Cancer that forms and grows in the testicles, a part of the male reproductive organ system, is called testicular cancer. The tumour present in testicles can be malignant. It is a malignant tumour that causes cancer. The positive thing about this cancer is that cure and recovery rates are very high. Even for cases that have grown serious, chemotherapy provides for at least 80% of a cure rate.
Usually, this type of cancer can be detected early. Men discover the problems mostly themselves while self-examining and take medical consultation as soon as required. Chances of cure and recovery are usually from 95% to 99% and survival rates are high too. However, sometimes testicular cancer shows no symptoms and can go unnoticed, risking the growth and spreading of the disease all over the body. This is why doctors recommend that men go for a regular check-up once a while to keep an eye on your health and take protective measures.
What Can Cause Testicular Cancer?
The exact cause of testicular cancer is not known till date. Doctors suggest that it is caused when the healthy cells present in the testicle get altered. When these cells develop abnormalities they begin to divide incessantly. This causes the accumulation of mass in the testicles that ultimately leads to tumour growth.
Testicular Cancer Symptoms And Causes:
This article explain about what are the causes and symptoms of testicular cancer which will help to take care treatment action before you are suffer.
Testicular Cancer Causes:
Given below are top 10 risk factors or causes of testicular cancer:
1. Undescended Testicle:
The primary cause of testicular cancer can be attributed to undescended testicle or cryptorchidism. Normally, in the womb, the testicles in the male child descend to the scrotum at the time of birth or in the first year of baby’s life. If however, the testicles do not descend down, it increases the chances of testicular cancer to almost three times.
2. Fertility Problems:
In some cases, it was found that testicular cancer was also linked to poor sperm quality and fertility problems. There has been found to be a significant link between testicular cancer risk and fertility problems.
3. Carcinoma In Situ Of The Testicle:
Carcinoma in situ is a medical condition that refers to presence of abnormal cells in the testicle. Although this condition is not cancerous, if left untreated it can develop cancer, as witnessed in 50% of cases.
4. Family History:
Recent researches have also confirmed that family history of testicular cancer increase the risk for the same. If your father had a case of testicular cancer, then your chances of getting affected increases to about 4 times.
5. Previous Cancer Case:
Doctors suggest that the development of testicular cancer second time in men who already have been affected with the same increases 12 times as compared to other men who have never developed testicular cancer in their life.
6. HIV Or AIDS:
Combined analysis have suggested that the chances of developing testicular cancer is higher in men who have been infected with HIV or AIDS.
7. Testicular Injury:
There is no direct link between sporting strains or injury and testicular cancer. However, the injury leads to lumps and swelling in the testicles that make identification of the tumour growth difficult.
Although there is no strong evident suggesting the link between vasectomy and testicular cancer, but it has been found that the risk is comparatively high.
9. Ethnic Background:
The occurrence of testicular cancer is more prevalent in men belonging to social and racial groups. Although the exact cause is not known for the same.
According to the recent researches, it has been found that men who are comparatively taller have higher chances of developing testicular cancer than shorter men.
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Symptoms Of Testicular Cancer:
There are various signs and symptoms to track or observe any discomfort in your organ. Here are some general signs symptoms that could be suggestive of testicular cancer. But a Doctor’s consultation is a must.
1. Testis Enlargement:
The first and the most common symptom is the swelling or the enlargement of the testicle. It could also be an uneven lump on it. There is a sensation of hardness on the swollen area. The lump is usually painless.
2. Small Lump:
The appearance of a small lump is one of the early symptoms of testicular cancer. These lumps look like the size of a pea and present on the testicles. Normally, healthy testicles feel soft and bumpy due to the presence of blood vessels, reproductive tissue and sperm tubes. When you feel some hardened area or lump on your testicles, book with an appointment with your doctor. These small lumps may not necessarily turn out to the sign of developing cancer and can be caused due to some minor medical conditions as varicocele, inguinal hernia or spermatocele.
There can be a dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin, in the testicle or the scrotum. The discomfort or pain can be caused for a various number of reasons. Pain or tenderness can even be felt in the absence of any lump. Under normal circumstances, any type of pain the body should not be taken lightly and must be consulted with a doctor to examine the root cause and follow necessary treatments.
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4. Changes In The Testicle:
There is usually a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum. One of your testicles may become firmer than the other. There can also be numbness or sensitiveness or changes in the size of the testicles.
5. Formation Of Blood Clot:
In some cases of testicular cancer, most of the above mentioned symptoms fail to appear at all, making the diagnosis even more difficult. In men who have crossed the age of 40, the first symptom of testicular cancer could be the development of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that is general terms is referred to as a blood clot. During the early stages of testicular cancer, DVT forms in the large veins and is accompanied by swelling and pain in the affected leg. If however in some cases, the blood clot reaches the lung, it may lead to shortness of breath, and condition can be extremely severe.
6. Feeling Of Immensity In The Scrotum:
Normally the two testicles feel similar if however, you notice any change in either of your testicles like as if one testicle feels heavier, fuller or firmer as compared to the other, do not ignore the problem. Heaviness in your testicles could be an early symptom of developing cancer. Some fluid can also get collected in the scrotum. Visit your doctor to avoid the problem from becoming severe.
7. Tenderness Of Breast Tissue:
Tenderness of breast tissue could even be symptomatic of the developing testicular cancer. In some rare cases, the growth of the tumour causes the production of the female hormone named estrogen. This imbalance of the male hormone testosterone and female hormone estrogen could lead to a medical condition referred to as ‘gynecomastia’. In such condition, the male breast tissues turn tender and even swells up to look like that of a woman. Although gynecomastia can be caused due to malnutrition or the effects of certain drugs, it should not be ignored and immediately consulted with a doctor.
8. Shortness Of Breath:
In the later stages of development, testicular cancer can even spread to the lungs, brain or liver. Shortness of breath, chronic cough or chest pain can turn out to be the symptoms of testicular cancer that have affected the lungs. Bloating and abdominal pain are indicative that cancer has even spread to the liver and lymph nodes. When cancer has metastasized the brain, it causes severe headache and a feeling of confusion. When you encounter any of these symptoms, it is important to take medical advice to correctly identify and treat the problem.
9. Swelling And Pain In The Other Parts Of The Body:
The other symptoms include lower back pain, blood in your phlegm or sputum, chest pain, shortness of breath. Both your legs can also swell and there can be the development of pulmonary embolism. Headache is also very common in this case.
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10. Early Signs Of Puberty:
In some cases of testicular cancer, tumour growth also accelerates the production of male sex hormones. While the occurrence of this type of cancer is very rare in pre pubescent boys, it cannot be completely ruled out. If your son has suddenly stated showing some of the early signs of puberty, sadly it could turn to be one of the testicular cancer symptoms. When you notice sudden changes in your boy that is uncommon for his age like coarseness in the voice, growth of body and facial hair, it is best to take him to a doctor and discuss the problem. This will help to curb the problem at an early stage.
Stages of Testicular Cancer:
Determining testicular cancer and putting the stages in watertight compartments can be quite complex. Here is a small guide to easily understand the various stages of this malignant disease:
In this stage, the cancer cells are only found in the seminiferous tubes of the testicles. They remain in those tubes and haven’t spread to the other parts of the body. The marker levels are also normal.
This is when the tumour cells have grown out of the seminiferous tubes, but remains within the testicles. No other body part is affected due to the cells.
The tumour cells have grown out of the testicles but have not affected other parts like the lymph nodes.
The same symptoms as IA, but the tumour levels marker is higher than normal (S1)
This is when the tumour cells start affected one or more lymph nodes but have not spread to the other body parts. The cells have grown in the lymph nodes larger than 2mm but smaller than 5mm. No other body parts have been affected by the cells, but the marker levels are higher than normal (S2)
The growth is still within testicles and might have affected one or more lymph nodes, but the market levels are higher than normal (S3)
If you experience these symptoms consult a doctor immediately. Sooner you receive treatment the better. Sometimes these symptoms could also be signs of various other problems which may not be as serious as cancer but require medical attention too. So it is good to visit the chambers of that man with a stethoscope once a while!