testes are two small oval shaped organs on either side of
the penis that produce and store sperms. They produce testosterone
which is responsible for male sexual characters.
Testicular cancer develops from
cells within the testes.
Testicular cancer mainly affects
young men in 20-44 years age group where it is most common
cancer. Overall testicular cancer is not very common. Testicular
cancer responds particularly well to treatment and over 9
in 10 patients are cured.
RISK FACTORS FOR TESTICULAR CANCER
- Age: Usually young and middle
- Undesceded testes (cryptoorchidism),
- Family history,
- Previous testicular cancer,
SCREENING FOR TESTICULAR CANCER
There is no active screening
programme for testicular cancer but self examination is effective.
Boys should start to check their testes from age of 14 years
The best way to check for testicular
cancer is to examine yourself once a month. A good time to
do this is after a warm bath or shower, when the scrotal skin
the point is not to find something wrong, it is to learn what
everything feels like so that you will know if something changes.
Hold your scrotum in the palms
of your hands, so that you can use the fingers and thumb on
both hands to examine your testicles.
Note the size and weight of the testicles. It is common to
have one testicle slightly larger,or which hangs lower than
the other, but any noticeable increase in size or weight many
mean something is wrong.
Gently feel each testicle individually. You should feel a
soft tube at the top and back of the testicle. This is the
epididymis which carries and stores sperm. It may feel slightly
tender. Don't confuse it with an abnormal lump.
You should be able to feel the firm, smooth tube of the spermatic
cord which runs up from the epididymis.
Feel the testicle itself. It should be smooth. It is unusual
to develop cancer in both testicles at the same time, so if
you are wondering whether a testicle is feeling normal or
not you can compare it with the other.
- When in
doubt, get it checked out - if only for peace of mind!
Embarrassment is a poor excuse
for not having any problem examined by a doctor.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF
- Painless lump or swelling
in either testicles,
- Enlargement of testicles.
- Feeling of heaviness in the
- Dull ache in scrotum or groin,
- Pain or discharge in the testicles
Sometimes other symptoms may
be present such as backaches, stomach aches, breathlessness,
persistent dry cough or tender nipples.
OF TESTICULAR CANCER
- Physical examination,
- Blood tests,
- Ultrasound scan,
TREATMENT OF TESTICULAR CANCER
- Surgery: Orchidectomy- as
long as as one testis is removed surgery does affect fertility.