Testicular Cancer

This is one of the most common cancers in young men.

Testicular cancer is very responsive to treatment . Cure is nearly 100% if caught early but survival does drop to about 73% after it has spread to other body organs.


Who is affected?

Testicular cancer is mainly a disease of young males age 15-35 but anyone can be affected.

Incidence

Cases have been rising over the last decade by roughly 1% every year.

In the USA about 1 in every 250 men develop testicular cancer in their lifetime.

The WHO(world Health Organisation) reported 65 registered new cases in Uganda over 2020.

Symptoms

The most common early symptoms are :

  1. A lump or swelling of one testicle

  2. A heaviness in the testicle or a dragging sensation.

  3. Discomfort in a testicle

  4. Change in shape of the testicle.

Late symptoms are usually related to spread:

  1. Neck gland swelling

  2. Weight loss

  3. cough

  4. Chest pain

  5. Abdominal pain

  6. Breast enlargement

  7. Back pain

Tests :

  1. Ultrasound of the testicle

  2. Surgery and biopsy to determine the diagnosis.

  3. Blood tests decided by your specialist-include cancer markers

  4. CT scan to check for any spread once the cancer has been diagnosed.

Treatment of Testicular cancer;

This may involve one or a combination of the following depending on the stage of the cancer.:

  1. Surgical removal of the affected testicle

  2. Chemotherapy-special drugs to kill or destroy the cancer cells.

  3. Radiotherapy-special rays emitted by a radiotherapy machine to destroy the cancer cells.

Action Points :

  1. Examine your testicles regularly-at least once every month. You stand a higher chance of cure the earlier the cancer is detected.

  2. Report any changes to your doctor

It is only by knowing your normal that you can identify changes .

Do not be shy-embarrassment could be fatal !


References :

  1. www.medscape.com

  2. American Cancer Society Publications-Cancer facts and figures 2021

  3. WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer-Uganda fact sheet

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