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Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men ages 20 to 34 years old. It is a disease in which cancer forms in one or both testicles. The testicles are 2 egg-shaped glands inside the scrotum (a sac of loose skin that lies directly below the penis). They are the male sex glands that make testosterone and sperm.

Risk Factors

There are factors that raise a mans risk of getting this disease:

1) An undescended testicle: One or both testicles dont move from the abdomen to the scrotum.

2) Young age: Young men have a higher risk of getting testicular cancer. It is the most common cancer between the ages of 20 to 34, the second most common cancer between the ages of 35 to 39, and the third most common cancer between the ages of 15 to 19.

3) A personal history of testicular cancer: Men who already had testicular cancer have a higher risk of developing a tumor in the other testicle.

4) A family history of testicular cancer Men with a family history of testicular cancer may have a higher risk of developing testicular cancer.

3) Klinefelter's syndrome: This is a genetic disorder in males caused by having an extra X chromosome.

4) Race: Testicular cancer is more common among White men.

Signs

Possible signs of testicular cancer include:

1) a painless lump or swelling in either testicle

2) change in how the testicle feels.

3) dull ache in the lower abdomen or the groin (area where the thigh meets the abdomen

4) sudden build-up of fluid in the scrotum

5) pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum

Treatment

If testicular cancer is found, the treatment depends on the stage of the cancer. Three standard treatments are used:

1) Surgery: Surgery removes the testicle and some of the lymph nodes (organs that fight infection) . Tumors that have spread to other places in the body may be partly or entirely removed by surgery.

2) Radiation therapy: High-energy x-rays or other types of radiation kill cancer cells.

3) Chemotherapy: Drugs are used to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. Other types of treatment are being tested in clinical trials. For more information, go to link

Find testicular cancer early: do a self-exam

Most men find the cancer in their testicles themselves. This fast and simple exam can help you find this cancer early. Do the exam after a warm bath or shower every month. Also ask your health care provider to do a testicular exam as part of your regular check-up.

Heres how to do a self-exam of each testicle:

1) Place your thumbs on top of your testicle. Put your index and middle fingers under the testicle.

2) Roll the testicle between the thumbs and fingers.

3) Feel for any lumps, about the size of a pea.

4) If you find a lump, see your health care provider right away.

The following resources can help you learn more about testicular cancer:

Publications

Ask NOAH about Testicular Cancer (Copyright NOAH) - This page of links provides detailed information on the causes and diagnosis of Testicular Cancer, as well as potential complications, various treatment options, and numerous links to publications that provides information on all aspects of testicular cancer.

Cancer Facts - Testicular Cancer: Questions and Answers - This fact sheet provides information about the treatment, detection, risk factors, and prevention of testicular cancer. It includes instructions for performing testicular self-examination.

Overview: Testicular Cancer (Copyright @ ACS) - This online overview provides information about testicular cancer and a list of questions to ask your healthcare provider. It includes what testicular cancer is, the risk factors, how to prevent testicular cancer, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment options.

Testicular Cancer - This web site provides detailed information about testicular cancer. It contains information about treatment options, clinical trials, statistics, and research about this type of cancer.

Testicular Cancer (Copyright A.D.A.M.) - This on-line publication contains information on testicular cancer. It provides the definition, causes, incidence, and risk factors as well as signs and symptoms, tests, and treatment for this type of cancer.

Testicular Cancer (PDQ) Treatment - Patients - This publication offers information about testicular cancer including the different stages of the disease, treatment options, description and additional resources to find out more about the disease.

Testicular Cancer: Survival High with Early Treatment - This publication offers information to men about the most common cancer in young men ages 15-34. It also mentions early detection can lead to proper diagnosis and treatment, lists cancer stages, treatment options, possible side effects, and information on examining the testicles.

Testicular Cancer: What to Look For (Copyright AAFP) - This article provides a general overview about testicular cancer. It provides instructions and illustrations of how to perform a testicular self-exam.

Organizations

American Cancer Society

Lance Armstrong Foundation

Men's Health Network

National Cancer Institute, NIH, HHS