Testicular cancer or testis cancer is a condition in which abnormal cell growth in the testicles occurs and leads to a lump formation in or around the testicles.
It affects men between 20-35 most of the time. It can affect only one testis at a time.
Different Types of Testis Cancer
Human testicles comprise many types of cells. Testicular cancer can occur in any cell.
There are two types of Testis Cancer:
Germ cell tumors:-
Generally, <90% of cancer starts in germ cells. Germ cell tumors can be further sub-categorized into Seminomas and non-seminomas. Seminomas usually occur in men between 25-45, while non-seminomas occur in the late teens.
It mainly occurs in children. Stromal tumors can be sub-categorized into Leydig cells tumor and Sertoli cells tumor. Leydig cell tumors generally spread to other parts and these tumors can not be caught by chemotherapy. Sertoli cells tumors also tend to be similar to Leydig cells tumors.
Associated Anatomy of Testicular cancer
The testis and groin region.
Causes of Testicular Cancer
The clear causes of testicular cancer in most cases are unknown.
However, some known causes are as follows:
- The primary risk factor for testicular cancer is Cryptorchidism ( a condition in which testicles fail to descend in the scrotum)
- Alternated cell division in the testis
- Abnormality of penis
- Positive family history of testicular cancer or an undescended testicle
- Inguinal hernias
- Mumps orchitis (infection of the testes)
Signs and Symptoms of Testis Cancer
There may be the following signs and symptoms if testis cancer is developing.
- A lump in the one testis may be or may not be painful
- Lower back pain
- There is a heaviness in the scrotum region
- Feeling of pain on the scrotum
- Mild pain in the retroperitoneal region
- Firmness in the testicles
- Gynecomastia (breast enlargement)
- Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
- Hemoptysis (coughing up blood)
- A lump in the neck
Some men don’t experience pain or symptoms in the early stages, and therefore, it is important to get a timely checkup.
Possible Treatment of Testicular Cancer
There are the following possible treatment options:
Testicular Cancer Surgery
Some of the common surgical procedures for testicular cancer are:
- Orchiectomy: It is used to diagnose and treat early-stage and later-stage testicular cancers. In this procedure, the entire testicles and mass are removed through a small cut on the groin region. The spermatic cord is also removed.
- Testis-sparing surgery:- It is recommended only in rare cases. In this surgical procedure, the removal of tumor tissues can occur.
Testicular Cancer Radiation
Radiation is used primarily for killing cancer cells on the targeted organ or in nearby lymph nodes.
Radiation can be used when testis cancer is found in the other parts.
Chemotherapy Testicular Cancer
Chemotherapy is used when cancer cells spread beyond the testicles.
Risk Factors of Testicular Cancer
There are the following risk factors that can increase the chances of testicular cancer:
An undescended testicle
- Family history of testicular cancer
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Prior injury or trauma to the testicles
- Early puberty
Testicular Cancer Stages
There are the following stages of testicular cancer-
Stage 0:- In this stage, the development of abnormal cells occurs but the abnormal cells will not spread to the other parts of the body rather than the seminiferous tubules.
Stage I:- This stage can be further divided into Stage IA, Stage IB, and Stage IS.
- Stage IA:- In this stage, cancer occurs in the testicles and Epididymis but the level of cancer is normal. The tumor in the testis may develop inside the tunica albuginea but the tunica vaginalis is not affected.
- Stage IB:- In this stage, the tumor cells are grown into the Epididymis, tunica vaginalis, lymph, and blood vessels within the testicles but cancer does not spread to lymph nodes and distant sites.
- Stage IS:- In this stage, cancer can spread in any part of the testis.
Stage II:- Stage II is further divided into the 3 stages.
- Stage IIA:- In this stage, cancer spreads to 5 lymph nodes in the retroperitoneal region. The affected lymph nodes can be 2 cm or less in length.
- Stage IIB:- In this stage, cancer spreads <5 lymph nodes. These lymph nodes can be more than 5cm in length.
- Stage IIC:- In this stage, cancer can spread to the lymph nodes which are located in the abdominal region. One lymph node can be more than 5cm in length.
Stage III:- Stage III is further divided into 3 stages.
- Stage IIIA
- Stage IIIB
- Stage IIIC
In stage III, the tumor can spread to the other parts of the body. (e.g. Lungs)
Diagnosis and Tests for Testicular Cancer
There are some tests and procedures which are used to diagnose testicular cancer. These may include:
- A physical exam and history
- A serum marker test:- This procedure is done to examine certain substances that are linked to specific types of cancer in the blood. These substances are called tumor markers.
- Inguinal orchiectomy & biopsy:- The removal of the entire testicle through an incision in the groin occurs.
- CT scan
Primary prevention of Testicular Cancer
There are no established measures for the primary prevention of testicular cancer.
Secondary prevention of Testicular Cancer
There are no established measures for the secondary prevention of testicular cancer.
Testicular Cancer Epidemiology
Testicular cancer is a rare condition. There are around 2300 men diagnosed with testicular cancer each year in the United Kingdom.
Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer that affects men between the ages of 15 and 49.
Testicular cancer is the most common in white males compared to other races. In the United States, about 8900 cases are diagnosed each year.
Testicular Cancer Prognosis
Testicular cancer is treated successfully in more than 95% of cases. Patients with unfavorable risk factors have, on average, a 50% chance of being cured.
Complications of Testicular Cancer
Complications of testicular cancer include:-
- Metastasis of cancer ( spread of cancer to other organs)
- Pulmonary toxicity
- Kidney injury
- Secondary cancer
Our BLK-Max Medical Experts
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