Testicular Cancer - OOKINFO
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6/06/2019

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is a condition that occurs when cells in the testes grow uncontrollably. Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that is quite rare. This condition most often occurs in men aged 15-49 years.


Testicles are male sex organs that are oval-shaped inside the scrotum or pubic pouch. The testes have an important role in the male reproductive system, which produces testosterone and sperm. Both of these hormones have a vital role in the development and sexual function of a man.

Based on the cell type, testicular cancer is divided into several types, namely:

  • Germ cell testis cancer ( germ cell). This is the most common type of testicular cancer. About 95 percent of all testicular cancer cases fall into this category. Germ cells are the type of cells that the body uses to form sperm. This type of testicular cancer is divided into two, namely seminoma and nonseminoma. Seminoma cancers grow more slowly than nonseminoma type cancers.
  • Lymphoma. About 4 percent of cases of testicular cancer are recorded into this type.
  • Leydig cell tumor. About 1-3 percent of cases of testicular cancer are recorded into this type.
  • Sertoli cell tumor. This is the least common type of testicular cancer, which is only 1 percent.

Symptoms of Testicular Cancer


The appearance of testicular cancer can be identified by the following symptoms:

  • Lumps or swelling in one of the testicles. This is the most common symptom. Lumps and swelling are often accompanied by pain.
  • Sharp pain and aches in the testicles and scrotum. The scrotum also feels heavy. This taste can come and go.
  • There is an accumulation of fluid in the scrotum and the patient will feel easily tired when cancer cells grow inside the testis.

Although most lumps and swelling in the testis may not be a sign of cancer, the appearance of these symptoms remains to be watched out for. In many cases, a lump in the testis occurs due to swelling of the blood vessels or varicocele.

If not treated immediately, testicular cancer can spread to other parts of the body (metastatic). If this condition occurs, other symptoms will also appear. Usually, testicular cancer will spread to the lymph nodes, then can spread to the abdomen or abdomen, and lungs. This cancer can also spread to the liver, bones, and brain, although it rarely happens.

 Symptoms of metastatic cancer include:

  • Cough that lasts long accompanied by blood.
  • Male chest enlargement or enlargement.
  • Shortness of breath and lower back pain.
  • Lumps or swelling of the neck.
  • Hard to breathe.

Causes of Testicular Cancer


The main trigger for testicular cancer is not known until now. But clearly, testicular cancer occurs when cells in the testes grow abnormally and uncontrollably.

Although the trigger is not known with certainty, there are several factors that are thought to increase a person's risk for testicular cancer, including:

  • Non-descending testis (cryptorchidism). Testicles are formed in the abdomen and usually descend into the scrotum after a baby boy is born or in the first year of his life. In the case of anomalies, the testicles do not go down. The medical term for this condition is an undescended testicle or cryptorchidism.
  • Have had testicular cancer. Men who have had testicular cancer are advised to carry out further examinations after treatment. They are at risk for testicular cancer with a 12-fold greater chance than normal people, in other parts of the testis.
  • Family health history. If there are family members, such as father and male siblings suffering from testicular cancer, then the chances of someone experiencing this condition will also increase.
  • Age. Testicular cancer more often occurs between the ages of 15-49 years. Most cases occur in men aged 30-34 years. Even so, it does not rule out the possibility of this cancer occurring in other ages.
  • Height. The higher the body of a man, the greater the chance for testicular cancer. The relationship between height and risk of cancer is motivated by food consumed. High-bodied children may consume more high-calorie foods during the growth period. It has the potential to increase the risk of getting testicular cancer.
  • Abnormal testicular growth. Certain conditions, such as Klinefelter's syndrome, can cause the testicles do not develop normally. This will increase the risk of testicular cancer.
  • HIV and AIDS. This disease that attacks the immune system also causes sufferers susceptible to testicular cancer.
  • Smoke. People who smoke actively for a long time are at risk of developing testicular cancer.
  • Race. Testicular cancer is more common in white men than blacks.

Testicular Cancer Diagnosis


The doctor will diagnose testicular cancer through several stages, including:

  • Physical examination. The doctor will ask about the patient's symptoms and medical history, and check the condition of the testes by direct observation.
  • Scrotal ultrasound. This examination method uses high-frequency sound waves to produce anatomical images This is the main way to determine whether the lump is cancerous or benign.
  • Blood test. This test can be done to confirm the diagnosis of testicular cancer because there are certain hormones in the blood that can become "markers". If there is testicular cancer, the patient will produce this tumor marker and can be identified by undergoing a blood test. These markers include AFP ( alpha feta protein ), HCG ( human chorionic gonadotrophin ), and LDH ( lactate dehydrogenase ).
  • Biopsy. This examination method is done by taking cell samples from the tumor to be examined in the laboratory. In most cases, a biopsy is carried out by removing the entire testicular cancer, to avoid injury and the spread of cancer cells. The removal of the testis is known as an orchidectomy and will be performed if the lump has been confirmed to be cancerous from another examination.
  • Other tests. Several other types of tests may be needed to check the spread of cancer that has occurred. These include X-rays, MRI, and CT scans.

After the test is complete, the doctor can determine the stage of cancer experienced by the patient. There are two ways in this stage of the cancer system. The first is the TNM system.

  • T determines the size of the tumor.
  • N determines whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and to
  • M determines whether cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

The second stage of testicular cancer system is to divide cancer into four stages:

  • Stage 1. Cancer is only found in the testis.
  • Stage 2. Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes of the abdomen and pelvis.
  • Stage 3. The cancer spreads to the lymph nodes in the upper chest.
  • Stage 4. Cancer has spread to other organs, such as the lungs.

Testicular Cancer Treatment


Treatment of testicular cancer depends on the type, and the severity or stage of cancer experienced by the patient. The first treatment method that is generally applied is the surgical removal of the testes that are attacked by cancer or known as an orchidectomy.

After the surgical removal of the testes, the patient may be advised to do chemotherapy to turn off cancer cells that may still remain. In certain cases, doctors also advise patients to do radiotherapy if necessary. Continued surgery will be needed if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other organs.

The following are the treatment steps for testicular cancer:

  • Orchidectomy. This is the surgical procedure for removing the testes as a whole to prevent the spread of cancer. This procedure will not interfere with sexual life or the ability of a person to have children if only one testis is affected by cancer. If both testicles have to be removed, the patient can store sperm so they can still have offspring later on.
  • Testosterone replacement therapy. Removal of both testicles can stop the production of the hormone testosterone. As a result, sexual arousal or libido decreases and causes a person to have difficulty maintaining or achieving an erection. To overcome this, patients will be given hormone replacement therapy ( hormone replacement therapy ) in the form of synthetic testosterone. This hormone therapy can cause side effects such as oily skin, pimples, swelling of the chest (breast), or disruption of urination patterns.
  • Lymph node surgery. Testicular cancer that has entered an advanced stage and has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes must be treated through this procedure.
  • Radiotherapy. This procedure is used to destroy cancer cells by using high-energy radiation rays. This technique is also effective for treating seminal testicular cancer and preventing it from reappearing. Side effects of this treatment include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, reddened skin, and pain as a result of sunburn.
  • Chemotherapy. This procedure uses anticancer drugs to kill malignant cells in the body so as not to develop or reappear. However, this treatment technique can also attack healthy and normal cells of the human body. Men who are undergoing chemotherapy are not advised to impregnate their wives, because chemotherapy drugs can damage sperm and increase the risk of having a child who is disabled from birth.
  • Periodic checks. People who recover from cancer must remain vigilant because cancer has the potential to come again. Usually, cancer reappears within the first two years after treatment is complete. Patients are advised to carry out regular examinations and tests to monitor that cancer does not reappear. The tests and examinations in question are physical examinations, blood tests, X-rays, and CT scans.

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