Although the incidence of testicular cancer has been increasing in the US for several decades, it is rare in comparison compared to other types of cancer. However, it is the most common cancer in American males between the ages of 15 and 35. Fortunately, testicular cancer can usually be treated successfully, even when the cancer has spread beyond the testicle.
There are a number of treatment options, depending on the type and stage of testicular cancer, and patients may receive one or a combination of treatments.
Signs & Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer does not typically cause noticeable symptoms and the cancer may resemble a painless mass in the testes. If there are symptoms, they may include:
- Discomfort or pain in the testicle, or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- Pain in the back or lower abdomen
- Enlarged testicle or a change in the way it feels
- Excess amount of breast tissue (gynecomastia), however this can occur normally in adolescent boys who do not have testicular cancer
- Lump or swelling in either testicle
Symptoms in other parts of the body, such as the lungs, abdomen, pelvis, back, or brain, may also occur if the cancer has spread outside the testicles.
If you’re experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, contact your primary care physician as soon as possible to discuss your concerns and determine the most appropriate next step.
Diagnosing Testicular Cancer
Your doctor may detect a lump during a routine physical exam. In some instances, patients will discover a lump themselves, either unintentionally or while doing a testicular self-examination.
To determine whether a lump is testicular cancer, your doctor may recommend:
- Blood tests
- Surgery to remove a testicle
Treating Testicular Cancer
Treatment depends on the type of testicular tumor and the stage of the cancer. After cancer is discovered, the next step is to identify the type of cancer. The cells can be seminoma, nonseminoma, or both.
If you’ve received a diagnosis of cancer, our specialists will discuss your treatments options with you and describe the benefits, side effects and risks of each option. They recommended treatment options may include:
- Surgical treatment to remove the testicle, known as an orchiectomy
- Radiation therapy, which is usually only used for treating seminomas
- Chemotherapy, which has greatly improved survival outcomes for patients with both seminomas and nonseminomas
Your treatment may include one or a combination of these treatments. Each care plan in individualized base on the type and state of cancer.
Ultimately, you and your physician will decide the best treatment. Schedule and appointment today to discuss your concerns.