Testicular Cancer Screening

Testicular Cancer Screening

What causes testicular cancer?

Like most types of cancers, testicular cancer occurs when cells begin to multiply faster than normal, ultimately leading to the formation of either a tumor or a lump. While we are not quite certain what triggers body cells to behave in such a manner, they are confident testicular cancer occurs when something triggers changes to the DNA of your testicular cells.

On most occasions, testicular cancer will spread to vital parts such as the lungs, liver as well as lymph nodes.

Who is at risk of testicular cancer?

You are at higher risk of testicular cancer if you;

  • Are aged between 15 and 35
  • Have undescended testicles (your risk becomes even higher if you have had surgery to push the testicle to the scrotum)
  • Have individual and/or family history of testicular cancer
  • Have a condition known as Klinefelter syndrome

If identified early enough, the likelihood of successful treatment can be incredibly high.

Note: You can still develop testicular cancer even if you do not have any known risk factors. Testicular cancer can potentially emanate from stromal or connective tissues – while stromal tissues are generally noncancerous or benign, they can sometimes become malignant.

What should I expect during testicular cancer screening?

Your doctor will conduct physical exams specifically in your testicular area. If a lump or some abnormalities are identified, your doctor will recommend an ultrasound of your testes to establish the exact size of the testicular tumor.

Your doctor may also conduct blood tests for tumor markers. Lastly, a CT scan (Computed Tomography) of the chest, brain, pelvis as well as abdomen will be taken. This test is very important as it verifies whether testicular cancer has spread to other parts of your body.

Can testicular cancer be treated?

If identified early enough, testicular cancer can successfully be treated. It is highly sensitive to chemotherapy even if it has spread to other parts of the body. However, testicular cancer survivors have a 2% risk of developing the same cancer in the other testicle.

How can you prevent testicular cancer?

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent testicular cancer – this is why routine testicular self-exams are important. While doing so will not lower your risk of testicular cancer, it can lead to early diagnosis of the disease and in turn increase the chances of successful treatment.

How do you perform testicular self-examination (TSE)?

The best time to conduct this self-test is after having a warm shower, or when you are generally relaxed.

  • Gently but firmly hold your penis and move it away from your body.
  • Hold each of your testicles simultaneously between your fingers and your thumb.
  • Gently roll each testicle between your fingers.
  • Feel for any bumps, collected fluid, or lumps.
  • With time, you will be able to easily differentiate between what feels normal and what is not. Look for changes in size, texture as well as shape.

A testicle that is clearly bigger than the other, as well as a hard lump, should be tell-tale signs that you might have testicular cancer.

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