Testicular cancer occurs in the testicles (testes), which are located inside the scrotum, a loose bag of skin underneath the penis. The testicles produce male sex hormones and sperm for reproduction.
Symptoms of testicular cancer may include;
- A painless lump or swelling on either testicle. If found early, a testicular tumor may be about the size of a pea or a marble, but it can grow much larger.
- Pain, discomfort, or numbness in a testicle or the scrotum, with or without swelling.
- Change in the way a testicle feels or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum. For instance, 1 testicle may become firmer that the other testicle or testicular cancer may cause the testicle to grow bigger or to become smaller.
- Dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin
- Sudden buildup of fluid in the scrotum
- Breast tenderness or growth. Although rare, some testicular tumors make hormones that cause breast tenderness or growth of breast tissue, a condition called gynecomastia.
- Lower back pain, shortness of breath, chest pain, and bloody sputum or phlegm can be symptoms of testicular cancer. A blood clot in a large vein is called a pulmonary embolism and causes shortness of breath.
The stages of testicular cancer are as follows:
- Stage 1 – is limited to the testicle
- Stage 2 – has spread to lymph nodes in the abdomen
- Stage 3 – has spread to other parts of the body. This type of cancer commonly spreads to the lungs, liver, brains and bone.
There are three general categories of treatments used for testicular cancer. Depending on the stage of the cancer, the patient may be treated with one or more options.
- Surgery – used to remove one or both of the patient’s testicles and some surrounding lymph nodes to both stage and treat cancer.
- Radiation Therapy – uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It may be administered externally or internally.
- Chemotherapy – uses medication to kill cancer cells. It’s a systemic treatment, which means it can kill cancer cells that have traveled to other parts of your body.
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