By Dr Sajjan Rajpurohit, Oncology
Testicular cancer is mostly witnessed among young adults in the age range of 24–35. It results from the growth of abnormal cells in the testes. It is not the most common type of cancer found in the body, but can pose a serious threat to an individual if not treated early. The cure rate is one of the highest among all kinds of cancer found in the body. This being said, the rate of cure is totally dependent on the stage of detection.
Risk Factors for Testicular Cancer
The historical trend of testicular cancer suggests that white men are prone to this type of cancer than their African, Asian and Latino counterparts. A person with a family history of testicular cancer of HIV is at higher risk of getting this disease. Some other risk factors include Klinefelter’s syndrome and cryptorchidism.
Protection from Testicular Cancer
There is no hard and fast rule of protection. It is suggested that the testicles get evaluated while routine medical check-up. A person with a family history of testicular cancer should opt for a periodic checkup after every three months. In case a patient has already recovered from testicular cancer, routine medical tests are a must to ensure non-recurrence.
Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
The common symptom is a swelling in the testicle. It feels like a thickening of the testicle and is mostly painless. Minor discomfort in the swelling region is often reported. Some other symptoms include back pain, ache in the scrotum and groin, change in the size of the testicle, bloating of the lower abdomen and heavy sensation of the scrotum. There is a rare form of this cancer, which produces a female hormone called estrogen in a man’s body. This disease results in a lack of sexual desire, lump in the affected area, etc. Even less serious testicular cancer might show these symptoms. An oncologist should be immediately consulted if one or more of these symptoms surfaces.
What are the treatment options?
Testicular cancer is mostly cured with the help of a surgery. A follow-up radiation and chemotherapy is suggested by doctors to destroy the surrounding cells. It is done to ensure that the cancer cells do not spread easily and the chance of recurrence is minimal. The rate of cure depends on early detection.
Does testicular cancer affect sexuality?
In most of the cases, testicular cancer is detected in one testicle. If this is the case, the other testicle produces all the hormones needed for sexual drive. It also does not affect sex drive, beard and muscularity. There is also a large section of patients who reported of a difficult sexual life after the surgery. There can be some discomfort in the scrotum as well.