If you are diagnosed with testicular cancer, the physicians of Rogue Valley Urology can provide the treatment you need to restore you to health. Testicular cancer occurs in the male sex glands, known as testicles, testes, or gonads, which produce and store sperm. The testicles, located under the penis in a loose pouch of the skin called the scrotum, are also the main source of the male hormone testosterone. Most testicular cancers start in the cells that produce sperm, known as germ cells.
Cancer is usually found in only one testicle, but if you experience cancer in one testicle, you are at a greater risk for developing it in the other testicle at some time in the future. While testicular cancer is rare, it is the most common cancer in younger men, typically between the ages of 15 and 34. The good news is that this type of cancer is highly treatable, even if it has spread beyond the testicle.
Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
The most common symptom is a painless enlargement of the testicle. Other symptoms may include:
- A lump or firm area within the testicle
- Enlargement or swelling of the testicle
- Pain or tenderness in a testicle
- A dull ache in the groin
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- Fluid build-up in the scrotum
When to See Your Doctor
Many men will delay seeing a doctor at the first sign of symptoms, but during this time a tumor can spread. It is important to visit your doctor if you notice any irregularity or pain in your testicles or groin, especially when the symptoms are present for more than two weeks.
Causes of Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer develops when cells start to become irregular and grow out of control. The mass of cells that results is caused a tumor.
Several risk factors increase your chance of developing testicular cancer. These include:
- An undescended testicle, called cryptorchidism
- Abnormal testicle development
- Family or personal history
- Younger age
- HIV infection
Treatment for Testicular Cancer
You may receive one or more treatments, depending on the type and stage of your cancer:
- Radiation therapy
Surgery to remove the affected testicle is the primary treatment for testicular cancer and, in early-stage cancer, may be the only treatment you’ll need.
- The American Urological Association’s webpage on Testicular Cancer.
- American Society of Clinical Oncology webpage on Testicular Cancer.