Testicular cancer starts as an abnormal growth or tumor in a testis. Cancer will usually appear as a painless lump in a testis. If a man sees a urologist in East Delhi as soon as a lump, swelling or pain in a testis is noticed, the cancer can remain localised (remain within the testis). However, if not treated, the cancer typically spreads to other parts of the body via the blood or lymphatic system. Testicular cancer has a very good cure rate (about 95 per cent).
Young men (about 20 to 40 years of age) are most at risk of developing testicular cancer.
Due to the higher risk of testicular cancer in men with a history of undescended testes, it is important for families to share details of medical history with boys in early adolescence so they are aware of the need to regularly check their testes.
Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
A hard lump in either testis is the usual symptom of testicular cancer. The lump is usually painless but in about one in 10 men it is painful or tender. In a few men, constant backache, coughing or breathlessness, and enlarged or tender nipples may mean that the cancer has spread. A man with any of these symptoms should see a doctor straight away; however, there may be many other reasons for these symptoms.
The treatment options for testicular cancer depend on the type and stage of cancer.
An orchidectomy (surgical removal of the affected testis) is the first stage of testicular cancer treatment in Delhi for all suspected cases of testicular cancer. The removed testis is then sent to a pathology laboratory to confirm the stage and type of cancer.
In recent years, surveillance (careful monitoring) has become a more popular option after orchidectomy for localised testicular cancer. This is where the man is checked regularly to assess whether the cancer has moved elsewhere in the body, including the other testis.
Chemotherapy or radiotherapy may be given after surgery to kill off any cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of the body. The level or amount of chemotherapy and radiotherapy will be different for each man and will depend on the stage and type of cancer.
The doctor will look at each case individually to assess the chance of the cancer moving from the testes before deciding on the best treatment.
- Surgery to remove your testicle (radical inguinal orchiectomy) is the primary treatment for nearly all stages and types of testicular cancer. To remove your testicle, your surgeon makes an incision in your groin and extracts the entire testicle through the opening. A prosthetic, saline-filled testicle can be inserted if you choose. In cases of early-stage testicular cancer, surgical removal of the testicle may be the only treatment needed.
- Surgery to remove nearby lymph nodes (retroperitoneal lymph node dissection) is performed through an incision in your abdomen. Your surgeon takes care to avoid damaging nerves surrounding the lymph nodes, but in some cases harm to the nerves may be unavoidable. Damaged nerves can cause difficulty with ejaculation, but won’t prevent you from having an erection.
Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy beams, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. During radiation therapy, you’re positioned on a table and a large machine moves around you, aiming the energy beams at precise points on your body.
Radiation therapy is a treatment option that’s sometimes used in people who have the seminoma type of testicular cancer. Radiation therapy may be recommended after surgery to remove your testicle.
Side effects may include nausea and fatigue, as well as skin redness and irritation in your abdominal and groin areas. Radiation therapy is also likely to temporarily reduce sperm counts and may impact fertility in some men. Talk to your doctor about your options for preserving your sperm before beginning radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy treatment uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs travel throughout your body to kill cancer cells that may have migrated from the original tumor.
Chemotherapy may be your only treatment, or it may be recommended before or after lymph node removal surgery.
Side effects of chemotherapy depend on the specific drugs being used. Ask your doctor what to expect. Common side effects include fatigue, nausea, hair loss and an increased risk of infection. There are medications and treatments available that reduce some of the side effects of chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy may also lead to infertility in some men, which can be permanent in some cases. Talk to your doctor about your options for preserving your sperm before beginning chemotherapy.