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Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 35. It can occur in older men, and rarely, in younger boys. There are two main types of testicular cancer: seminomas and nonseminomas. These cancers grow from germ cells, the cells that make sperm. Seminomas are a slow-growing form of testicular cancer usually found in men in their 30s and 40s. The cancer is usually just in the testes, but it can spread to the lymph nodes. Seminomas are very sensitive to radiation therapy. Nonseminoma is the more common type of testicular cancer. It tends to grow more quickly. Risk factors include abnormal testicle development, history of undescended testicle,
Klinefelter syndrome, exposure to certain chemicals or a family history of testicular cancer.

Signs and symptoms of Testicular Cancer

There may be no symptoms. Symptoms that may occur can include:

  • Discomfort, pain or a feeling of heaviness in the testicle or scrotum
  • Enlargement of a testicle or a change in the way it feels
  • Excess development of breast tissue (gynecomastia), however, this can occur normally in adolescent boys
  • Lump or swelling in either testicle

Testicular Cancer Diagnosis

  • Abdominal and pelvic CT scan
  • Blood tests
  • Ultrasound of the scrotum
  • Biopsy

Testicular Cancer Treatment

  • Surgical treatment removes the testicle and may also remove nearby lymph nodes
  • Radiation therapy, usually only used for treating seminomas
  • Chemotherapy

Survivorship care

Avera Men’s Cancer Support Group meets monthly. Prostate cancer survivors are also invited to take part in A Time to Heal, a cancer survivorship program for all cancer diagnoses.