The Dangers and Treatment of Testicular Cancer
Whether you are a man who is interested in testing the waters of sexual relationships or you are a father seeking to ensure the health of your child, you should be aware of the dangers of testicular cancer. This disease can lead to infertility, as well as life-threatening complications. Thankfully, there are a variety of treatments available.
Symptoms of testicular cancer include swelling, pain, a lump, or a change in the feel or texture of your testicle. They may also be caused by other medical conditions. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek treatment as soon as possible. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more likely your cancer will spread to other parts of your body.
Testicular cancer can usually be treated. Depending on the type of tumor, you might need surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy. Typically, the first step in the process is a physical exam to detect any lumps or changes in your testicles. You may also need to have an ultrasound to identify any abnormalities.
Other signs of testicular cancer may include blood in your urine, swelling of the legs or groin area, and a cough that does not go away. Some of these symptoms can be caused by other medical conditions, so you should speak to your healthcare provider about them.
The most common sign of testicular cancer is a small, hard lump on your testicle. These lumps are usually caused by abnormal cells in the epididymis, the organ behind the testicle. When these cells multiply, they form a mass in the testicle.
Some types of testicular cancer are able to spread to other parts of the body. They can travel through the blood system and lymphatic system, and may even reach the lungs.
Symptoms of testicular cancer may be difficult to identify. However, if you suspect you have it, you can take steps to improve your chances of a positive diagnosis. A visit to your family physician is a good start. They can perform a physical examination to detect signs of the disease, and may also refer you to a specialist.
If your doctor believes you have testicular cancer, they will discuss the best course of treatment. The goal of the treatment is to reduce symptoms and prevent cancer from spreading. You may also need chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
During your initial visit, your healthcare provider will ask questions about your family’s medical history and your symptoms. They will also examine your testicles for lumps or swelling. If a lump is present, your healthcare provider may remove it.
You might also undergo blood chemistry tests. These tests measure chemicals in your blood to help your doctor determine if you have cancer or if you have a condition that is similar. Your provider will also examine other parts of your body for signs of tumor spread.
Ultrasound is another test that can help diagnose testicular cancer. It uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the internal organs. This test is a painless procedure. It can also help your healthcare provider determine the size and position of the lump.
If the lump is large or if you are worried about the size or location, your healthcare provider may recommend an MRI. An MRI uses radio waves and magnets to form pictures of your body.
Depending on the stage of testicular cancer, different treatment options are available. These include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. The goal of these treatments is to reduce the chances that cancer will come back. The side effects are usually temporary.
The first step in treatment is surgery to remove cancer. A pathologist will examine the removed tissue to determine if cancer has spread. Depending on the stage of cancer, the surgeon may also remove part of the testicle.
Chemotherapy is a method of destroying cancer cells. The medicine is given by a central line that stays in the vein throughout the treatment process. The medication can be used to treat the entire body, including the testicles.
A CT scan is another option for determining if cancer has spread. A CT scan uses x-rays to form pictures of the inside of the body. This can help identify whether cancer has spread to the lungs or to other organs.
An MRI scan is also an option for monitoring cancer. An MRI uses magnets to form pictures. This allows for more detailed images than a CT scan. The radiation dose is low, and the chance of cancer returning is less than with a CT scan.
If cancer has not spread, a doctor may recommend a course of surveillance. This includes physical exams every three to six months for the first year. In addition to imaging tests, a blood test may be performed once or twice a month to check for abnormalities.
Currently, most testicular cancer patients are treated with two cycles of chemotherapy. The type of chemotherapy depends on the stage and grade of cancer.
The treatment for advanced nonseminoma testicular cancer may include surgery to remove lymph nodes in the abdomen. For some men, surgery may be followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In advanced cases, high-dose chemotherapy is sometimes recommended.
When chemotherapy is used to treat advanced nonseminoma testicular tumors, it is usually effective. The treatment may also help to prevent the recurrence of the tumors. The medicines are usually injected into a vein.
Some men may require additional surgery to remove tumors in other parts of the body. These men should be treated at a cancer center that sees many men.
Recurrences of testicular cancer are rare. However, if a recurrence does occur, it is possible to cure cancer. In some cases, the cure rate is over 95%.
After a diagnosis of testicular cancer, it is important to find a treatment plan that will allow you to continue to live a normal lifestyle. You should discuss your options with your doctor or nurse. They will determine the best treatment plan for you.
There are a number of tests that can be performed to determine if cancer has spread. These tests include X-rays, computed tomography scans, and blood tests. You should also write down any questions you have so that you can discuss them with your doctor.
Reverseperitoneal lymph node dissection
Surgical removal of lymph nodes is important in the treatment of testis cancer. This surgery has a low relapse rate and a good outlook for patients who have all their cancer removed. Surgical techniques have changed over the years to improve the safety of this procedure.
RPLND is an approach that aims to reduce the morbidity associated with traditional open surgeries. This surgical procedure is performed on men with non-seminomatous germ cell tumors. The lymph nodes are removed through an incision on the same side as the tumor. The lymph nodes are sent to a lab for examination. The results are used to determine if cancer has spread.
The pathologic review showed a teratoma in the tissue samples. These results are not reliable predictors of post-chemotherapy histology. The presence of large residual masses was associated with a non-nerve-sparing RPLND.
The Department of Urology at IU Health has been one of the leaders in the development of the RPLND procedure. Over the last six decades, faculty physicians have performed more than 6,000 procedures.
The RPLND is an effective surgical treatment for testicular cancer. The recurrence rate is low and the mortality is low as well. However, patients may still experience complications after the procedure. In a recent study, 66 of 67 patients experienced a complication. The most common were ileus, chylous ascites, sepsis, atelectasis, and pulmonary embolism.
During testicular cancer treatment, your doctor may recommend you bank your sperm. This is an effective way of preserving fertility. Some chemotherapy drugs may damage your sperm. This may affect your ability to have a biological child later on.
Sperm banking is commonly done before chemotherapy. Before your doctor does this, you’ll need to undergo blood tests to check for infections, HIV, hepatitis B, and cytomegalovirus.
Normally, sperm is collected during masturbation and then frozen. You can later thaw the sperm for fertility procedures such as IVF, artificial insemination, or intrauterine insemination.
Many men who are diagnosed with testicular cancer have reduced sperm counts. This may occur due to changes in your testicles before cancer develops. The chemotherapy you receive may also reduce your sperm count permanently. The good news is that most chemotherapy has a low chance of causing infertility.
Most cancer treatment centers offer free sperm banking services. You’ll be required to fill out a consent form, and your doctor will be able to store your sperm.
Some clinics recommend that you take two samples. This is because sperm quality decreases with age. The sample will be stored for at least 10 years. The sperm can be transferred to another clinic if needed. If you’re infertile, the storage period can be extended to 55 years.
If you’re considering IVF, you’ll need to stop masturbating for three to four days before visiting your clinic.
Health A to Z. (n.d.). HSE.ie. https://www2.hse.ie/az/
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Directory Health Topics. (n.d.). https://www.healthline.com/directory/topics
Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/health-a-z-4014770
Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z. https://www.health.harvard.edu/health-a-to-z
Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.). EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/conditions/