Thursday, May 7, 2015

What To Know About Testicular Cancer

By Toni Vang

There are many different types of cancers that are currently affecting both men and women of different ages. Testicular cancer is a form of cancer that occurs in the testicles, although it can spread to other parts within the body. Statistics from 2013 showed that 8, 300 people died of this condition worldwide. This was an increase of 1, 300 from 1990. Annual diagnosis per year is at 8000 in the US and 2000 in UK.

The news is scary, but no need to be afraid because this cancer has the highest rate of cure. Survival rate after 5 years is averaged to be 95%. If the abnormal cells have not moved to other organs, five-year survival rate rises to 99%, but if it has, it reduces to 96%. Currently, chemotherapy gives 80% cure rate.

The area of origin of the condition in the body determines the name it is given. Because of that, even if cancerous cells spread to others parts of the body like the lungs, it is still called and treated as cancer of the testes. Research findings indicate that one out of 200 males is at risk of developing the disease. The cancer is the most prevalent one among males between the age of 20 and 39. Males below 15 years rarely develop the condition.

There are diverse symptoms for this disease, but the most pronounced one is lumps in testicles. Self-examinations are encouraged, but routine screen is not. Individuals from families with a history of cancer should be more careful and do more self-examinations. Young people are at a higher risk of developing the disease.

Normally lumps occur in one testis and my come with pain or not. Presence of lumps makes doctors to conduct further tests. Additional symptoms that occur commonly include painful scrotum or abdomen, breast enlargement, the scrotum feeling heavy, and lower back pain. Signs come one at a time or several at once. Cancerous cells may spread to the lungs and when that happens, shortness of breath and lumps in the neck may be experienced.

Care should be exercised with the symptoms because hematocele, epididymitis, and varicocele have similar symptoms as this condition. Scrotal ultrasound is used to evaluate lumps that occur in testes. Lump characteristics determined by the ultrasound help in identifying its type. Location and size are some of the characteristics determined.

Location of metastases and extent of disease is performed through CT scans. Blood tests may also utilize to identify the disease. Tumor markers in form of specific proteins within the bloodstream are made use of during the blood test. Alpha-fetoprotein, LDH-1, and human chorionic gonadotropin are the proteins that serve as tumor markers for the detection of the illness through blood tests. The efficiency of blood tests is not quite high.

Options for treatment are three. The options are radiation therapy, surgery, and chemotherapy. Specialists who perform these treatments are different. Radiation therapy is done by radiation oncologists, chemotherapy is done by medical oncologists, while surgery is performed by urologists. The time treatment starts determines success.

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