What is it?
Testicular tumors are typically found in young men between the ages of 14-35. It may be found by the patient or during and annual physical. It is a highly curable disease when detected early. It is important for all men to initiate testicular self-exams monthly. Your urologist can discuss and instruct appropriate self-screening.
Symptoms of testicular cancer:
- Firm testicular mass or pain
- Enlargement of the testicle
- Back pain or abdominal pain
- Development of breast tissue
Why does it occur?
- Undescended testicle: During early development/infancy, the testicles descend from the abdomen into the scrotum. Sometimes this does not happen appropriately and can increase risk for testicular tumors later in life.
- Family history of testicular cancer
- Personal history of testicular cancer
- Disorders of testicular development: Gonadal dysgenesis, Klinfelter’s syndrome
How is it evaluated and why?
Your urologist will perform a comprehensive urologic exam. In addition they may order one or more imaging studies, ultrasound, x-ray, CT scan, MRI. Many testicular tumors produce substances that circulate at abnormal levels in the blood stream (tumor markers). Your urologist will order a full battery of blood tests to accurately stage your condition.
Since testicular cancer is a disease of young men who may be interested in maintaining their fertility it is important to discuss preservation of fertility with your urologist.
Treatment for all testicular tumors is based on initial excision of the suspicious mass. This is typically accomplished by removing the entire affected testicle through an incision in the groin (radical orchiectomy). There are several different types of testicular tumors and subsequent treatment is based on your initial tumor type and staging. This may include chemotherapy, radiation or additional surgery to remove lymph nodes in the abdomen or pelvis.