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Testicular cancer affects the testes. While it only accounts for 1% of all malignancies, it is the most common among men aged 20 to 34. Dr. Sandeep Nayak, Consultant Surgical oncologist, MACS Clinic, Jayanagar, Bangalore & Fortis Cancer Institute, Bangalore is a prominent oncologist in Bangalore, India and he says, “The risk is great, but the chance of survival is much higher. Over 90% of testicular cancer patients can be treated successfully.”
He further states, “Self-examination is very crucial in detecting testicular cancer early on. The most appropriate time is after your bath when you are relaxed. Gently feel the testes and adjacent structures with your finger and thumb, checking for any lumps.”
The most common symptom is a lump that develops on one of the testicles. Although the lump is generally painless, some persons experience pain or discomfort from the afflicted testis.
The majority of scrotal swellings and bumps are not cancerous. There are a number of different reasons for this. Dr. Sandeep Nayak, an experienced cancer specialist in Bangalore, explains, “If you see swelling or lump in one of your testicles, you should always consult a doctor. You should get it checked out right away.”
He has treated countless patients in his career and has pioneered several innovative surgical techniques that give the patients a better chance of survival and leading a quality life.
Now let us understand the symptoms you need to look out for to detect cancer early on:
- Testicular enlargement
- Testicular discomfort or pain
- An ache in the back or lower abdominal
- Breast tissue enlargement
If you have any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor.
Who are at risk of testicular cancer?
The following factors can raise your chances of developing testicular cancer:
- Having a history of the disease in one’s family
- Abnormal testicular development
- Having cryptorchidism (undescended testicle).
How is testicular cancer diagnosed?
Your doctor may use the following tests to diagnose testicular cancer:
- A physical examination that can identify any abnormalities in the testicles, such as tumors or swelling
- Tumor marker blood tests can reveal high levels of chemicals linked to testicular cancer, such as alpha-fetoprotein or beta-human chorionic gonadotropin.
- An ultrasound to evaluate the testicles’ internal structure
If your doctor detects cancer, your testicle may need to be removed entirely in order to collect a tissue sample. They cannot do it while your testicle is still in the scrotum because it risks spreading cancer through the scrotum.
They will perform abdominal, and pelvic CT scans following the diagnosis to detect if cancer has spread to other parts of the body. It’s called staging.
Testicular cancer treatment
There are basically three categories of treatment for testicular cancer. Your doctor may treat you with one or more alternatives depending on the stage of your cancer.
Dr. Sandeep Nayak, a leading surgical oncologist in India, says, “Surgery is the first line of treatment for testicular cancer.” Orchiectomy, retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, or testis-sparing surgery (TSS) are surgical alternatives for treating it. These procedures can be done laparoscopically or robotically.
High-energy rays are used in radiation therapy to eliminate cancer cells. The doctor can either give it internally or externally.
Dr Nisha Vishnu, Consultant Radiation oncologist, MACS Clinic, Jayanagar, Bangalore & Fortis Cancer Institute, Bangalore says, “External radiation is delivered by directing the radiation beam toward the tumor tissues from the outside. This method is frequently effective in the treatment of seminomas.”
Dr Suresh Babu, Consultant Medical oncologist, MACS Clinic, Jayanagar, Bangalore & Fortis Cancer Institute, Bangalore says, “Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It’s a systemic treatment that can eliminate cancer cells spread throughout your body. Chemotherapy is very useful in testicular cancer and can cure many of them.”
A stem cell transplant may follow high-dose chemotherapy in severely advanced cases of testicular cancer.
Testicular cancer treatment is often successful. You can expect to be cured if your testicular cancer is detected and treated early. Fortunately, the majority of testicular malignancies are caught early on.
There is still a good chance of a cure even if cancer has spread to other places of the body. It is because testicular cancer cells generally respond effectively to chemotherapy.