- What Is It?
- Life Expectancy
What Is Testicular Cancer?
Testicular cancer usually affects men aged 20 to 34 years, though it can occur in boys and teenagers during puberty.
What Are Symptoms of Testicular Cancer?
Symptoms of testicular cancer include:
- A painless lump or swelling in the scrotum (usually the first sign)
- Pain is the first sign in about 10% of men
- A dull ache or heavy sensation in the lower abdomen, or around the anus or scrotum
- Breast enlargement or soreness (rare)
- Early puberty in boys: signs include deepening voice and growth of facial and body hair
Symptoms of advanced testicular cancer include:
What Causes Testicular Cancer?
The cause of most testicular cancers is unknown but genetic changes may play a role.
Risk factors for developing testicular cancer include:
- Undescended testicle (cryptorchidism)
- Family history of testicular cancer
- Personal history of testicular cancer in the other testicle
- HIV infection
- Carcinoma in situ of the testicle
- About half of testicular cancers occur in men between the ages of 20 and 34, though it can occur at any age
- White men develop testicular cancer about 4 to 5 times more often than Black and Asian-American men
- Being tall
Additional risk factors for developing testicular cancer in boys and teenagers include:
- Hydrocele (fluid in the scrotum)
- Varicocele (enlarged veins in the scrotum)
- Inguinal hernia (current or past)
How Is Testicular Cancer Diagnosed?
If a man finds a lump in his testicle, he should see a doctor as soon as possible.
If testicular cancer is suspected, several tests may be ordered, such as:
- Testicular ultrasound
- Surgical removal of the testicle (orchiectomy)
- This is the only way to confirm the diagnosis of testicular cancer
In order to determine the stage of the cancer and whether it has spread beyond the testicle, tests may include:
What Is the Treatment for Testicular Cancer?
Treatment for testicular cancer may involve one or more of the following:
What Are Complications of Testicular Cancer?
Complications of testicular cancer depend on the severity of the disease and the type of treatment and may include:
- Fertility issues
- Chemotherapy side effects, including long-term complications
- Development of a new cancer that develops in the blood or blood-forming organs (leukemia), lungs, colon, pancreas, bladder, stomach, or other organ systems
- Decreased or absent semen with ejaculation
What Is the Staging for Testicular Cancer?
Staging determines if the cancer has spread (metastasized) beyond the testicle.
- Stage I testicular cancer is limited to the testicle only
- Stage II testicular cancer has spread (metastasized) to the retroperitoneal lymph nodes (located in the abdomen)
- Stage III testicular cancer has spread to other organs
What Is the Life Expectancy for Testicular Cancer?
The prognosis for testicular cancer is generally good. More than 95% of men diagnosed with testicular cancer survive.
Life expectancy for testicular cancer is often expressed in 5-year survival rates, that is, how many people will be alive 5 years after diagnosis.
Testicular cancer 5-year survival rates:
- Localized (no sign the cancer has spread outside the testicles): 99%
- Regional (cancer has spread outside the testicles to nearby structures or lymph nodes): 96%
- Distant (cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, such as the lung, liver, or distant lymph nodes): 73%
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