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What is Testicular Cancer?

Posted on April 17, 2018 by Howard Frey, M.D., Medical Director, The Valley Hospital Urologic Oncology Center

Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men ages 15 to 35. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that there will be approximately 9,310 new cases of testicular cancer diagnosed in the United States in 2018.
 
Testicular cancer grows in the tissues of one or both testes—glands that are located in the scrotum. Most cases of testicular cancer start out in the sperm-making cells known as germ cells. Testicular cancer can be classified into seminoma and nonseminoma. Although aggressive, both cancer types are curable even when metastatic.
 
Who Develops Testicular Cancer?
 
Any man can develop testicular cancer, but your risk of testicular cancer may be increased if you:
  • have a history of undescended testicle
  • have a family history of testicular cancer
  • have HIV/AIDS
What Are the Symptoms of Testicular Cancer?
 
The symptoms of testicular cancer include:
  • a lump or swelling in the testicle
  • testicular enlargement
Often there are no symptoms associated with testicular cancer.  It typically may present as a painless lump in the testes.
 
Testicular Self-Exams
 
I encourage all men to familiarize themselves with their bodies and what is normal for them by performing testicular self-exams once a month. I also recommend performing these simple exams—which only take a couple of minutes—in the shower or right after the shower. 
 
If you notice any lumps, bumps and/or changes in size, consistency or shape of the testicle, you should contact your physician right away. 
 
How is Testicular Cancer Diagnosed?
 
Lumps or masses may be found during a physical examination. Scrotal ultrasound can often diagnose testicular cancer. Other imaging tests, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and blood tests are utilized.
 
Valley-Mount Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Care provides state-of-the-art, comprehensive cancer care in northern New Jersey. To make an appointment at The Valley Hospital Urologic Oncology Center, please call 201-634-5567.
 

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