Testicular cancer is the most common cancer that affects males between ages 15 and 35
Testicular cancer is usually found in younger and middle-aged men, but 7 percent of cases are found in children and teenage males. The good news about testicular cancer is that it’s one of the most treatable forms of cancer, thanks to recent advances in surgery, as well as improvements to radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
Symptoms of testicular cancer
Early diagnosis and treatment play a big part in making testicular cancer so treatable, so our Austin urologists would like men to be aware of the symptoms of testicular cancer, including:
- Most often, a lump or swelling within the testicle
- A heavy or dull achy feeling in the scrotum or even the lower belly
- Rarely, you may notice soreness or growth in your breasts
- Signs of early puberty in boys, such as a deeper voice or facial and body hair at an early age
In cases of advanced testicular cancer which has spread, you may experience: lower back or belly pain, problems with breathing—being short of breath, coughing or chest pains, and headaches or confusion.
Since testicular cancer is rarely painful, men should always see a urologist for an evaluation if they notice any mass or nodule within their testicles.
With testicular cancer, early detection and treatment are the keys to survival.
Risk factors for testicular cancer
The most significant risk factor for testicular cancer is having an undescended testicle . Normally, the testicles descend or move down into the scrotum before birth, but in about 3 percent of men, the testicles remain in the abdomen or groin after the baby is born. This condition usually corrects itself before age one, or it is surgically corrected.
There are other risk factors associated with testicular cancer, but having one of these is not a strong indicator that any man will get testicular cancer. These include:
- Family history of testicular cancer
- HIV, particularly AIDS
- Cancer in one testicle may make the other testicle more at risk
- Race—white males are 4 to 5 times more at risk
- Age—men ages 15 to 35 are most at risk, but men of any age may be affected, from infants to the elderly
If you are concerned about your risk factors for testicular cancer, please consult one of our Austin urologists.
Diagnosing testicular cancer
At Urology Austin, we begin our evaluation with a thorough medical history and physical examination. If we find anything suspicious, our Austin urologists will order blood work to check for certain proteins that, if present, can be measured to help us determine the type and extent of testicular cancer that may be present.
Treating testicular cancer
If our examinations and tests indicate that you have testicular cancer, we will order a CT scan of the abdomen/pelvis and a chest X-ray to help us determine the best treatment plan for you. Treating testicular cancer at Urology Austin involves the most advanced radiation and surgical techniques.
For more information or a consultation about testicular cancer, contact us.