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Testicular Cancer

        Health | General Cancer Facts

Do you know the causes of testicular cancer? Testicular cancer is a malignancy that grows within a man's testicle.

What is going on in the body?

Testicular cancer is uncommon. It is responsible for only half of one percent of all male cancer deaths. As rare as it is, it is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 29 and 35. It occurs most often in white men. There are two major types of testicular cancer. They are seminoma, which is the most common, and nonseminoma germ cell tumors. Usually testicular cancer occurs only in one testicle.

What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?

A painless swelling of the testicle is the most common symptom. Sometimes a man will notice this swelling after he has had an injury to the scrotum. The injury is not responsible for the cancer.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

The cause of testicular cancer is unknown. Men who have an undescended testicle are at greater risk for the disease. The male children of women who took hormones while pregnant may also be at greater risk.

What can be done to prevent the disease?

Nothing can be done to prevent this kind of cancer. Any lump in the testicle should be reported promptly to a healthcare provider. Early detection is critical to successful treatment. It is important that every man perform testicular self-examination routinely.

How is the disease diagnosed?

Certain body chemicals such as alpha fetoprotein and beta human chorionic gonadotrophin are produced by some testicular cancers. These are called tumor markers. A small amount of blood will be drawn to look for these. The only sure way to determine if cancer is present, however, is to remove the testicle.

What are the long-term effects of the disease?

This cancer is fatal if not treated. With treatment, however, over 70% of men are long-term survivors.