Testicular cancer is considered to be a rare disease worldwide. In India, the occurrence rate of the disease in men is 1 per 1 Lakh. The affected age group ranges from 15-34 years and above 50 years. However, it has a high recovery rate too. Testicular cancer occurs in the testicles (testes) which are the male organs responsible for producing sex hormones and sperms for reproduction. The uncontrollable cell growth can result in the formation of a lump or tumor, which can later develop into cancer cells. It can spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. This phenomenon is termed as metastasis.
The medical condition is treatable even if the cancer has spread to other regions beyond the testicle. Consultation with a medical practitioner is necessary to understand the kind of treatment required depending on the stage. It is important to detect the condition at an early stage to prevent the spread of the cancer. Learning about the early signs, undergoing a testicular self-examination and periodical medical consultations can reduce the risks significantly. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Dilip Dhanpal, Urologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Bangalore, about the symptoms and causes of testicular cancer.
What causes testicular cancer?
Image source: Bioedge
The cause of testicular cancer is not very clear in most cases but certain factors can put an individual at higher risk for this condition. Below listed are a few factors that contribute to the growth of testicular cancer:
● Family History - If any immediate family member suffers from testicular cancer then the risks are higher for an individual. It is imperative to undergo regular checkups and be vigilant towards early signs to prevent the disease
● Age - Men belonging to the age group between 15 to 35 are more susceptible to cancer. Being aware and careful during this time can avoid unnecessary problems. People above the age of 50 should be particularly alert.
● Undescended testicle (cryptorchidism) - Men who have testes that do not descend before birth are at a greater risk of testicular cancer. This medical condition should be treated at early stages of life. However, the risk lingers even if the testicles have been surgically relocated to the scrotum.
● Abnormal testicle development - Conditions for abnormal development of testicles like Klinefelter syndrome could be a cause for testicular cancer.
● Infertility - Infertile men can be more prone to developing testicular cancer as some of the factors for infertility and cancer may be interlinked.
Symptoms of testicular cancer
Image source: Huffpost
The various signs for a testicular tumor are:
- The most common sign is a painless lump in the testicles
- Swelling of the testicles which can be painful or without pain
- Pain or an ache in the scrotum, testicle, or groin
- Tenderness or change in the male breast tissue
- Shrinkage of testicle
- Pain or constant discomfort n the scrotum or testicle
- Fluid build-up in the scrotum
Men tend to hesitate in addressing symptoms specially related to testicular cancer which can cause delay in diagnosis. It is important to understand the early signs and act on them to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts.
There are no definite instructions that need to be followed to prevent testicular cancer; however, being self-aware and diagnosing the problem at the right time can prevent further consequences. Self-awareness and examination can reduce the risks of cancer if done at the right time. Maintaining a proper diet and hygienic practices can also help an individual stay alert and well.
Read more articles on Men's health
Image credits: Netdoctor.co