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Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is rare but it is one of the most common forms of cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 35 years of age. Around 7,500 cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed in the United States of America each year and is more common in white males than those of African descent.

The incidence of testicular cancer is higher amongst men with urinary system abnormalities such as horseshoe kidneys, duplication of ureters. Men with undescended testicles (even after surgical correction) are 20 times more likely to get cancer of the testicles than the general population. and men who have had cancer in one testicle have an increased chance of developing it in the other testicle. Men with HIV disease are also at more at risk of developing testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer can be cured and success rates are very high. Early detection of the cancer in general means an improved outcome. Nearly all testicular cancers respond well to treatment. The signs of testicular cancer is a painless lump in the testicle. This is usually found by self examination.

The aim of treatment is to cure the cancer, the treatment options can include surgery in which the affected testicle is always removed. A prosthesis can be inserted the same weight and shape as the testicle if it is felt to be important. Radiotherapy can be used to kill off cancer cells. It can affect fertility, but the effect is not necessarily permanent and sperm production does return. There are side effects with radiotherapy such as fatigue, nausea and diarrhea.

If cancer has spread from the testicle to the lymph nodes chemotherapy is often used. The regime usually involves a cocktail of 3 types and have been found to be very effective.

Chemotherapy may also be used to shrink a cancerous tumor prior to surgery.The drugs are carried in the bloodstream so they affect systems of the body as well as the cancerous area. Side effects are common and can be unpleasant and may include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, diarrhea, shortness of breath, mouth sores, and depression of bone marrow production. Sterility is also a side effect so you should discuss this with your doctor prior to treatment.

Discovering a lump in your testicle means you must go to a doctor.

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