Testicular cancer, a highly curable type of cancer if found early, occurs in the testicles of a man’s reproductive system. The testicles are located in the scrotum, a sack of skin, below the penis, and produce sperm as well as the male hormone testosterone.
Despite the fact that it is a rare form of cancer, it is the leading cancer affecting Caucasian men between the ages of 20 and 34. Men of African or Asian race have a much lower risk of getting testicular cancer.
Risk factors of testicular cancer:
- Undescended testicle: A testicle that has not dropped properly from the lower abdomen area into the scrotum during the gestational period or in the first three months of life
- Klinefelter syndrome, a genetic problem. (What is this?)
The symptoms include:
- A change in size of one or both testes
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- Loss of sexual desires, withdrawal
- Blood in semen
- Abnormal sensitivity
- A lump on the on the testicle
- A dull sense of pressure in the groin and lower back
Men in their early twenties are encouraged – like women do with their breasts – to regularly examine themselves to notice any changes. If changes have been found, a doctor will examine the testicle with an ultrasound or CT or CAT scan, which can determine whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Once testicular cancer has been diagnosed, there are three general forms of treatment. Firstly, the affected testicle will be removed in a procedure called an inguinal orchiectomy, in which the patient receives an incision in his lower abdomen through which the testicle is pulled out and removed. After the testicle is removed, the type of cancer cells the patient has are determined, after which proceeding treatment is established. Chemotherapy generally follows, with some even receiving radiation.
Removing one testicle does not affect a man sexually and he is still able to father children. A single testicle is still able to produce enough hormones and semen for a patient, who has not previously had problems, to lead a normal live.
Click here to find out more about testicular cancer.
Celebrities who have suffered from testicular cancer include Lance Armstrong and Tom Green.
Image source attribution: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b6/Penis_ca.svgTags: cancer chemotherapy