About the disease
Testicular cancer develops in the testicles, which are part of the male reproductive system and are located in the scrotum beneath the penis. The testicles are responsible for producing sperm, needed for fertility, and testosterone, which is a male hormone. In most cases, testicular cancer develops in the germ cell; it is the origin of 90% of all cancers of the testicles.
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 out of 263 males will develop some stage of this cancer during his lifetime. This disease usually occurs in middle-aged men in their thirties. 7% of all patients are diagnosed with it in their teenage years and 7% after the age of 55. The good news is that testicular cancer has a very low mortality rate, with 1 person out of 5,000 dying from it.
The main risk factor for developing testicular cancer is an undescended testicle. This means that a testicle did not descend into the scrotum before birth. It can also be caused by HIV infection and a genetic predisposition.
- A lump in one of the testicles
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Swelling in the scrotum
- Pain in the lower back
- Enlargement of blood vessels in the testicles
- Fluid in the scrotum
It is important to differentiate symptoms of testicular cancer with an infection, which can also bring swelling and pain.
- Physical examination can reveal signs of swelling and a lump, which usually does not cause any pain. The doctor can also examine the abdomen and groin in case symptoms are very pronounced and there is a suspicion that the cancer has spread further.
- Ultrasound can determine the location, size and stage of the tumor.
- A biopsy is performed in order to examine the tissue of the testicle under the microscope.
Orchidectomy is a surgical procedure, during which the cancerous testicle is removed. It is usually performed under local anesthetic. The procedure can be either unilateral or bilateral. An incision is made into the groin and the testicle is resected with a spermatic cord.
An orchidectomy with prosthetics is practically the same procedure, but the patient is implanted with prosthetics, which is usually done for aesthetic reasons. The prosthetic can be made from various materials and is adjusted to the size of the patient's original testicle.
Overall, survival rates after surgery are very high and you are most likely to have a normal life expectancy after it.