Testicular Cancer Awareness

April 20, 2016

Testicular Cancer Awareness

Introduction to Testicular cancer

Cancer is the disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. In this articles context, we discuss the cancer arising in the testis of men. Before we go on to talking about testicular cancer itself, we would like to briefly tell you about the anatomy of the human testicles.

Testicular cancerThe testicles or also called as testes, are part of the male reproductive system. There are two testis, which usually are just a little smaller than a golf ball in adult males and is covered by a sac of skin known as the scrotum. The two major functions of the testicles would be to produce male hormones also known as androgens such as testosterone. The other function would be to create sperm. The sperm itself is made in a long, thread-like tube inside the testicles called the seminiferous tubules which then are stored in the epididymis, a small coiled tube behind each testicle. During ejaculation, the sperm cells from the epididymis more through the vas deferens to seminal vesicles. Here they mix with fluids formed by the vesicles, prostate gland and other glands to make up semen. The semen is then expelled out via the urethra.

 

What is the statistics on testicular cancer in the United States?

Here are some infographics on the incidence of testicular cancer in the United States:

Prostate cancer at a Glance 2016 General Prostate Cancer statistics

 

2016 Estimates

 Estimated new prostate cancer cases, 2016 (by sex)

Estimated deaths by prostate cancer, 2016 (by sex)

Past incidence rates

 Prostate cancer past trends in incidence rates, 1975-2012 (by sex)

 Prostate cancer past Incidence rates, 2008-2012 (by state)

Prostate cancer past Death rates, 2008-2012 (by state)

Prostate cancer past Incidence rates, 2008-2012 (by sex)

Prostate cancer past Death rates, 2008-2012 (by sex)

Probability of occurrence

Probability of developing prostate cancer, 2010-2012 (by age)

Probability of dying from prostate cancer, 2010-2012 (by age)

What are the risk factors to develop Testicular Cancer?

Risk factors may not necessarily mean that you will develop the cancer. But having a risk factor changes your chances of developing testicular cancer. These are some of the risk factors:

  • Undescended testicle (Cryptorchidism)
  • A family history of testicular cancer
  • HIV infection
  • Carcinoma in situ of the testicle
  • Having had testicular cancer previously
  • Age: between 20 to 34 years old
  • Race and ethnicity: higher incidence in white men
  • Tall men (some studies suggest and some don’t)

 

Myths: There are no proven studies that link prior injury, trauma to the testicles or strenuous activity and recurrent actions like horseback riding to developing testicular cancer. Most studies have found that being physically active, reduces your risk of developing cancer.

 

There are different types of testicular cancer, which are:

  • Seminoma Germ Cell Tumors
  • Nonseminoma Germ Cell Tumors
  • Stromal Tumors

 

What are the signs and symptoms of Testicular Cancer?

 

There are several signs and symptoms that you may need to look out for. In the initial stages of developing testicular cancer, pain may not be the initial symptom that you may experience. These signs and symptoms may not necessarily mean that you have testicular cancer, however you will definitely need to see a doctor if you have these signs and symptoms. They include:

  • A lump on the testicles
  • Pain or discomfort in the testis or scrotum
  • Change in shape, size or irregularities of the testis
  • Feeling of heaviness or fullness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache or sense of pressure in the lower abdomen or back
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts (due to elevated hormone levels)

 

Other signs and symptoms that may suggest advanced testicular cancer:

  • Significant weight loss
  • Back pains
  • Coughing out blood (may suggest spread of cancer to the lungs)
  • Chest pains, coughing and difficult breathing
  • Enlargement of lymph nodes in the abdomen or neck

 

If you experience any of these symptoms, you need to see your doctor for further evaluation immediately.

 

How to perform a testicular self-examination?

 

Well, here's the best part and I believe no does a better job at demonstarting this by kick ass Deadpool. So enjoy! 

 

 

What are your treatment options?

 

If you have been diagnosed with testicular cancer, the initial treatment would be to remove the diseased testicle. This procedure is known as the Orchiectomy. The diseased testicle is then sent to the pathologist to determine the stage and extent of the cancer. The report is then sent back to your oncologist or surgeon, to determine further choice of treatment. These options could be chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surveillance. In any case, your doctor will inform you of your best options and leave you to decide on your choice of treatment.

 

There are clinical trials or new choices of treatment being studied at different centres. You could visit this website www.CureLauncher.com to discuss with them your options. They may have clinical trials with new choices of treatment that could be best matched with you.

 

How can you spread awareness on Testicular Cancer?

 

  • Educate your patients, family and friends regarding the incidence of testicular cancer
  • Teach your patients, family and friends on Testicular Self Examination
  • Carry a Testicular Awareness Ribbon charm or stethoscope, so that people will stop you and ask you regarding the meaning of the ribbon
  • Spread awareness by sharing this post to you family and friends

 

References:

  • American Cancer Society: (http://www.cancer.org/cancer/testicularcancer/detailedguide/testicular-cancer-what-is-testicular-cancer)
  • North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), 2015
  • Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation (http://www.testicularcancerawarenessfoundation.org)
  • NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences

 

 


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