Testicular cancer is a tumor process that occurs in the cells of the male sex glands. The testicles are the main reproductive organs of men. Their task is the production of millions of sperm and male sex hormones. The latter are crucial in the development of primary and secondary sexual characteristics, and in controlling the functions of the reproductive system itself.
Depending on the type of cells affected by cancer, there are various forms of testicular cancer. About 95% of all cases of the disease affect germ cells, and 5% affect stromal cells.
Testicular cancer is a rare disease and accounts for only 1% of all cancers that men experience, and 10.3% of all cancers of the genitourinary system. But such life-affirming statistics are not a reason to relax. In recent decades, there has been a clear upward trend in the incidence of testicular cancer.
Causes of testicular cancer
The causes of the disease are not precisely defined, but there are a number of factors that obviously create favorable conditions for the onset of the disease. These include:
- alcohol and nicotine abuse;
- high growth.
Regarding the last point, it is important to note that according to research conducted in 2008, men above 190 cm of growth had testicular cancer more often than their colleagues less than 170 cm tall. In light of this, a connection between high growth and testicular cancer is suggested, although and it is difficult to explain this phenomenon from a scientific point of view.
Symptoms of testicular cancer
The onset of a malignant process is characterized by the occurrence of edema, the presence of a tumor, palpable, painless, which can be the size of a pea or more. Other or, palpable, painless, which can be the size of a pea or more. Other symptoms:
- dull or sharp pain in the testicles or scrotum;
- a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum;
- dull abdominal pain;
- dropsy of the testicle;
- fatigue and general malaise.
When to go to the doctor?
The appearance of a noticeable swelling of the scrotum does not mean that you certainly have cancer. However, you should immediately consult a doctor as soon as you notice anything suspicious. And the sooner you start treatment, the higher the likelihood of success. Timely diagnosis gives a good chance of a cure that can be achieved by surgical removal of the testicle, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Diagnosis of testicular cancer
Diagnosis of testicular cancer begins with examination, palpation and ultrasound of the scrotum, and ends with a blood test and biopsy. If everything is clear with palpation and ultrasound, then a blood test is necessary in order to determine the so-called tumor markers. Their identification is of great importance, however, not all testicular tumors produce these markers.
A biopsy is performed for the final diagnosis and includes a study of the affected testis tissue.
Testicular Cancer Complications
If testicular cancer is not treated properly, the disease can spread to other parts of the body. Through the circulatory or lymphatic systems, cancer cells can enter the neighboring lymph nodes, and then into the more distant lymph nodes, lungs, liver, etc.
Testicular cancer prophylaxis
Testicular cancer cannot be prevented, however periodic self-examination (ideal time is palpation after a shower) will help detect anomalies in time. This is recommended for all men, and especially those who have a history of cryptorchidism or a family history of testicular cancer.