• Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 29
• Testicular cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer
• Because treatment is so successful, the overall longterm survival rate is about 96%
• 940 new cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed in Canada in 2013.
WHAT IS TESTICULAR CANCER
Cancer begins when cells in a part of the body begin to grow abnormally. These cancer cells can invade other tissue, and in most cases form a tumor. When cancer cells get into the bloodstream or lymph vessels, they can travel to other parts of the body. There they begin to grow and form new tumors; this process is called metastasis.
Cancer that develops in one or both testicles is called testicular cancer. According to the Canadian Testicular Cancer Association
, the testicles are made up of several types of cells, and each may develop into one or more types of cancer.
There are 3 types of testicular cancer tumors: Germ cell, Non-germcell, and secondary testicular tumors.
- Germ cell tumors are the most commonly diagnosed; they begin in the cells that make sperm.
- Non-germ cell tumors start in the cells that make hormones and the other tissues that support the cells that make sperm.
- Secondary testicular tumors are from cancer that has spread to the testicles from other parts of the body.
For more detailed information about these types of tumors, please visit the Canadian Testicular Cancer Association's website
RISKS OF TESTICULAR CANCER
Men who may be at risk for testicular cancer include those with:
- Cryptorchidism, or undescended testicle(s)
- A family history of testicular cancer
- A previous testicular cancer diagnosis
- Are between 15 and 29
- HIV infection
For more information, visit the Canadian Cancer Encyclopedia
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Only 1 in 4 men with testicular cancer have symptoms of the disease.
According to the Canadian Cancer Encyclopedia, testicular cancer doesn't have many warning signs in the early stages. Symptoms usually develop as the cancer advances. However it's important to see a doctor about any of the following
All men between 15 and 35 should become familiar with the shape and feel of their testicles and perform regular self-tests to detect abnormalities. Men are encouraged to perform monthly testicular self-exams, ideally after a bath or shower, when the scrotum is relaxed. Click here
for more information on conducting monthly self-exams.
It’s important to see a doctor about any testicular symptoms that bothers you. Don’t wait. If diagnosed with testicular cancer, here
is a comprehensive list of questions you can ask your doctor.
If diagnosed with testicular cancer, the most important step to take is to talk at length with your doctor about your treatment choices.
In choosing a treatment plan, factors such as your overall health and the type and stage of the cancer should be considered. You may want to get a second doctor’s opinion.
The three main methods of testicular cancer treatment are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The Canadian Cancer Encyclopedia has more detailed information on treatment options by stage on their website
TESTICULAR CANCER RESOURCES
Canadian Cancer Encyclopedia
The Canadian Testicular Cancer Association