Most of the men are too embarassed to talk about testicular cancer which is extremely sensitive topic indeed. Nevertheless, it should be taken serious since it has been estimated that around 8,720 men in the United States will be diagnosed with testicular cancer only this year, and the average age of diagnosis is 33.
The most important thing is to be aware of its sneaky symptoms. Man should pay close attention to the changes that occur like change in the size and shape of one or both testicles in order to diagnose it on time.
Many doctors advice men between 15 and 40 years to do a regular self-eximination, because it will help them detect cancer in its early stage.
Testicular Cancer Self Exam: Men should hold their penis out of the way and check one testicle at a time. In order to find out if there are some hard lumps or smooth rounded bumps or any change in the shape, size or consistency of the testicles, men should keep them between their thumbs and fingers of both hands and roll it gently between their fingers.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF TESTICULAR CANCER:
- A heavy feeling in the scrotum.
- A severe pain or feeling of pressure in the lower belly or groin.
- Early puberty in boys: Certain cell tumors make androgens (male sex hormones). When it comes to boys, androgen-producing tumors can lead to puberty symptoms at an abnormally early age like growth of body and facial hair and also a deepening voice. On the other hand, they don’t lead to any specific symptoms in men.
- Breast growth or soreness: There are some cases where germ cells make breasts grow or become sore. Due to the fact that certain cell tumors can make estrogen, breasts can grow and men can experience loss of sexual desire.
- A swelling and/or lump in one or both of the testes. You may or may not have pain in the testes or scrotum.
Nevertheless, you should remember that it is quite normal for one testicle to be slightly larger in comparison to the other and one can also hang lower that the other.
SYMPTOMS OF ADVANCED TESTICULAR CANCER:
Symptoms of advanced cancer mean that it has spread beyond the testicles and regional lymph nodes to other organs. The symptoms can be different because different areas can be affected by the cancer.
Here are some of the symptoms of late-stage testicular cancer:
- Severe pain in the lower back and belly: This is when the cancer is spread to the lymph nodes in the back of the abdomen.
- Sweating without reason, fever, lack of energy, or a general feeling of illness.
- Shortness of breath, coughing, or chest pain: in most of the cases coughing blood indicates to lung cancer.
- Headache or confusion: From cancer spreading to the brain.
- Belly Pain: it can ouccur due to enlarged lymph nodes or because the cancer had spread to the liver.
Note: Certain non-cancerous conditions can also show symptoms similar to those of testicular cancer, so you should consult your doctor if you notice any changes.
TESTICULAR EXAMS AND TESTS:
Testicular Ultrasound: This test is used in order to rule out other possible causes of an enlarged, or painful testicle, before the testicle is removed.
Blood Tests: Doctors usually make these tests In order to measure the levels of the tumor markers in your blood:
- Alpha Fetoprotein (AFP)
- Beta Human Chorionic gonadotrophin (beta-hCG)
- Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH)
Imaging tests: Such as Chest-X-ray, and CT scan of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis.
Important thing to mention is that this type of cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer, particularly when it is early diagnosed. Make sure to perform self-exam once per month and if you notice something unusual, consult your doctor immediately.