general types: seminoma or nonseminoma. This disease occurs most often in men between the ages of 20 and 39.

Cancer cells can spread by breaking away from the original tumor. They can spread through the blood vessels to the liver, lungs, and bones. In addition, testicular cancer cells can spread through lymph vessels to nearby lymph nodes. After spreading, the cancer cells may attach to other tissues and grow to form new tumors that may damage those tissues.

Symptoms of testicular cancer may be

  • A painless lump or swelling in the testicle
  • Pain or discomfort in the testicle or in the scrotum
  • Any enlargement of a testicle or change in the way it feels
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the lower abdomen, back, or groin
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum

These symptoms may be caused by cancer or by other conditions. It is important to see your doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Treatment Options for Testicular Cancer

  • Surgery to remove the testicle through an incision in the groin is called a radical inguinal orchiectomy. Some of the lymph nodes located deep in the abdomen may also need to be removed during surgery for testicular cancer. Men with testicular cancer should discuss their concerns about sexual function and fertility with their surgeon.
  • Radiation Therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It affects cells only in the treated area. External radiation, aimed at the lymph nodes in the abdomen, is used after surgery to treat testicular cancers that are termed seminomas.
  • Chemotherapy uses anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs enter the bloodstream and can affect cancer cells all over the body. When chemotherapy is given to testicular cancer patients, it is usually given after surgery to destroy cancerous cells that may remain in the body. If the testicular cancer is advanced and has spread outside the testicle at the time of diagnosis, chemotherapy may be the first treatment given.