Cancer » Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer is one of the important types of cancers as it directly affects the male reproductive system. Also, the incidences of this cancer occur mainly in the peak age when a male is in the process of family planning. Men aged between 18-40 years are most prone to the disease. Cases of this cancer are detected rarely in males less than 15 years of age. The cancer occurs rarely in the Asian and African nations but is quite common in other parts of the world.
Understanding testicular cancer
Cancer in the testicles is one of the most common infections in the western world. The number of persons getting infected by this cancer has been increasing steadily. But the good side of the story is this cancer is one of the most curable cancers worldwide and has success rate of more than 90%. The success rate of curing this disease is almost 100% if the cancerous tumors are detected in the initial stages.
Testicles form an important part of the male reproductive system in the sense that they are the main producers of sperm and sex hormones. They are located under the penis in a skin bag called scrotum. Non-seminomatous germ cell tumors and seminomas are the two main types of the cancer in the testicles. Testicles are also known as testes or gonads. Non-seminomatous germ cell tumors respond better to chemotherapy while the seminomas respond well to radiotherapy.
Testicular cancer originates primarily in the testicles and may spread to other areas at a later stage depending upon the intensity of the infection. The malignant cells attack the vital tissues and cells and prevent them from functioning normally. These tumor cells not only damage but also kill the healthy tissues and cells and replace them by the cancerous ones. The overall mechanism of normal cell growth comes to a standstill and the cells start behaving abnormally. Supplying blood and oxygen is one of the vital functions of the tissues. Inefficient functioning of tissues is another reason for abnormal behavior of cells as they fall short of blood and oxygen.
Cell growth becomes so rapid that a considerable number of excessive and unnecessary cells are generated and the normal old cells are restrained from dying naturally. These excess and infected cells accumulate in a certain area and form a lump. This lump is generally known as tumor and has a tendency to metastasize. The cancerous cells spread to other areas of the body through the lymph nodes and bloodstream and develops separate tumors in the areas they invade.
Tumors can be of different character and mainly depend upon the type of infected cells. In the initial stages of the cancer of the testicles, the tumors are generally pre-cancerous and benign. Benign tumors are the ones that show rare tendency to metastasize and hardly kill or invade the healthy tissues and cells. They are curable and can be removed by surgery. Also, they show very little tendency to regenerate. A tumor can also be cancerous. Cancerous tumors are generally dangerous to human body and may prove fatal if not cured in time. They can metastasize rapidly and infect vital organs of the body. Cell-growth in these types of tumors is usually uncontrollable even if treated by best of the therapies. Also, they have very high chances of recurrence.
Benign tumors can be risky if not cured properly in time. They may turn cancerous or create conditions compatible for cancerous cells to develop fast and with minimum resistance from the internal cells and tissues. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, positron emission tomography (PET) test and ultrasound are some of the basic techniques to detect tumors. Biopsy and endoscopy is also recommended if the chances of the presence of tumors are above average.
General awareness about testicular cancer
Any kind of uneasiness in the testicles must be diagnosed immediately. Thought the cancer of the testicles is curable, it is necessary to undergo a regular medical checkup for its early detection of tumors and diagnose whether they are cancerous or not. Klinefelter syndrome is one of the important causes of the disease. Men who are suffering from the condition of cryptorchidism are highly prone to this cancer. The cancer is less common in the dark-skinned men as compared to those with the white skin. Thus, people residing in Asia and Africa are less prone to the cancer of the testicles. Family history of the cancer of the testicles is a big disadvantage and makes a person highly vulnerable to the cancerous infection. Age is another important factor in the development of cancerous tumors in the testicles. Hence, a person, especially between the age group of 18-40 years, must undergo a thorough medical examination if any unusual changes are detected in the area of and around the testicles. A person who is previously operated for this cancer has high chances of developing the infection in the other testicle.
Smoking and consumption of tobacco are not the direct causes of the disease but develop the immune system of the body badly. Hence, they make you more prone to the cancerous infections. Also, excess consumption of alcohol damages the liver badly and makes it prone to the development of cancerous tumors. A strong immunity system is important to resist of control the development of tumors in the body. Eat salads and fruits regularly and have a balanced diet with inclusion of fresh vegetables. Avoid oily and fat-rich food and keep body weight under control. Enlargement of testicles or formation of lump is an important symptom of testicular cancer. Unusual discharge from the penis or passage of blood through sperms during an ejaculation must be taken seriously.
Testicular cancer is curable if the patient undergoes a proper line of treatment. Computed tomography and X-rays are some of the common techniques to examine the growth and severity of the tumor. Tumors can be treated by surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, if detected in time.