What is Testicular Cancer?
Testicular cancer occurs when cancer cells form in the testicles, which are the oval glands that produce sperm and the hormone testosterone in men between the ages of 15 and 35.
This type of cancer can occur in one or both testicles, and is more common in young men and in those who had abnormal testicular development, or an undescended testicle since birth, or if there is a genetic history.
Testicular cancer can be of several types: embryonal carcinoma, yolk sac tumor, choriocarcinoma, immature teratoma, or mature teratoma.
How is it diagnosed?
The main symptoms of testicular tumors are: a hard, painless lump in the testicles or groin region, pain and tenderness in the chest area, pain in the scrotum, and a feeling of heaviness or swelling in the scrotum.
In some cases, men find testicular cancer on their own, either accidentally or by doing a testicular self-exam for lumps. In other cases, your doctor may find a lump during a routine physical exam.
To determine if a lump is testicular cancer, your doctor may recommend: ultrasound, blood tests, or surgery to remove a testicle (radical inguinal orchiectomy).
How is it treated?
This type of cancer has a cure rate of over 90% if found and treated early. There are several treatments that are chosen depending on the stage of the tumor:
- Stage I: as this type of tumor affects only the testicle, surgery to remove it is usually sufficient in most cases, although in others treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy may be needed to reduce the risk.
- Stage II: also affects the nodes of the retroperitoneum, so the treatment used is chemotherapy.
- Stage III: if the prognosis is favorable, the patient receives three cycles of chemotherapy but, if the prognosis is intermediate or unfavourable, the treatment is based on four cycles and, in some cases, it is possible to resort to other alternatives, such as chemotherapy at high doses with the help of bone marrow progenitors.