In the last few years testicular cancer become common health issue. Unfortunately majority people feel embarrassment and avoid any discussion on this topic.
Each man should know the signs and symptoms of this health issue. Medical experts estimated that about 8,720 men in the United States will be diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2016. It is quite shocking that average age of diagnosis is 33 years. In most cases, the first obvious sign of testicular cancer is change in the size or shape of one or both testicles, and usually this change doesn’t cause pain.
Doctors advise that every man, between the age of 15 and 40 should regularly perform a testicular self-examination. Namely, with this self-check it is possible to detect the cancer in early phase, and it is particularly important for those men who have undecided testicles or family history of testicular cancer.
How to Do the Testicular Cancer Self-Exam
You need to hold your penis out of the way and check one testicle at a time. Remember that you should keep the testicle between your thumbs and fingers of both hands and roll it gently between your fingers to find out if there are any lumps or bumps or changes in the size and the shape of the testicles.
THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS OF TESTICULAR CANCER ARE:
- Unusual swelling and/ or lump in one or both testicles. Usually this doesn’t cause pain in the testes or scrotum
- Unpleasant and heavy feeling in the scrotum
- Pain or feeling of pressure in the lower belly or groin
- Although it is very rare, still germ cell tumors can cause breast growth or soreness. Certain tumors cell may make estrogen, which can lead to breast growth or loss of sexual appetite.
- Early puberty in boys: Certain tumors cell are able to make androgens (male sex hormones), which may not cause any symptoms in men, but in boys they can cause signs of a puberty at a very early age (like a deepening voice and growth of facial and body hair)
- It is normal if one testicle is a little bit larger than the other
- Also, it is normal if one testicle hangs lower than the other
THE SYMPTOMS OF TESTICULAR CANCER IN LATER STAGES:
When it comes to advanced stage of testicular cancer, the cancer has already spread to other organs. It is important to mention that symptoms vary and depend on the affected parts.
Some symptoms of late-stage testicular cancer are:
Severe pain in the lower back and belly that appears due to the spreading of the cancer to the lymph nodes in the back of the belly.
Constant lack of energy, sweating without reason, recurrent fever and frequent feeling of illness.
If you experience shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pain: In some cases, coughing up blood may develop, the cancer has spread to the lungs.
If there is frequent headache or confusion, the cancer has spread to the brain.
Belly Pain: May occur if there are enlarged lymph nodes or because the cancer has spread to the liver.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is important to mention that there are various non-cancerous conditions such as testicle injury or inflammation that cause symptoms that are similar to those of testicular cancer. For instance, inflammation of the testicle (orchitis) or inflammation of the epididymis (epididymitis) often lead to swelling and pain in one or both testicles.
HERE ARE SOME TESTICULAR EXAMS AND TESTS:
Testicular Ultrasound: is type of test which usually is used to rule out other possible causes of an enlarged or painful testicle before the testicle is removed.
Blood Tests: Very often, testicular cancers produce high levels of specific hormones that can be measured through blood tests. The medical name is tumor markers. Doctors explain that there are 3 different tumor markers that can be made by testicular cancer: Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP), Beta-Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (ß-HCG) and Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH).
Imaging tests: On the same way as Chest-X-ray, and CT scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis.
Statistically, testicular cancer is the most curable form of cancer, particularly if is detected in its early stages. Therefore, our advice is to perform self-exam once a month. In case you suspect that something is unusual, you should visit medical experts immediately.