Testicular cancer is not talked about as much as prostate cancer, as prostate cancer is much more common. However, testicular cancer is having an impact – especially on younger men. The average age of someone diagnosed with testicular cancer is 33, while the average age of someone diagnosed with prostate cancer is 66. About half of those diagnosed with testicular cancer are between the ages of 20 and 34.
It is especially important for young men to know the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer and to speak up if something doesn’t feel right. Often, young men ignore the symptoms – allowing the prostate cancer to further develop.
Risk Factors for Testicular Cancer
- Family History: Testicular cancer in a brother or close family member makes men more likely to also be diagnosed.
- An Undescended Testicle: About 3% of boys have an undescended testicle, meaning the testicle did not descend from the groin area before birth. Men with an undescended testicle(s) during early childhood are several times more likely to have testicular cancer.
- HIV Infection: HIV is the only infection believed to increase risk of testicular cancer.
- Race/Ethnicity: White men are 4 to 5 times more likely to get testicular cancer than black or Asian-American men.
Wondering how you can prevent testicular cancer in the first place? Contrary to popular belief, you can’t get testicular cancer from trauma to the area or through repeated actions (such as horseback riding) to the region. A self-check is the best thing men over the age of 25 can begin doing to stay proactive. A self-check involves holding the testicle between the thumb and fingers, and gently rolling to feel for any lumps or nodules. This should be performed once a month, and any changes in the size/shape of the testicles should be immediately reported to a medical professional.
Detection of Testicular Cancer
Young men should know how to detect testicular cancer, and what to do if something feels off. Early detection is common in cases of testicular cancer, allowing for treatment to begin immediately before the cancer becomes more of a risk to the patient.
The most common symptom/sign of testicular cancer is a lump on one of the testicles. Any lump should be immediately addressed with a doctor. Men should also seek medical attention if their testicle feels swollen or different than usual. While many men report feeling early symptoms of their testicular cancer, some men do not have symptoms until the cancer is in a later stage.
Testicular Cancer Treatment
There are several treatment options available for men with testicular cancer. Your team of doctors will decide on the best treatment option for your specific circumstance. Treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or stem cell transplant.
The mortality rate for testicular cancer is relatively low, about 1 in 5,000. Early detection is the best defense against testicular cancer.
Contact Ron S. Israeli MD, PC today if you have a concern about testicular cancer.