What Is Testicular Cancer?
Testicular cancer attacks the testes, which are responsible for producing sperm and male sex hormones. When it sets in, testicular cancer can cause pains and other unwanted complications. It is unclear what causes testicular cancer, and it is a less common type of cancer. Estimates from the American Cancer Society suggest that approximately 1 in 250 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer in their lifetime.
Normally found in a single testicle, testicular cancer can have a host of signs and symptoms, which are:
- Atypical breast growth — A man with testicular cancer may experience enlarged or tender breasts.
- Enlarged testicle — The diseased testicle may become enlarged or develop a lump.
- Pain — The affected testicle or scrotum may cause pain or discomfort. Testicular cancer can also result in back pain or an aching pain in the groin or abdomen.
- Scrotum weight — Fluid may collect in the scrotum or a feeling of heaviness may be felt in the scrotum.
Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer with a very high survival rate. As with other cancers, the goal of testicular cancer treatment is to destroy all cancer cells. This is accomplished with three techniques:
- Chemotherapy — Whether administered via a pill or intravenously, medication used in chemotherapy seeks and destroys cancer cells, both in the testicles and other areas where the cancer spreads.
- Radiation therapy — X-ray energy is aimed at the cancerous cells in the prostate and thereby destroyed.
- Surgery — The cancerous testicle is removed. In some cases, lymph nodes in the nearby area are removed to ensure any cancer that may have spread is also taken away. This procedure may be performed with robotic assistance, which is a less invasion option than traditional open surgery.
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