Testicular cancer symptoms should be dealt with infinite care as much as possible.
Cancer is always a dreaded condition, in any form or type it may be. Testicular cancer symptoms would never be comfortable. People suffering from cancer need a lot of care and support. The symptoms of cancer may not be pretty, but what they have to undergo when they are already on treatment may even be worse. If you know of someone suffering from cancer, this article would be extremely helpful. Here, we would be specifically discussing testicular cancer: what we need to know, its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
What is Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer affects men. Its female counterpart would be cervical cancer (See: cervical cancer symptoms). What happens with testicular cancer is that malignant cells develop in one or both testicles. This would lead to a variety of testicular cancer symptoms that we would be discussing as we go along.
Risks for testicular cancer would include the following:
- History – this would cover familial disposition to testicular cancer. This would also include a previous bout with testicular cancer. Testicular cancer could affect only one testicle, and could be removed. However, full eradication of the cancer cells could not be assured, and they might move to the other testicle.
- Congenital abnormalities – this would include abnormalities in the penis, kidneys and inguinal hernia. Inguinal hernia is a condition where there is a weakness in the musculature of the abdominal wall, causing the abdominal contents to spill into the inguinal canal.
- Undescended testes – this happens during childhood. Before birth, the testicles are located in the abdominal cavity. Once the baby is born, the testicles should have descended into the scrotum. With undescended testes, they stay in the abdominal cavity. This condition is also called cryptochidism.
Testicular Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms of testicular cancer could give us an idea that a person could have cancer. If we know what to watch out for, we would be able to get the help that we need. Listed below would be some of the symptoms of cancer that are usually manifested.
- Lump or swelling in the testicle
- Pain in the scrotal area
- Change in the size or feel of the scrotum. Oftentimes, an enlargement of the testicle is observed.
- Dull ache in the genitals, lover abdomen or groin
- Fluid in the scrotum
Once you observe any of these signs, you should immediately consult your doctor.
Diagnosing Testicular Cancer
They are a variety of tests that may be performed to a person suspected of having testicular cancer. Basing it on the symptoms of cancer alone is not enough. Knowing about these different tests would definitely aid you in understanding what is happening. It would also provide you an inkling on what results to hope for.
- Alpha-fetoprotein – this is a blood test perform to locate tumor markers. In patients that are positive for testicular cancer, their AFP count would be higher than normal. AFP is also considered as a tumor marker.
- Ultrasound – this is an imaging test that uses sound waves to visualize organs, or maybe lumps, under the skin. In this instance, ultrasound is used to picture out any masses in the testicles.
- Biopsy – when a person is suspected of testicular cancer, the surgeon would usually recommend removing the affected testicle. Once the testicle is removed, they would take a small sample and send it to the lab for testing. They would be looking for cancer cells from the sample.
Treating Testicular Cancer
A lot of people mistake the side effects of treatment as testicular cancer symptoms. I would like to set the record straight regarding that matter. What they observe during treatment would be the body’s reaction to the medication. These are not symptoms of cancer. Having cleared that up, these are the preferred treatment for testicular cancer:
- Surgery would be the preferred initial treatment for testicular cancer. If the cancer cells were found to be concentrated in that scrotal area alone, then surgery might be able to remove them all. During surgery, some doctors may want to remove a part of the lymph nodes that are located deep in the abdomen. Surgery for the removal of testes is called orchiectomy.
- Chemotherapy is also another common treatment for cancer. During chemo, the patient is bombarded with very strong medication that targets not only cancer cells, but healthy cells as well. When the healthy cells get destroyed, the patient experiences a lot of side effects. These would include nausea and vomiting, alopecia, mouth sores and skin rash. These reactions are what people normally mistake as testicular cancer symptoms.
- Radiation therapy makes use of high-energy rays that targets cancers cells. They are also used to shrink tumors. This could either be external or internal. Internal radiation is also called brachytherapy.
Post-treatment, some patients may go on remission and testicular cancer symptoms might disappear. Others may not be as lucky. It is during these instances that the family could either opt to stop treatment and just go for palliative care, or go on with their fight against cancer.