Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the testicles, a part of the male reproductive system.
Epidemiology of testicular cancer
1 in every 25,000 men will get testicular cancer and it is very common among males ages 15 through 40. However testicular cancer is known to have the highest cure rates of all cancers. Cures can be achieved even after it has spread to other parts of the body.
Pathology of testicular cancer
There are two tumor types, seminomas and nonseminomas. Seminomas are slow- growing immature germ cells. To clear any confusion, germ cells are not the actual pathogens we know them to be, they are cells that produce sperm. Seminomas are generally localized in the testicles. Nonseminomas on the other hand are more aggressive and more mature germ cells that spread fast.
Staging of testicular cancer
There are three basic stages of testicular cancer. The first is where the cancer remains in the testicle. In the second stage, the cancer begins to spread to lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small bean shaped structures that produce and store infection fighting cells in the abdomen. During the third stage, everything is vulnerable. This includes the kidneys, liver, bones, lungs or even the brain.
Symptoms and diagnosis of testicular cancer
These are some general symptoms: a lump in one testicle, pain and tenderness in testicles, blood in sperm during ejaculation, build up of fluid in the scrotum, enlargement of breasts, and an increase in the size of one testicle. Any of these should be checked out by a doctor.
Treatment of testicular cancer
There are three basic types of treatment: surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Surgery is the most common, in which the infected testicle is removed and the lymph nodes can be also removed. Radiation therapy is effective only on seminomas. Chemotherapy is used when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
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