Are You Aware Of The Signs Of Testicular Cancer?
Testicular cancer is a form of malignancy that grows within the man’s testicle. But what is really happening within the body, and how can you tell the signs? Testicular cancer is actually quite uncommon, despite many people being under the impression that they’re at risk. It’s responsible for just half of one per cent of all male cancer deaths. However, although it is rare, it is the most common cancer in men aged between 29 and 35, and men in this age bracket should check themselves regularly. It is also more common in white men than other ethnicities. There are two major forms of testicular cancer, which are seminoma (the most common) and nonseminoma germ cell tumours. Usually, testicular cancer only occurs in one testicle. The most common sign is a painless swelling in the testicle, which some men notice after an injury to the scrotum. However, the injury isn’t the cause of the cancer. The cause of testicular cancer is actually unknown, but men who have an undescended testicle are more at risk of developing the disease. Also, the male children of women who took hormones while they were pregnant could also have a greater risk.
Nothing can be done to prevent testicular cancer, but any lump in the testicle should be reported to your GP as soon as possible. In all cases, early diagnosis lowers the risk of the cancer spreading so you should always report any worries or health concerns to your doctor. Another way to lower the risk of cancer remaining undiagnosed is to check yourself regularly for lumps. Certain bodily chemicals, such as beta human chorionic gonadotropin or alpha fetoprotein, are produced by some testicular cancers, and these are known as tumour markers. A small amount of blood will be drawn during your check-up to check for these, and the only way to determine is cancer is present is to remove the testicle. If the cancer is not treated, it will become fatal. But if it is treated, there is a high chance of survival – over 70 per cent of men are long-term survivors. There is no risk to other people though – cancer can’t spread to other people and poses no health risk to people you spend time with.
There are a number of very effective treatments for testicular cancer, meaning that the cancer can be cured even if it’s spread to other parts of the body. In addition to the affected testicle, your treatment may include a number of medications and surgical treatments. Additional surgery could include lymphatic tissue in the stomach for testing, and if need be the lymph nodes will be removed as well. Radiation therapy is a common treatment for men with seminomas, particularly in the early stages. And in some cases, chemotherapy may be used alongside other treatments. There may be side effects, which your GP will discuss with you at your appointment. After your therapy, you will be monitored regularly for signs that the cancer has come back, but the frequency of this will reduce as time goes on. If you find a lump or are unsure about the correct way to test for lumps on your own, you should speak to your GP who can advise you. There are a number of services available for people will testicular, and other forms of, cancer to help you deal with your symptoms and manage your treatments – your GP can also offer you information about these.
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