Medicaoncology Testicular Cancer

What is Testicular Cancer?

The testicles (testes) are placed inside the scrotum, a loose sack of skin beneath the penis, where testicular cancer develops. Male sex hormones and sperm are produced in the testicles for reproduction. Testicular cancer is uncommon compared to other types of cancer. Even after the cancer has gone beyond the testicle, testicular cancer is highly curable. You may undergo one of several therapies, or a mix of them, depending on the kind and stage of your testicular cancer.

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    Types

    People with different types of testicular cancer may not have the same symptoms, and patients with the same type of cancer may not have the same symptoms. The type of cancer can be determined based on the type of cell in which it began. Seminoma and non-seminoma are the two kinds of testicular cancer that are most commonly encountered.
    Both cancers arise from germ cells in the testicles that are important for sperm production, which is why testicular malignancies are also known as germ cell tumors. Testicular malignancies can be classified into the following categories:

    Seminoma

    Seminomas are a type of testicular cancer caused by a germ cell tumor in the testicles. Seminomas are one of the most treatable types of testicular cancer. They can be found in the mediastinum or other non-gonadal sites in very rare circumstances. Seminoma is most commonly seen in men between the ages of 30 and 50, with testes pain and lower back ache being the most commonly reported symptoms.

    Approximately 90% of seminomas develop masses that can be detected during diagnostic examinations. Patients with a history of cryptorchidism (undescended testicles) have a 10% to 40% increased chance of getting testicular cancer. But seminomas, which are one of the most curable tumors give you a 95 percent survival rate when detected early.

    Seminomas are divided into two types:

    • Classical Seminoma: The most prevalent seminomas are classical seminomas. Classic seminomas account for nearly half of all germ cell tumors. Seminomas, also known as classic or typical seminomas, are malignancies that grow slowly and do not spread.
    • Spermatocytic Seminomas: This is a relatively rare type of cancer that affects men over the age of 55. This tumor is limited to the testis and has clinicopathologic characteristics that are distinct from traditional seminomas.

    Non-Seminoma

    A non-seminoma is a kind of testicular cancer that is produced by tumors in the germ cells and is more metastasizing than seminomas. They spread rapidly and beyond the testicles. These tumors are more common in people in their twenties and early forties.

    There are four basic categories of non-seminoma malignancies based on the type of cells that make up the tumors:

    • Teratoma: Teratomas are malignancies that arise from tumors in the testicles’ germ cells. Different tissues, such as muscle, hair, and bones, make up these tumors. There are two forms of teratomas: mature and immature. The adult teratomas are benign dermoid cysts, whereas the immature teratomas are malignant. Teratoma symptoms include small, painless tumors that are usually treated with surgery or chemotherapy.
    • Choriocarcinoma: Choriocarcinoma is a type of germ cell tumor that spreads through the bloodstream to the lungs, liver, brain, and other organs. Choriocarcinoma, like other nonseminoma malignancies, is more common in young males. Radiation and chemotherapy do not work well for these tumors, and they have a high fatality rate.
    • Embryonal Carcinoma: This is a type of germ cell tumor that can exist as a standalone entity or as part of a mixed germ cell tumor. It is found in 3-10% of pure germ cell tumors. Embryonal carcinoma is found in 80 percent of mixed germ cell tumors. It is most common in men between the ages of 20 and 30. Primitive epithelial cells with significant pleomorphism and different histologic patterns characterize these tumors.
    • Yolk Sac Tumor: Endodermal sinus tumors represent the yolk sac, allantois, and extraembryonic mesenchyme, and are also known as yolk sac tumors. In prepubertal males, pure yolk sac tumor (YST) is one of the most prevalent testicular malignancies.
    Symptoms

    Aside from testicular cancer, many of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by something else. A variety of non-cancerous diseases, such as testicle injury or inflammation, can mimic testicular cancer symptoms. Therefore, going to a specialist for a proper diagnosis is always mandatory in such cases. But one can always keep an eye out for the following common signs if suspecting cancer.

    • Lump/swelling in one or both testicles
    • Changes in size of the testicles
    • Soreness of breasts
    • Fluid build-up in scrotum
    • Backache
    • Stomachache
    • Early puberty
    • Shortness of breath
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    Causes

    A person’s risk of having testicular cancer can be increased by the following circumstances. It’s crucial to note, however, that the cause of testicular cancer is unknown.

    • Age: Between the ages of 20 and 45, more than half of those diagnosed with testicular cancer. People of any age, including those in their teens and 60s, can acquire this disease, therefore anyone experiencing symptoms of testicular cancer should see a doctor.
    • Family History: A person’s risk of acquiring testicular cancer is enhanced if they have a close relative, especially a sibling, who has had testicular cancer.
    • Personal History: People who have had cancer in one of their testicles are more likely to acquire cancer in the other. Two out of every 100 persons with testicular cancer will develop cancer in the other testicle, according to estimates.
    • Cryptorchidism: Cryptorchidism is a condition in which one or both testicles do not descend into the scrotum before birth. Testicular cancer is more likely as a result of this disorder. This risk can be reduced if surgery is performed before puberty to correct the problem.
    • HIV: Seminoma is slightly more likely to occur in those who have HIV or AIDS caused by HIV.
    Stages

    Testicular cancer is split into four primary phases based on staging parameters, with early stages being less essential and treatable than later stages. The stages are as follows:

    Stage 0: At this stage of testicular cancer, the cancer has not gone beyond the testicles, and the tumors are referred to as carcinomas in situ.

    Stage I: In this stage, testicular cancer can be any grade T, as long as it hasn’t progressed to the lymph nodes or a distant organ.

    Stage II: The testicular cancer has progressed to a number of lymph nodes but not to distant organs at this stage.

    Stage III: Regardless of the size of the tumor, stage 3 testicular cancer has progressed to a distant lymph node or organ. The treatment for stage III testicular cancer can be found here.

    Diagnosis

    Self-examination of the testicles is one method of early detection of testicular cancer. All males are advised to inspect their testicles on a regular basis after puberty. Self-examinations aren’t always accurate for everyone, but they can help people who have testicular cancer risk factors. It is, however, always a good idea to have your testicles tested by a doctor every now and then. When the skin on the scrotum is loosened, such as during or after a shower, the testicles should be inspected.

    The steps to self-examine your testicles are as follows:

    • Each testicle must be inspected independently while the penis is held out.
    • Between your fingers, softly roll your testicles.
    • Examine the testicles for lumps or nodules, as well as any changes in shape, size, or consistency.
    • If you see anything unusual, see a doctor right once.

    Men who self-examine their testicles should be aware of the following information:

    • It’s common for the testicles to be slightly different sizes.
    • It is also common for one testicle to hang longer than the other.

    Apart from that, once you visit a doctor with your concern, he will perform the following tests on you:

    Physical Examination: If the patient exhibits symptoms of testicular cancer, the doctor may perform a physical examination of the testicles, which includes examining the testicles for swelling, soreness, or hardening.

    Scrotal Ultrasound: Scrotal ultrasonography is a painless method that produces pictures of the testicles using high frequency sound waves. These photos of the inside of the testicles aid in establishing whether the abnormalities in the testicles are malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous), as well as their location and size. Solid lumps suggest testicular cancer, whereas fluid-filled lumps are non-cancerous.

    Imaging Tests: These tests provide images of the inside of a person’s body using x-rays, sound waves, magnetic tests, or radioactive substances. The results will help determine the cause and progression of your cancer.


    Other Types of Tumor Marker Test: There are certain specific tests that your doctor will ask you to get done to aptly diagnose your illness.

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    Treatment

    Testicular cancer treatment is primarily determined by the type and stage of the malignancy. Pure seminomas are treated one manner, while non-seminomas and mixed germ cell tumors are treated in a different method.

    Surgery: In this method of treatment the oncosurgeon will either operate to remove the affected lymph nodes or will remove the affected testicle via surgery.

    Radiation Therapy: When a person has seminoma testicular cancer, radiation therapy is a therapeutic option that is sometimes used. After your testicle is removed, radiation therapy may be recommended.

    Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that employs the use of chemicals to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy medications spread throughout your body, killing cancer cells that have spread from the original tumor. Chemotherapy could be your only option, or it could be prescribed before or after lymph node removal surgery.

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