Checking Testicular Cancer

Checking Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer develops in the testicles. Nearly 8,000 cases of testicular cancer cases are reported in the United States each year. It is more common in men in the age group of 15 to 40 years. The good news is that testicular cancer has the highest rate of cure of all cancers.

Since it is curable easily, a regular self examination is suggested to help in early detection. Normally it should feel smooth. Hence, a pea shaped lump can be easily identified. Following are the symptoms that can be noted.

  • A lump in one testis or a hardening of one testis.
  • Abnormal sensitivity -- either numbness or pain
  • Loss of sexual activity
  • Sexual withdrawal
  • Fluid build-up in the scrotum.
  • A dull ache in the lower abdomen
  • Lower back pain
  • Enlargement of one testis and shrinking of the other testis
  • Blood in semen
  • Weakness and tiredness

Blood tests -- Blood test is carried out to measure the level of tumor markers. These are substances that are found more than normal when cancer is present. Tumor markers such as alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (ßHCG), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) will confirm if the cancer is present. The blood test will reveal even if it is too small to be felt during physical examination.

Ultrasound -- In this test high frequency sound waves or reflected back from internal organs and tissues. Sonogram is the picture produced by the echoes. Ultrasound test of the scrotum can show the presence of the mass, its size and location.  

Biopsy -- If the cancer is suspected, then the entire testicle is removed and the tissue is subjected to microscopic test for confirmation. If cancer is confirmed, then more tests are required to verify whether it has spread to other areas. On the basis of that, the stage of the cancer will be determined and the treatment to be started.

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Checking Testicular Cancer