What is Testicular Cancer?
Testicular cancer occurs when cancer cells grow in one or both testicles. There are two basic types of testicular cancer:
- Seminomas: This is a type of testicular cancer that starts from the germ cells of the testicle that make sperm
- Nonseminomas: This is the most common type of testicular cancer and appears differently under the microscope and is treated differently from seminomas
Both of these forms of testicular cancer develop in three stages, as follows.
- Stage I: Limited to the testicle
- Stage II: Has spread to the lymph nodes toward the back of the abdomen
- Stage III: Has spread anywhere else in the body
Causes and Risk Factors
As of now, there is no known cause of testicular cancer. However, there are several risk factors that increase the chance of developing the disease. These risk factors include familial history of testicular cancer, abnormal testicular development, or an undescended testicle. White American men are more likely to develop testicular cancer. In addition, the disease occurs most commonly in males ages 25-35.
Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
Symptoms of testicular cancer include the following:
- Swelling or painless lumps in either testicle
- Aching in the lower abdomen or groin
- The sudden appearance of fluid in the scrotum
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum
- Enlarged breasts
- Lower back pain (in the later stages of the disease)
Other diseases may also cause these symptoms. Contact your doctor if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above. If caught early, testicular cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer.
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