Testicular cancer begins when the normal cells in a testicle grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner, producing a mass called a malignant tumour. A malignant tumour can invade adjoining normal tissues and expand throughout the body via the lymphatic or circulatory systems (metastasis).
A majority of testicular cancer types arise in the sperm-producing cells called germ cells and are described as germ cell tumours. This cancer usually affects only one testicle.
Testicular cancer can affect a male gender at any age, but it is mostly found in males aged 15 to 44. This cancer is uncommon, and if diagnosed at an early stage, can be cured easily with proper treatment, thus decreasing the risk of death from this cancer.
The testicles (also called testes) are male glands and constitute a part of the male reproductive system. They produce the male hormone testosterone.
Types of testicular cancer
Testicular germ cell cancers fall into two primary categories:
They are slow-growing and respond well to treatment. If it expands from the testicle, it can be easily treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Surgery is recommended in a few cases.
The non-seminoma tumours can further be of the following four types:
- Embryonal carcinoma
- Yolk sac tumour
Non-seminoma tends to increase and metastasize at a faster rate than seminomas.
Symptoms of Testicular cancer
Testicular cancer may not have any symptoms. A lump or painless swelling in the testicles or a change in the size or shape of the testicle are the most typical symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer are as follows:
- A lump or growth in one of the testicles
- Scrotum heaviness
- Pain in the abdomen or groin
- Unexpected fluid buildup in the scrotum
- A testicle or the scrotum may be uncomfortable or painful
- Back pain
If diagnosed early, testicular cancer is one of the most curable cancers. Therefore, seeking timely treatment is important.
When to see a doctor?
Meet a urologist if you experience any pain, lumps or swelling in the testicles or groin area.
Consult our oncologists and urologists for more information and adequate treatment for testicular cancer.
In most of the cases, testicular cancer causes are unknown, but a few risk factors have been identified that can result in this cancer.
- Undescended testicles (cryptorchidism)
- Family history
- History of testicular cancer
Testicular cancer and injury to the testicles, are not associated with each other.
Few doctors recommend having regular self-examinations to detect any lump or solid mass in the testicles to identify the cancer at an early stage. People with family history of cancer, must get their cancer screening done as suggested by the doctor.
Talk to your doctor on how to take precautions.
Diagnosis of Testicular cancer
Testicular cancer can be diagnosed by performing certain pathology and radiology tests.
The tests include:
In testicular ultrasound, the sound waves generate images of the scrotum and testicles. This USG test helps to confirm the presence of a mass.
Blood tests are done to detect for the tumour markers beta human chorionic gonadotropin, alpha-fetoprotein, and lactate dehydrogenase.
A biopsy, in case of testicular cancer, is often not recommended, as cutting into a testicle can cause the cancer cells to spread to other body parts. Therefore, the testicle has to be removed in one piece if malignancy is strongly suspected.
Treatment for Testicular cancer
Following are the treatment modalities adopted for treating testicular cancer:
- Radical Inguinal Orchiectomy: It is the main treatment preferred for almost all stages and types of testicular cancer which removes the testicles.
- Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection: It is done to remove nearby lymph nodes.
Radiation therapy or radiotherapy for testicular cancer uses powerful doses of radiation to destroy malignant cells that have metastasized to lymph nodes.
This therapy is recommended to treat testicular cancer when the tumour cells have metastasized outside the testicle. It also decreases the risk of recurrence of cancer after the removal of the testicle.
Care at Medicover Hospitals
At Medicover hospitals, we have a multidisciplinary care team consisting of oncologists, urologists, and other specialists with years of experience. Our healthcare professionals strive to make the most comprehensive assessment of a patient’s health condition and follow it up with a full-range treatment plan. Utilising the latest medical diagnostic tools and technology and the most advanced cancer care approach, we ensure superior treatment outcomes for testicular cancer.