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Health Tips: Signs and Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

by Karen Rollins Apr 8, 2019

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testicular cancer

Testicular cancer is one of the most common cancers to affect men aged between 15 and 49.

In the US about 9,000 men are diagnosed with the illness every year and in the United Kingdom it affects about 2,300. The average age for diagnosis is around 33.

Yello has been finding out more about the illness including the signs and symptoms.

The testicles

The testicles are the two oval-shaped male sex organs that sit inside the scrotum on either side of the penis.

They are an important part of the male reproductive system because they produce sperm and the hormone testosterone, which plays a significant role in male sexual development.

What types of testicular cancer are there?

There are various types of testicular cancer but the most common is ‘germ cell testicular cancer’, which accounts for around 95% of all cases. Germ cells are a type of cell that the body uses to create sperm.

There are two main subtypes of germ cell testicular cancer:

– Seminomas – these account for 50 to 55% of testicular cancers and occur in all age groups. Seminomas, in general, are not as aggressive as non-seminomas.

– Non-seminoma tumours – these tend to develop earlier in life and grow and spread rapidly. Several different types of non-seminoma tumors exist, including embryonal carcinoma, teratoma, and yolk sac tumours.

What are the signs and symptoms?

According to experts, men who have testicular cancer can experience a range of signs and symptoms but some of the most common include:

*A painless lump or swelling on either testicle

*Breast tenderness or growth

*Pain, discomfort, or numbness, with or without swelling, in a testicle or the scrotum

*Change in the way a testicle feels or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum

*A dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin

*Sudden buildup of fluid in the scrotum

How is testicular cancer treated?

Treatment for testicular cancer almost always includes the surgical removal of the affected testicle, called an orchidectomy or orchiectomy, which doesn’t usually affect fertility or the ability to have sex.

In some cases, chemotherapy or sometimes radiotherapy, may be used for seminomas but not non-seminomas.

What are the chances of survival?

The survival rates for testicular cancer are very high. It is one of the most treatable forms of the illness and survivors can fully recover if it is caught early enough.

In the UK, the NHS says: “Almost all men who are treated for testicular germ cell tumours are cured, and it’s rare for the condition to return more than five years later.”

If you feel any changes in your testicles you should consult with your GP immediately.

Sources: Cancer Research UK / NHS UK / The Telegraph / Mayo Clinic